The 3 Main Types of Freight Transportation

What is Freight Transportation?

Companies need a vehicle to move their goods. But what can you do if you do not have a vehicle big enough to accommodate all your products? Or one that can bring your goods to another destination? A transportation service solves the problem, and it is the heart of freight transportation.

Freight transportation is the process of transporting cargo, goods, and other products from one place to another. All supply chain and logistics systems deal with the transportation of freight, also known as freight shipping. It allows these systems to easily transfer goods to other places or warehouses, deliver them to end customers, or distribute them to other businesses.

There are different types of freight transportation. Freight, or goods and cargo for shipment, can be transported by air, sea, or land. Choosing the right type for your business is essential to ensure convenient, timely, and accurate delivery of your goods.

Dealing with freight transportation companies can be challenging and time-consuming. Whether you are new to issues involving freight logistics or are looking for ways to make freight management easier, this guide is written for you.

Read on to determine the freight transportation type most suitable for your business.

What are the 3 Main Types of Freight Transportation?

Businesses that require the transport of goods and products can choose among the three freight transportation types. So, what are the different types of freight? The main transportation types are air freight, ocean freight, and truck freight, with each type offering unique benefits.

To leverage the benefits they provide, it is important to carefully identify which one is suitable for your business. Several important factors, including the transportation cost, the value, size, and weight of your goods, and shipment urgency, require consideration to aid in decision-making.

Let’s take a look at the potential benefits and possible drawbacks each freight transportation type can bring to the table before making a decision.

Air Freight

To know if air freight is suitable for your business, you should know what air freight is first.

Air freight is the shipment or transportation of freight or goods via an air carrier or plane. It is a crucial mode of transport because of its scope which is more vast than others. Air freight serves supply chain systems that demand and rely on speed transport service.

Many companies choose air freight due to its shorter transit time. Air freight is a top choice for transporting perishable goods like food and some medications, as well as retail and hardware products. Speed is air freight’s most prominent strength, and this quick service enables companies to easily replenish inventory, minimize cost, and boost profit.

Benefits of Air Freight

  • Significantly shorter transit time, which makes it ideal for transporting perishable goods
  • High reliability of service, as planes operate on a fixed schedule
  • Enhanced security measures and level of protection, which maintains the quality of cargo and products
  • Minimal documentation is required
  • Less cargo handling
  • Vast scope, which allows for sending of cargo to almost anywhere

Shortcomings of Air Freight

  • Most expensive type of freight transportation due to the higher fuel cost and extra expenses, such as tickets and fees
  • May be dependent on weather conditions
  • Strict product limitations, including batteries and explosives
  • Size and weight restrictions, making it unsuitable for moving big and heavy cargo

Ocean Freight

Many industries use ocean freight to transport their goods. But what is ocean freight?

Also known as maritime or ship freight transportation, ocean freight uses sea vessels for transporting cargo. Ships can carry immensely large loads of goods for a more affordable cost, making ocean freight often the ideal mode of transport for businesses that ship heavy goods in bulk. Companies that use ocean freight the most are those that transport building supplies, engines, metals, and even animals and livestock. Agriculture products and wet bulk products like petroleum are also often moved by sea.

While ocean freight takes time to deliver cargo, it is often the perfect mode of transport when shipping heavier loads from one country to another.

Benefits of Ocean Freight

  • Capable of transporting oversized, bulky, and large volumes of cargo
  • A more affordable option for long-distance shipments, with ocean freight four times less costly than air transport
  • Strengthened safety of shipments, as ship containers are designed to carry large loads and even hazardous cargo
  • Environment-friendly, with ships being the mode of transport with the lowest carbon footprint

Shortcomings of Ocean Freight

  • Slower, time-consuming shipments, making ocean freight ideal only for those with a long lead time
  • May be challenging to track shipment progress
  • Requires further land transport for cargo to reach the final destination
  • Heightened risk due to the possibility of sinking sea vessels
  • Lack of infrastructure, such as ports and terminals

Truck Freight

What is truck freight?

Truck freight is the most common type of freight transportation. Also called road freight, truck freight transportation is the perfect choice for companies that require fast delivery of goods and products directly to a business, warehouse, or end customer.

Common industries that rely on road freight include agriculture, eCommerce, grocery, machinery, retail, and more. Freight trucks are durable and secured, making them capable of transporting large and heavy loads. They come in different types and sizes to accommodate your specific needs. Equipped to deal with possible delays, truck freight provides a seamless transfer of goods and products interstate or overseas.

Benefits of Road Freight

  • Most economical, offering the best prices for freight transport
  • Great flexibility, as freight trucks can accommodate local and overseas, long- and short-haul deliveries
  • Convenient door-to-door delivery services
  • Quick and timely delivery, particularly with small cargo shipments
  • Allows for easy tracking and tracing of shipment by both the business and end customer

Shortcomings of Road Freight

  • Prone to delays due to weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances on the road
  • Contributes to road traffic
  • Increased risk due to lack of control over the way your goods are handled
  • Size and weight restrictions, considering truck size and state laws
  • Less environmental-friendly compared to other freight transportation types

Contact Cario to make the Freight Journey Easy

With all its challenging facets, supply chain management can be overwhelming. Freight transportation, in particular, takes a lot of careful coordination and management to find the right transport type that benefits your business the most.

As the top Australia freight management platform, Cario offers a one-stop, multi-carrier freight management system that provides a single solution to all your supply chain concerns. It is integrated with over 150 different freight carriers, offering a wide range of options for your business. But that’s not it, as Cario allows integration with more freight carriers! If you use one that is not in our system yet, all you have to do is inform us and we’ll work to make it work for you.

Freight transportation is just the tip of the iceberg. With Cario, you can make freight easy, efficient, and simple. It offers online real-time quoting, enables you to compare freight carriers, equips you to track and trace everything, and so much more!

Overwhelmed by freight management? We can help! Cario is a modern freight management software Australia that digitises your distribution and automates your freight decisions.

Take full control of your freight journey with ease and efficiency using Cario. Contact us today to learn more about how Cario can help.