Freight Shipping and Its Basics

People who have just started their own business have many questions. If you are one of them, you probably face lots of challenges, including a search for a new cargo carrier. To make the right choice and get a responsible partner, you should understand the basics of freight shipping. So what should you know?

It is more complicated than it seems to be

Some people think that freight shipping is simple and easy. The standard way is to look at some proposals, compare prices, and choose the best company. Maybe it is appropriate for people, who deal with cargo carriers once or twice a year. But if you are a businessman, and your goods will be delivered to the clients regularly, it’s better to pay more attention.

Once you’ve chosen a cargo carrier, don’t be in a hurry to sign a document of cooperation. You have to decide the following:

  • kind of products you sell;
  • weight of goods;
  • suitable packaging;
  • your budget and cargo carrier’s payment conditions;
  • departure and destination point;
  • a necessity of using special equipment (e.g. a lift gate).

This list is not completed, but it’s rather efficient for beginners. When you start cooperating with transportation companies, it’s also normal to ask for discounts and price cutting. 

Common types of freight shipment

Speaking about the shipment, you must know the exact sizes and weights of the goods. It will help to determine the type of cargo carrier. 

The most common types of freight shipment are LTL and FTL. One more type is PTL. Let’s look at each of them in detail.

Less than truckload (LTL):

  • is suitable for goods whose max weight is 4000 pounds;
  • provides shipment on pallets;
  • is delivered on the truck with the goods of other senders;
  • takes more time than a full truckload.

As for the full truckload, it:

  • is appropriate for the whole truck of freight;
  • takes less time, because the goods are delivered from one point to another without stops;
  • has a lower risk of damage, so it is an ideal way to deliver fragile goods.

Have you understood which type is the most suitable for you? If yes, you have fewer variants of freight shipment. 


Once you found out which type is appropriate, start solving another problem. Who will pack your goods?  Fortunately, there are three variants.

  1. Your employees will pack the products just in the warehouses. This variant saves money. To use this variant, employees must be informed of the rules and standards of packaging. Some cargo carriers don’t take parcels on trucks that are not packed properly. One more point is that mistakes lead to damage to items. 
  2. A company that will pack the parcels for you. Such a variant is convenient. Also, it helps prevent bad situations with packaging. But some cargo carriers take extra payments for this.
  3. Packaging is provided by a freight carrier. It is safe and simple but takes a lot of money. When you send fragile items, the cost of service is justified.

Who pays the bills?

Here you have also three variants, and they depend on the situation.

  1. You pay when you send the goods.
  2. Your customer pays to accept the parcel.
  3. The third-party pays during the process. 

There are lots of business agreements that help to solve this problem. Be sure that you are informed of the payment policies of the cargo carrier as well as the conditions accepted by you and your customers. 

To make your business better and more client-friendly, it’s necessary to understand the terms and get acquainted with the process. The more you know, the easier it will be.