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What does freight shipping mean? 

Shipping originally referred to the movement of goods across water via boat, hence “shipping”, and freight referred to cargo specifically carried by ships. However, “freight shipping” has since become universal for moving goods and cargo via any mode of transportation. Freight shipping is the physical process of transporting commodities, merchandise goods, and cargo carried in bulk. Freight is considered any shipment that is larger than 30 inches x 30 inches x 30 inches or weighs over 150 pounds. The goods are loaded onto pallets or into large containers and transported domestically or internationally via ship, aircraft, truck, train, or any combination of these modes of transportation.  


How does freight shipping work? 

Freight shipping is transportation of large shipments of commodities, cargo, and goods across ocean, in the air, or on land. The goods are on large pallets in sturdy containers. Different methods of freight shipping have pros and cons, most tying back to three factors: money, time, and quality. Shipping via air is the fastest, yet most expensive. Shipping via ocean is the cheapest, yet the slowest method. Moving via truck balances out the factors, with variations across different shipping modes, including less than truckload (LTL), intermodal, full truckload (FTL), expedited, and partial truckload. Temperature-controlled freight, moved via refrigerated truck, is for products that need to stay within a specific temperature and humidity range, such as meats, pharmaceuticals, or dairy. Dry van, on the other hand, is for goods that cannot get wet and need rain protection on the road, but aren’t at risk from temperature fluctuations. 

Freight shipping has many details to it, and without proper documentation, shippers are at risk of confusion, missed deadlines, or lost shipments. The bill of lading, which serves as the receipt for the freight, helps keep shipments on track by including critical details, such as the key dates and freight information, and other specifics the shipper, the recipient, and the carrier need to know.  


GoShip Freight Shipping Solutions 

At GoShip, we offer a multitude of shipping services for our customers. The main shipping services we provide are LTL and FTL, or full truckload, freight shipping. The key difference between LTL and FTL shipping is that LTL freight shipping is used when shipments are small enough that they don't need the full truck when shipping, while FTL freight shipping is a large shipment that fills the entire truck. LTL freight shipping is a cost-efficient way to move goods, without having to spend the extra amount of money on a full truckload if you don't have much to ship. 

With FTL freight shipping, there are different modes GoShip provides to customers. Dry vans are the most popular shipping method: fully enclosed trailers that protect freight from external influence, like weather. Refrigerated trucks, also known as reefer, are used like dry vans, but with a climate control option to keep things like food, beverages, flowers, and even art safe. 

Finally, GoShip also offers flatbed shipping, which are open trailers that move oversized and bulky equipment. 

No matter the mode you choose, GoShip provides you with a wide network of freight carriers, full customer support, and shipment tracking, and even international shipping to and from Canada. 

You can learn more about our full suite of offerings on our shipping services page or, if you know what’s right for your freight, you can compare free quotes with our Get a Quote tool to find carriers who best fits your needs. 


Freight Shipping 

Freight shipping is a general term used to describe the commercial transportation of commodities and goods. Items that weight more than 150 pounds are considered freight, or cargo. Freight shipping is the movement of goods domestically or internationally by truck, aircraft, ship, or by train. There are different types of freight shipping, including full truckload shipping, less-than-truckload shipping, intermodal, rail, ocean, or air transportation. 

The freight shipping industry is a crucial component of the global economy. It is a bloodstream of the world’s trade and the industry that supplies people with the necessary goods day-to-day. Just in the US alone there are almost 6 trillion ton-miles of freight moved annually. The cargo is shipped with the help of freight carriers.  


LTL Freight 

LTL freight, or less-than-truckload freight, is a shipping mode designed to save costs for freight shipping items that can fit onto a standard size palate. This shipping mode allows for large and small businesses to save on costs by paying only for the space they use on a truck. The amount of space is determined by how many pallets are needed to carry your freight. The standard pallet size is typically 48 inches x 40 inches, and you can learn more about pallets in this GoShip guide to shipping pallets. LTL freight shipping is also a great option if the item you are shipping is too large to ship through standard parcel shipping.  

In LTL freight shipping, trucks or carriers move multiple smaller-sized shipments through preset lanes on the road. These lanes typically connect major shipping hubs, facilities, or distribution centers throughout the United States and Canada. Some key factors to consider when planning your LTL shipment are distance, freight class, and any additional services. Additional services can include lift gate use, inside delivery, limited access delivery, or freeze protection. To learn more about best practices, check out this helpful LTL guide created by GoShip. For pricing information, check out GoShip’s Get a Quote tool which will allow you to see rates from different carriers in real time and select which price fits your budget.  


FTL Freight 

Full truckload, or FTL, shipments are for large shipments that take up the entire truck, typically ten or more pallets weighing more than 15,000 pounds (about twice the weight of an elephant). FTL shipments stay on the same truck the entire time and are not moved during transport, so there is less risk of damage to the goods. This method of transportation is much quicker than LTL, since only one shipment is on board and there are no stops along the way. With this method of bulk shipping, customers save money on large shipments. With GoShip, we provide FTL shipment quotes automatically for the best carrier price available, so our shippers will not have to worry about all the factors that go into choosing an FTL carrier. When getting an FTL carrier quote on the website, clients are immediately provided the most cost-efficient and reliable FTL services by our freight partners. Booking is simple. 

Shipping Companies  

A bad shipping experience can quickly turn a customer’s perspective on your company to a negative one. A recent study showed that 60% of US consumers abandoned purchases after seeing high shipping costs and another 84% say they’re unlikely to shop with a company again after an unsatisfactory shipping experience. Choosing the right shipping company, or carrier, is like choosing an ambassador and there’s a lot of things you should look for in the right one.  

Delivery speed is one of the more important things you want to look for in a shipping company as it has become a decisive selling point for customers. 

The range of a specific shipper is also important to consider when shipping to a customer. You can choose either a local carrier, who would be more efficient when operating on a small scale, or a regional or national carrier if your shipping needs expand past the local market. 

Customers place high value on shipment tracking, so make sure you understand what each shipping company provides when picking. At GoShip, we offer freight transportation through an extensive network of carriers to meet any of your shipping needs. And not only that, but we are partnered with TaskRabbit, allowing you to hire someone to help with any additional pre- or post-delivery needs all in one spot! 


Cheapest Shipping Options 

There are so many factors that can affect the cost of shipping, like the desired service, mileage, weight and dimensions of shipment, commodity type, and the demand for transportation. At GoShip, we pride ourselves on helping businesses to find the best carrier and pricing option to meet their desired budget. The price of shipping all depends on what type of service you're looking for, but GoShip provides service rates in seconds with our Get a Quote feature. Simply provide basic shipment information, and you'll receive free quotes from our network of thousands of carriers. 


Beyond instant quotes and cost-effective shipping rates, GoShip also offers insurance options. At GoShip, we partner with Falvey Insurance Group to make sure anything shipped gets to its destination safely and efficiently. 


Shipping Locations 

Freight is most often picked up at common shipping locations, like shipping docks, facilities, or warehouses, though shippers can arrange a residential or inside pickup from a private location. Because not all carriers provide the same pickup and delivery options, it’s important to carefully pair your freight with a carrier who is the right fit for you. 

Most commercial shipping locations are clustered facilities where all the shipments from a particular region are consolidated and then transported. For residential shipping locations, a shipper and their carrier or shipping company prearrange the pickup and delivery locations, with emphasis on choosing the right options to move within the residential zone.

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