What Are The Forms Of Transportation? - GoShip

What are the Modes of Transportation in the Shipping of Products?

Posted on:
Nov 24, 2023

Updated: 1/2/2023

Logistics and the transportation of products are very diverse and complex industries. Shippers rely on various types of transportation methods, including overseas shipping, air transportation, and ground delivery to move freight. Therefore, it involves many types of transport modes or different modes of shipping.

Sometimes, it may be challenging for a company to choose the suitable mode of shipping to reach the best result. In addition, it can be challenging if you are new to domestic or global shipping. However, knowing the differences and benefits of each transportation method will help you define the option that will work best for you.

What Are the Modes of Transportation in Logistics?

There are various types of transport modes, but when it comes to freight shipping, there are several main transportation methods in the freight industry: Ocean, Air, Rail, Road, Intermodel, and multimodal.

Why Are the Different Modes of Transportation Important?

These modes of transport are fundamental and play a significant role in the logistics industry. However, there are many differences in price, shipped commodities, transit distance, etc. Therefore, while some modes of shipping may be the perfect solution for one business, they may also be useless to another.

Understanding the importance of each mode of transportation is crucial for businesses to optimize their supply chain. For instance, a business dealing in fresh produce might prioritize air transport to ensure freshness upon arrival, while a furniture manufacturer might prefer ocean or rail due to the bulky nature of their products.

Moreover, the mode of shipping you choose can significantly impact a company’s carbon footprint. With a growing emphasis on sustainability, businesses are considering eco-friendly modes like rail to reduce their environmental impact.

Additionally, geopolitical situations, trade agreements, and regional infrastructure also influence the choice of mode of transportation. For instance, regions with well-developed highways might rely more on road transport, while those with efficient ports might prioritize ocean shipping.

What are the Forms of Transportation?

Ocean shipping

Ocean shipping is the most popular transportation method for moving large volumes of goods overseas. The ocean is much more cost-efficient than air but is also relatively slow. This mode of transportation is best for shippers who need to move products at a distance longer than 400 km. Also, it works for oversized, hazardous, liquids, and weird-shaped freight.

Ocean shipping is shared among large and mid-sized businesses because they need to make global logistics operations more regular. The freight is stacked in containers and later loaded onto the ships or barges.

Air shipping

Types of transportation (Flying)

Probably the fanciest mode of shipping, air transport is a reliable and rapid way to ship freight. However, extraordinary speed comes at a higher price in terms of shipping. Because of its higher cost, more prominent companies mostly use air transport, but small businesses often use it too.

This option is the perfect solution for many retail companies and light industries. Of course, there are specialized aircraft for hefty cargo, but in general, planes are not developed for handling oversized freight of unusual shape.

Trucking (Over-the-Road Shipping)

Type of transportation (Trucking)

Over-the-road transportation is the most popular, most frequently used, and most in-demand transportation method. It works for everyone, from individual shippers to large enterprises. Also, road transport comes with a wide variety of equipment and shipping modes. There are two main types of over-the-road transportation: full truckload (FTL) and less-than-truckload (LTL).

FTL shipping means that one shipper takes the entire truck capacity to move the freight. LTL shipping means several shippers share partial use of the trailer. Trailers serve different shipping needs: dry van, flatbed, refrigerated, etc. Therefore, getting a FTL or LTL freight quote from the carrier and choosing the needed equipment is easy.


Types of transportation (Rail shipping)

Rail transportation is crucial in intermodal shipments and is cheaper and more eco-friendly than over-the-road shipping. However, it is best used for pre-planned long-hauls, and moving from OTR to rail could benefit your logistics and supply chain management in several ways.

Significant investments in intermodal transportation in recent decades have made it more reliable, cost-effective, and service-oriented. As a result, rail freight rates are flexible and much lower than truck rates. Due to the large volume of goods being moved, the price per load is low. Also, rail transport doesn’t make frequent stops and uses a minimum of fuel.

