The term “freight” often causes confusion amongst first-time business owners. This isn’t all too surprising considering that the term itself can be used in different ways.
While “freight” can be used to detail goods or products that you are transporting from one location to another, it can also be used to pertain to the means of transport associated with shipping goods (such as freight trucks, freight ships, freight railroad containers, and freight planes) as well as the process of moving goods itself.
For now, let’s focus on the final definition. For the purposes of this article, freight (or freight shipping) is the process of transporting commodities that you intend to sell or have sold over land, sea, or air.
Chances are that if you’re reading this article, your business has expanded to a point where regular trips to the post office will no longer suffice.
Sure, this is fine when you’re posting one or two items a day to different locations. Courier services take the goods in, send them to a depot where they are sorted to be posted with other items to the same area and sent on their way.
This is efficient and cost-effective. But perhaps you’re getting larger orders from particular locations or specific companies, stockists, or individual businesspeople.
These goods don’t need to be sorted, as they are all headed in the same direction. It proves much more time and cost effective for them to be sent by freight!
If this sounds familiar, then read on for a complete guide to the best type of freight for your business’ needs.
Commonly Used Different Types of Freight
When you engage with freight companies, chances are that you’re going to have to choose between various different services that they have available.
What one company needs isn’t necessarily going to suit all. So, it’s good to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you dive head first into proceedings.
Here are a few commonly used types of freight and the differences between them.
LTL (or “less than a truckload”)
LTL stands for “less than a truckload” and the clue is in the name when it comes to what this service provides.
This service is designed for businesses who need to send shipments of products that are too large to send as a parcel, but not large enough to fill an entire truck trailer.
What different services count as “less than a truckload” will vary, so have a read through your chosen service’s terms and conditions before placing your order.
A partial truckload is an option that benefits companies who have a fair amount of products to shift from one place to another but are interested in splitting the freight costs with another business.
Why pay for a full truckload if you can fit someone else’s goods in alongside yours and share the cost?
The full truckload option is what your business should aim for, as it means that you’re selling and transporting enough wares to justify using an entire truck for yourself.
Not only does this option mean that your goods are transported directly to their destination (without having to wait for other companies’ items to be dropped off) but this reduces chances of freight damage, as items are loaded and left until unloaded at their destination.
Hopefully, this has helped to clear up any questions that first-time business owners might have about freight and the services that will be most useful for their individual company’s needs!