9 Classic Freight Transportation Options and Their Costs

11 min read

If you have been in business for some time, there are different modes of transportation that can be used to move cargo from one location to another. The type of freight transportation you choose will mostly depend on the type of goods you need to move, and on the destination they need to reach.

Goods will often travel from one point to another through different modes of transportation. For example, a cargo could leave a warehouse in a truck, before reaching a port and being loaded onto a ship. When that ship reaches its port of destination, the cargo could be transferred to a train to finish its journey and reach its final destination.

Certain freight transportation options come with faster processing times and additional services, but may incur higher costs as a result. To find out which option works best for your business, let’s take a closer look at nine different types of classic freight transportation:

1. Land freight transportation

Many goods are moved through land freight transport, either by truck or by train, and many shipments will cover some distance with both modes of transportation before arriving at their destination.

Less-than-truckload shipments, or LTL, are shipments that are not large enough to fill up an entire truck. This means that more than one shippers can combine their shipments so they can save money, while allowing the trucking company to not lose any.

Full-truckload shipments, or FTL, fill up an entire truck and usually benefit from shorter transit times. This is also a cost-effective freight transportation option. However, other factors go into the costs of land freight transportation, such as the distance covered. You can work with a freight audit company to examine the finances behind your land transportation options, and make the most profitable decision.

2. Water freight transportation

Water freight transport is a cost effective solution for shippers who need to ship goods overseas, or simply to a remote destination that can be reached by sailing on a river or on a lake.

For water freight transport, the goods are placed in containers that can be the same ones used for land freight. These containers are then stacked on a barge or on a large ship that will travel on a river, on a lake, or across the ocean.

3. Air freight transportation

When goods need to be delivered as quickly as possible, most shippers turn to air freight transport. Any cargo travelling by plane will reach its destination faster than cargo travelling by land or by ocean.

However, air freight transport is more expensive than land and water freight transport. But for a company that needs to ship perishable goods to their clients, it’s best to pay more for air freight than to lose money. This is especially a concern if you’re worried the goods did not reach their destination on time, or because they were spoiled when the clients received them.

4. Doorstep-to-doorstep

It’s possible to give two addresses to the freight forwarder: the address where the goods should be picked up, and the address where they should be delivered.

In a doorstep-to-doorstep freight transport arrangement, the freight forwarder will determine which modes of transportation should be used, and will ensure delivery of the goods on-time, and at the right address. The shipper only has to worry about paying the bill.

5. Door-to-warehouse

The shipper can also choose a door-to-warehouse arrangement. For this classic freight transportation option, the freight forwarder will arrange for the goods to be picked up at the address provided, and to be delivered directly to the warehouse of the buyer.

The best modes of freight transportation will be chosen to make sure the cargo will reach the warehouse at the moment where it is expected. If the goods are perishable, air freight will surely be used if the shipper’s address and the buyer’s warehouse are not located on the same continent.

6. Warehouse-to-door

A warehouse-to-door arrangement is similar, but the goods will leave the forwarder’s warehouse to reach an address where the buyer will be expecting them.

For this arrangement, the shipper has to ensure transportation of the goods to the warehouse of the forwarder, who will then take the next steps to complete the transit using other modes of transportation.

7. Warehouse-to-port

For this arrangement, the shipper is also responsible for bringing the goods to the warehouse of the freight forwarder.

The shipper will then pay the forwarder to transport the goods until they reach their port of destination. It’s a good option for those who don’t want to deal with the different expenses associated with loading cargo onto a ship at the port of origin, and then unloading it at the port of destination.

8. Doorstep-to-port

For this arrangement, the forwarder will pick up the goods at the address provided by the shipper. They will then arrange for the goods to be loaded at their port of origin, and unloaded at their destination port.

9. Port-to-port

For a port-to-port freight arrangement, the shipper delivers the goods to the freight forwarder directly at the port.

The forwarder will then take care of everything to ensure the goods will leave their port of origin and reach their port of destination, while the shipper will only have to worry about paying the pill.

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