Intermodal and Multimodal Transport

Choosing a suitable mode of transportation may be difficult, especially if you have a long and complicated route. Intermodal and multimodal transportation solve this problem, as they are two types of combination transportation modes. Generally, intermodal and multimodal shipping suggest the combination of road, rail, ocean, or air for a single shipment.

The only difference between both methods is that intermodal is handled under a single bill, while multimodal use separate accounts from all the carriers involved. Generally, intermodal and multimodal can be very beneficial to the shipper in terms of price and flexibility. Ultimately, each of these types of transport modes has its advantages and drawbacks. Depending on the size and needs of your business, you’ll have various options to choose from.

Applying different modes of transportation can also help you build a warehouse management system. For example, if you want to ship your material and product more effectively or consider international shipments, you can consider delivering goods to a distribution center. Then, with a robust inventory management strategy, you can move your items to a storage space closer to the final destination. Hence, the ordered goods remain in stock and reach customers faster.

GoShips’s digital platform, rooted in years of industry expertise, streamlines both full-truckload and less-than-truckload freight shipping. GoShip is your trusted freight shipping partner, offering a seamless, user-friendly shipping experience. Ready to take the hassle out of shipping? Get an instant, low-cost full truckload and LTL quote for your shipments today with GoShip, and let’s drive your freight goals forward together.

Frequently Asked Questions On Modes of Transportation

What are the forms of transportation in logistics?

In the realm of logistics, there are several primary transportation methods that businesses rely on. These include Ocean, Air, Rail, Road, Intermodal, and Multimodal. Each of these different modes of transportation offers unique advantages and is suited for specific types of shipments and distances.

Why is it important to understand the different modes of transportation?

Understanding the different modes of transportation is crucial because they play a foundational role in the logistics industry. Each mode comes with its own set of characteristics in terms of price, commodities that can be shipped, and transit distance. Making an informed choice can significantly optimize a business’s supply chain, ensuring efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

What are the advantages of ocean shipping?

Ocean shipping stands out as a cost-efficient method, especially when dealing with large volumes of goods. It becomes particularly advantageous for shipments that need to cover distances longer than 400 km. Moreover, ocean shipping is versatile, capable of handling a range of freight types, from oversized and hazardous items to liquids and uniquely shaped cargo.

How does air shipping compare to other types of transportation modes?

Air transport offers a blend of speed and reliability, making it a preferred choice for time-sensitive shipments. While it might come with a higher price tag compared to other modes, its efficiency often justifies the cost. Both large corporations and small businesses frequently use air transport to meet their shipping needs.

What’s the difference between FTL and LTL in road transportation?

In the context of road transportation, FTL, or full truckload shipping, refers to scenarios where one shipper occupies the entire capacity of a truck for their freight. On the other hand, LTL, or less-than-truckload shipping, is a system where multiple shippers share the space of a single truck, each shipping smaller quantities.

Why might a business choose rail transportation?

Rail transportation offers a blend of cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness. It’s an excellent choice for businesses planning long-haul shipments. Rail transport has carved a niche for itself as a reliable mode of shipping, often presenting lower rates than trucking, especially when large volumes of goods are in play.

Can you explain intermodal and multimodal transport?

Intermodal and multimodal transport both revolve around the concept of using multiple transportation modes for a single shipment. The distinction lies in the billing process. While intermodal transportation operates under a single bill for the entire shipment, multimodal transportation involves separate billing accounts for each carrier involved.

How can different transportation modes benefit warehouse management?

Leveraging various transportation modes can significantly enhance warehouse management strategies. By making strategic choices, businesses can ship materials and products more efficiently. This might involve moving items to storage facilities closer to their final destination, ensuring that goods remain in stock and are delivered to customers more swiftly.

How can GoShip assist with my shipping needs?

GoShip’s digital platform, rooted in years of industry expertise, streamlines both full-truckload and less-than-truckload freight shipping. For businesses seeking an LTL quote, GoShip offers a seamless and user-friendly experience, ensuring they receive a cost-effective estimate tailored to their needs. With GoShip, businesses are not only assured of a straightforward shipping process but also a trusted partner that prioritizes their freight shipping requirements.

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