Types of Freight Services

Companies who offer freight services use a variety of transportation methods for your shipment through. All of which come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The best option for you will ultimately rely on your budget, the size and weight of your shipment, its urgency, and a variety of other factors. Keep in mind that some services may be the only ones that can fulfil your needs.

Ground Freight

This service transports cargo via roads and trains, where it is either bundled together or assigned to a specific container based on its size, weight, and urgency. If the only route to the destination is by land, it can carry a wide range of merchandise.

The following are some of the advantages of ground freight services:

  • Cost efficient. When compared to air and ocean freight services, it is the most cost-effective alternative for transferring heavy items (e.g., bulky furniture, industrial equipment, aeroplane components) over short distances.
  • Friendly to the environment. Ships and aeroplanes have larger carbon footprints than trucks and railways.
  • Easily available. There are numerous carriers that cater to a variety of shipping requirements, and vehicles are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Trucks, on the other hand, have weight and volume restrictions and are subject to traffic, road, and weather conditions. If you need to transport products internationally, this service may need to be paired with others to obtain your optimal delivery speed and cost balance.

Ocean Freight

This service loads your goods onto a container ship and is one of two options for shipping goods internationally. It can also transport a variety of commodities, including grain, minerals, metals, and petroleum, as well as huge, irregularly shaped items like industrial equipment.

Ocean freight services are difficult to surpass in terms of international shipping because they can transport significantly more freight for a lot less money. There are several other advantages to employing this type of service, including:

  • There are no weight restrictions. Ships do not have the same limitations as aeroplanes due to their higher weight.
  • Your merchandise will reach a large number of people. Ships can travel to many different destinations and transport a wide variety of items.
  • Environmentally friendly. Ships use less fuel than aeroplanes while transporting more cargo.

Despite the fact that ocean freight is more cost-effective, ships take far longer to transfer goods internationally than aeroplanes. What takes a few days with air freight can take several weeks with ocean freight.

If you have suppliers in various regions of the world and are on a tight timetable, it’s critical to prepare ahead to take advantage of ocean freight’s advantages.

Air Freight

This service transports freight on passenger or cargo planes and is more expensive than ocean freight for shipping products internationally. Its main advantage is the speed with which your shipment is delivered since the plane travels directly to the destination country with few to no stopovers. Perishable commodities such as flowers, food, and pharmaceuticals are perfect for this type of service.

  • Improved freight security. Safety requirements at airports are tightly enforced, and cargo flights are not exempt. Because there are fewer persons handling the goods, it is less likely to be damaged or lost.
  • Trackable. Due to their predetermined departure and arrival times, planes can be followed in real time.
  • There is less need for packaging. Air shipments require less packaging than ground and ocean shipments, allowing you to save money on packing materials.
  • Insurance premiums are lower. Because air cargo has a substantially shorter journey time than ocean freight, your shipment is at a lower risk.
  • More widespread than ocean freight. When compared to both ocean and ground freight, planes can reach landlocked destinations faster and more efficiently.
  • Faster replenishment of supply. It enables companies to accomplish ‘just-in-time’ inventory replenishment, allowing them to satisfy client demand as quickly as possible.

It’s no surprise that air freight is the most expensive freight delivery option, given its capabilities and benefits. However, planes have weight and volume restrictions, making huge, irregular shaped items more expensive to transport via this method.

Keedwell Scotland, along with our partner company Keedwell European Freight, provide end-to-end solutions for our customers looking to transport goods to and from Europe. Covering both land and sea logistics, we have the right partners in place on our network. Get in touch today to find out more.