New to Freight Shipping? Here’s What to Expect

Two freight trucks parked at a loading dock

Find out What to Expect from Freight Shipping and How it Differs from Parcel Shipping or Even Travel

If you’re new to freight shipping you’re probably curious about what to expect in terms of pricing, transit times, tracking, and customer support and we’re here to put you at ease.

In the world of freight shipping, goods travel across states, provinces, and countries to reach their final destinations. If you’re new to all this it can seem pretty daunting, but don’t fret. We’re here to guide you through this process and make it as seamless as possible. We’ve outlined what to expect to help you become a freight shipping aficionado in no time.

LTL vs. FTL: Size Matters

When diving into freight shipping, you’ll come across terms like LTL (Less Than Truckload) and FTL (Full Truckload). LTL is ideal for lower-volume shipments that don’t require the use of an entire trailer. With LTL, your goods share space with other shipments, making it a cost-effective option for shipping several pallets (usually up to about 6-10, depending on their weight, size, and the carrier). However, because your shipment may be offloaded and loaded multiple times along the route to accommodate other cargo and redistribute freight at transfer points, transit times can be longer.

On the other hand, FTL is for those who have enough cargo to fill an entire truck or at least enough of it to justify the cost of hiring an entire truck. FTL shipping often results in quicker deliveries because your goods are the only cargo on the truck, meaning no time is spent on loading and unloading other shipments.

Rail and Intermodal: The Sustainable Choices

If you’re shipping cross-country or cross-border, rail and intermodal shipping are excellent options to consider. Rail shipping is often less expensive than road transportation for long distances and is also more environmentally friendly. While the transit time may be longer, rail is an incredibly efficient way to move large quantities of goods.

Intermodal shipping combines multiple modes of transportation (like truck and rail) to maximize efficiency and cost-effectiveness. With Freightera’s freight marketplace, you can enjoy the benefits of both rail and road shipping, optimizing your costs while reducing emissions. The transition between these modes is seamless, ensuring your goods reach their destination in good condition.

Transit Time: Patience is a Virtue

When it comes to freight shipping, the term ‘overnight delivery’ is rare. It’s important to anticipate that transit times for freight shipping are generally longer than what you would expect for a parcel. This is because freight involves transporting bulkier items over greater distances, which sometimes requires multiple modes of transportation. So, setting realistic expectations is the first step toward a smooth shipping experience.

In LTL freight shipping, estimated transit times do not include the day of the pickup. The reason is that the truck has to be taken back to the carrier terminal at the end of the day. When it comes to LTL shipping, this is due to the redistribution of various cargo that’s been picked up throughout the day. When it comes to FTL shipping, this does not apply and your cargo may already be on its way to you! 

Pickup Dates: Not Set in Stone

When it comes to freight, it’s important to note that pickup dates are not guaranteed. Unlike parcel shipping where a delivery van might come to your doorstep at a scheduled time, freight pickups often depend on several factors such as the availability of vehicles, driver schedules, delays at various pickup locations, and road conditions. 

A small delay in pickup doesn’t necessarily mean a late delivery, but it’s always good to plan for some wiggle room.

Delivery Dates: Approximations, Not Promises

Just as with pickup dates, delivery dates in freight shipping are estimated and not guaranteed. Your shipment might get delayed due to unforeseen circumstances like inclement weather, roadblocks, truck breakdowns, or customs hold-ups when shipping cross-border between the USA and Canada. 

Always allow for some buffer time. If your goods are time-sensitive, make sure to let your Freightera shipping specialist know ahead of time so that we can offer you the best carrier option for your specific needs.

Pricing: A Step Up from Parcel Shipping

Freight shipping costs are generally higher than parcel shipping, but for good reason. Freight is  bulkier, might need specialized handling, and is often transported over significantly greater distances. 

Additionally, prices can vary depending on factors like the type of goods, weight, maneuverability, density, and the speed of service you desire. Make sure to enter your shipment’s information as accurately as possible into our system when getting a quote to get the most accurate price possible.

Super Responsive Client Care Team

Most freight carriers or even forwarders do not specialize in a good customer experience. Freight shipping companies make sure that the freight is picked up and delivered with as few hiccups as possible. Luckily for both you and us, we have our revolutionary system in place to handle all of that. That leaves us with plenty of time to focus our efforts on you, the customer, and your shipping experience with us.

Our super-friendly Client Care team is here to guide you through every step of the way. From onboarding, quoting, and booking your shipment to tracking its journey to its final destination, we’re here to help. Our system provides regular tracking updates, and if need be, the team is here to assist with any queries you might have.

In Conclusion

Freight shipping might look like an intricate dance of logistics, especially when compared to parcel shipping or human travel (and let’s be honest, it is). 

However, with Freightera, you can rest assured that we have the expertise and resources to make your shipping experience as hassle-free as humanly possible. As you step into this new terrain, understanding the nuances of transit time, pickup and delivery dates, and pricing of freight shipments will put you miles ahead. 

Ready to take a look at the system for yourself? Sign up here, or feel free to take a look at this easy guide to LTL freight quoting and booking.

Welcome aboard! 🙂


Free Freight Quotes
For Businesses

Get Freight Quotes in 15 Seconds

Light Bulb Icon Choose if you’re shipping up to 10 pallets.
Light Bulb Icon Choose if you need a dedicated truck.
Light Bulb Icon Choose if you’re shipping heavy or oversized cargo.

or Sign Up | Login

Offer For Businesses Get Additional $25OFF Your Online Shipment
Thank you for reading our blog!

Ready to Ship?

Access the best freight rates from 100s of carriers in 15 seconds.
Compare prices and book online 24/7!

Sign Up Today

Looking for a Freight Shipping Solution?

Freightera is ideal for wholesalers, manufacturers & distributors,
shipping regularly in the USA & Canada, or cross-border between the two.

Get Quotes