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What Is Ground Freight Shipping?

What's in this article?
  1. Where Did Freight Shipping Begin?
  2. How Does It Work?
  3. How Are The Costs Of Freight Shipping Calculated?
  4. Determining Freight Class
  5. Delivery Time
  6. Major Industries That Require Freight Shipping
  7. Medical Clinics And Hospitals
  8. Pharmaceutical Companies
  9. Food Industry
  10. E-Commerce Stores
  11. What To Consider When Choosing A Freight Shipping Company
  12. Conclusion
What Is Ground Freight Shipping?

Ground freight is one of the most cost-effective options for shipping products across the globe.

It is frequently used to ship large items like furniture, appliances, vehicles, etc., because it is less expensive than air freight.

This form of transport is usually reserved for larger shipments that are not time sensitive.

There are several factors to consider when determining whether ground freight is the right option for you. For example, how long do you anticipate your shipment taking to arrive?

Will there be customs delays? What size item are you shipping? How much weight does it weigh? Do you want insurance coverage?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, ground freight might be the way to go.


Where did freight shipping begin?

Freight shipping has been around since ancient times. The Romans and Greeks used ships to move goods from place to place.

However, it wasn't until the 19th century that freight shipping became common.

The first railroad was built in England in 1853. By the end of the 1800s, railroads had become more popular than ocean-going vessels as they were faster and cheaper.

The 20th century saw the rise of containerization. Containerized cargo allowed shippers to pack multiple pieces of merchandise into a single box, making it easier to ship and saving on storage space.

Today, about 90% of all freight shipped by sea or land are containers.

How Does It Work?

A crate or pallet arrives in a shipping facility and is unloaded into smaller parts called loads. Finally, each load is put on a truck and delivered to its final destination.

When a crate or pallet reaches the shipping terminal, it's often split into multiple loads. These are picked up by trucks and delivered to distribution centers.

Each load is then sent to individual stores or warehouses, where it's unpacked and distributed to customers.

The process happens quickly, but it's good to understand how it works. Here's what you need to know about the logistics chain.

How Are the Costs of Freight Shipping Calculated?

Freight shipping costs vary depending on many factors, including the type of shipment, the size, weight, distance traveled, volume, value, and whether it is delivered domestically or internationally.

These variables affect the total price of the shipment.

The fixed cost model assumes that the freight charge will always be the same regardless of how much or how little cargo is shipped.

In reality, however, freight costs vary based on each shipment.

For example, a shipment weighing 10 pounds over the maximum weight limit could incur additional fees, while one weighing less than 5 pounds might be exempt.

In addition, shipments traveling shorter distances tend to have lower rates than those traveling farther distances.

For example, a shipment originating in New York City and destined for Chicago will likely have different freight costs compared to the reverse scenario.

A variable cost model considers the actual cost of each shipment rather than assuming that the freight charge will remain constant throughout the journey.

This allows shippers to calculate accurate estimates of their total shipping costs.


Determining freight class

A freight classification system is used in logistics to determine shipping costs based on weight and size. There are 18 different freight classes, with each having its range of weight and size.

  1. Classes 1-9 -They are light freight
  2. 10-19 - Are medium freight
  3. 20-29 are heavy freight
  4. 30-39 - are very heavy freight
  5. Class 40-49- are extra heavy freight
  6. Class 50 - is considered clean freight, free of hazardous materials. It is considered low-density freight.
  7. Class 75 -Is considered heavy cargo, which includes hazardous materials such as chemicals, metals, and plastics. Class 75 is considered high-value freight.

Delivery time

The delivery time estimate on Amazon is based on the average shipping speed of items sold on the site. So if you buy a lot of stuff, it could take longer for some packages to arrive.

If you don't like how long it takes to receive your package, there are ways to speed up the process. You can choose to pay extra for faster shipping options, or you can ask for help from third parties.

Major Industries That Require Freight Shipping

Time Sensitive Industries like food, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies require quick delivery times. Therefore, they must arrive within hours of being shipped.

Temperature Sensitive Industries like electronics and machinery require specialized handling and care. They must be kept cold or warm depending on their use.

Safety and Protection Industries, like chemicals and hazardous materials, need specialized equipment and procedures.

These products must be handled with care because they could cause harm to people or damage to property.

Medical clinics and hospitals

Shipping companies are convenient for hospitals and clinics worldwide to transport critical medical supplies.

These companies offer medical facilities many different services, including tracking packages, insuring shipments, and other benefits.

In addition, by utilizing freight shipping, medical facilities will save tons of money.

Pharmaceutical companies

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world. It is considered more heavily regulated than nuclear power plants.

This is because drugs are hazardous and can cause death or serious injury.

Therefore, pharmaceutical companies must take precautions to ensure the safety of their products while being shipped.

They must carefully handle temperature-sensitive items such as medications or medical devices to avoid damage to the product itself or the consumer.

Food industry

Food is another industry that requires careful transportation. Food has to be transported safely and quickly, so it does not spoil.

The best way to do this is by using refrigerated trucks. Refrigerated trucks keep food cool during transit, ensuring it arrives fresh at its destination.

E-commerce stores

Freight shipping services are vital for e-commerce store owners. They provide a way to ship products worldwide without worrying about customs clearance, import taxes, or delivery logistics.

What To Consider When Choosing a Freight Shipping Company

There are different types of ground freight shipping companies out there. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right company.

  • Choose a suitable carrier. Look for carriers who specialize in whatever your shipment is. They usually offer better rates because they don't have to pay customs fees.
  • Also, look for companies that provide insurance against damage or loss during transport. If possible, use a third-party logistics provider (3PL).
  • This way, you'll avoid paying for extra charges and paperwork. You might even save money.
  • Consider the size of your shipment. Smaller packages go faster. Larger ones take longer.
  • Decide whether you want to pick up the package or let someone else handle it. Pickup requires additional work, but it gives you more control over how and where the item arrives.
  • Door-to-door delivery is convenient, but it costs more.
  • Do your research. Find out what type of documentation is required, how much it costs, and how long it takes to process.
  • Ask questions like "How does my shipment arrive?" and "What happens if I'm not home?"
  • Make sure you're covered. Check your policy to make sure you're protected. Some policies cover lost or damaged items, while others cover liability issues.
  • Be flexible. Don't set your expectations too high. Things could change due to weather delays, strikes, or natural disasters.


Ground freight shipping is when a company ships goods from one location to another, using trucks instead of trains or planes.

This type of shipping is usually used for large items like furniture, appliances, and electronics.

When you ship via ground freight, you pay a flat rate per pound regardless of where the item is shipped.

And because it's cheaper than air freight, it's often the preferred shipping method for companies or individuals with lots of products to move around the country.

Now that you know what Ground freight shipping is, your next step is finding the right company to help take care of all your shipping needs.

Why not contact us by filling out our free quote form? Then, you'll be able to sit back and relax while we do all the heavy lifting.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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