Freight Transport

From air freight to ocean freight, get advice on shipping cargo

If you need to get a large package from one part of the world to another, then you're going to engage in freight transport, which can be roughly defined as the moving of packages for personal or commercial reasons. There are several different types of freight delivery, including air freight, train freight, trucking freight and ocean freight, and any of them can ship your package safely and securely. However, knowing how to most effectively ship your item(s)—in other words, knowing what shipping method(s) will work best for you in terms of time and money—means learning a few important terms associated with freight and various delivery systems.

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LTL Shipping

Is your smaller company looking to ship between 100 and 20,000 pounds (10 short tons) in a shipment? Then you're technically an LTL, or less-than-truckload, shipper who probably requires a delivery system more complex and more cost-effective than that offered by the common post office. Not surprisingly, freight shipping for LTLs is cheaper than shipping each package individually through the postal system.

Freight Carriers

A freight carrier is any company that provides freight services. For instance, UPS is the world's largest freight carrier, offering shipping by air, ocean, road or rail. Their rates depend on shipment size, weight and desired travel time—much like postal services, the more quickly you want an item to reach its destination, the higher the price of shipping.

For larger shipments, UPS has an LTL shipping freight service within the United States and Canada, and it even offers a no-fee guarantee if a shipment fails to make it to a destination by the agreed-upon deadline. LTL Urgent services are available for the quickest deliveries, with higher costs built into a premium price for priority shipping.

Bill of Lading (BOL)

A bill of lading is an important part of the shipping process. It includes all of the vital information pertinent to moving freight, including the intended date of arrival, the price of transport and the item's shipping classification. Any time you're involved in the shipping process, no matter your role or responsibilities, ensure that the BOL is correct before and after the item reaches its destination.