If you’re shipping freight long distance or across the country, you’ll want to have a good understanding of the options and limitations, as well as a general idea of how the freight transport process works. For the most part, the major thing you’ll need to consider is which company to use and how to compare prices, services, etc., of any of the companies you’re considering. To get started, let’s make sure we have a clear picture of what exactly freight shipping is and how it differs from standard shipping for things like letters and packages.
What Is Freight Shipping?
Freight shipping refers specifically to anything that is shipped that cannot be shipped through standard mail, which is often referred to as “parcel post.” Among most of the shipping and courier options available, the upper weight limit for sending something parcel post is 70 pounds. Anything heavier than this (which may vary by company) or too large to ship standard will have to be shipped as freight, which means you’ll have to explore options beyond UPS, FedEx and other similar options. The size limits are generally around 108 inches, which includes the combined measurements of length and girth. In most cases, items that are shipped as freight are delivered on pallets, as a truckload, or a partial truckload.
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Considerations When Shipping Freight
There are five main things you need to keep in mind when shipping freight long distance, most of which relate to the details and method of shipment. There are also some factors that are a result of the rules and limitations imposed by the company that will handle the shipment.
- Weight – How much something weights will impact both the ability of a specific company to handle the shipment, as well as the final cost you’ll pay for shipping. As mentioned above, items that weigh more than 70 pounds typically have to be shipped as freight.
- Starting & Delivery Location – Where you’re shipping to and from is perhaps the most important consideration if you’re assessing the potential costs of freight shipping. Obviously, the further you need freight shipped, the more it’s likely to cost.
- Type of Items Being Shipped – If the items you’re shipping are fragile, breakable, or require any type of special handling or service, you will likely have to pay more since there are extra steps involved in the process to ensure safe delivery.
- Method of Shipment – The method of shipping also plays a role. If you need your delivery to expedited, it will cost more than if you choose standard shipping times. In some cases, you may also have a choice as to whether freight is delivered by ground, ocean, rail, or air shipment.
- Shipping Company Limitations – Even freight shipping companies may have some limitations on what you can ship. These limits vary between companies and usually have to do with either size or weight, so it’s an important question to ask as you assess which company you plan to use.
Working With A Broker
An easy way to explore all your options without having to make phone calls with each individual company is to use a freight shipping broker. Brokers with freight shippers to match them with customers that need the services they provide, which allows you to compare various options without having to put in the work of contacting them on your own. It’s a good approach if you want to cast a wide net and do some price comparison before making a decision.