When it comes to freight shipping, choosing the best way to transport your goods will depend on several different factors. The factors that will influence your decision include the nature of the goods you need transported (perishable goods will require refrigerated truckload shipping while non-perishable goods can be shipped via regular shipping); the destination of your shipment (local versus international); the deadline for delivery (required delivery date), and your budget.
Each method of shipping has its own pros and cons, which also means that you don’t necessarily have to stick to one method all the time. While it’s usually the cost that becomes the ultimate deciding factor, quality should also be a top priority and it will be counterproductive if your intent to save on cost results in quality deterioration. Keep in mind that the best option will always be the one that will best serve your current requirements.
For local or national destinations, you can choose to have your goods transported via air freight, train or truck.
Ideal option when you need to transport goods quickly. It’s typically the most expensive option because shipping can be done overnight.
Best for goods that are fragile and breakable because compared to travelling on the road, the trip is faster — trains follow a schedule and do not have to contend with traffic or some other kind of delays that are common on the road — and smoother — train tracks are more consistent and even than roads and highways.
Shipping by truck is the most used method for transporting goods that are not easily damaged and are capable of withstanding a longer timeline. It is ideal for companies who need to ship a large amount of goods simultaneously to ensure that everything arrives at the same time. On the downside, truckload shipping is typically the slowest way to transport your goods because it is highly affected by road, traffic and weather conditions.
There are 2 methods to choose from. One is Full Truckload (FTL) shipping. The other is LTL or Less-Than-Truckload shipping. FTL shipping means you are contracting an entire truck to carry your goods. LTL shipping means that you are only renting a part of the truck, specifically, only the space you need for your goods.
With LTL shipping, different kinds of goods from several different customers are transported together in one truck. This is generally a more cost-effective option for business owners whose product demand is not yet enough to fill an entire truckload during every delivery.
FTL shipping is the better option when you have enough goods to fill the whole truck; when your merchandise is a bit time-sensitive; and when you want exclusivity, that is, you don’t want your items to be delivered with items from other customers.
With FTL shipping, the estimated delivery time is more accurate because there’s only one destination, with no in-between stops to deliver other goods. The risk for potential damage is also minimal due to less handling needed. Basically, the goods are only handled at the pick-up point and the destination, unlike with LTL shipping where there’s the possibility that the merchandise will be handled at every stop as different kinds of items are loaded and unloaded.
For international destinations, you have the option to ship via air freight or marine freight.Similar with local and national shipments, air freight is the best and the only way to go when you need to get your goods delivered quickly. As the fastest shipping option, it is also the most expensive. On the other hand, shipping via marine is advisable and more economical if there’s no rush to get your product delivered.