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Freight Shipping and the Shipping Process

28 Jan 2014

There are, literally, hundreds of freight shipping companies from which to choose. Before choosing a freight shipper one must know what they want to ship, and have an idea of how they want to ship it. Some freight shipping companies only do domestic shipping, while others will ship internationally. Some will accept small packages, while others will only move goods for manufacturers of large construction equipment. While some ship strictly by sea on large container vessels, many other companies use trucks, rail, or air. Before selecting a freight shipping company, it is best to do some on line research to find out if they ship your particular item. If they do, you can then look for reviews to learn what other people think of their experience with that company. Also look at some online quotes for price, best shipping methods, and the time it will take the shipment to arrive at your destination. Doing these things might help to make your decision easier and you may experience fewer problems down the road.

Typically, shipping is a four step process:

  • Step 1. The planning stage. This is where you look up costs. Cost is based on what you are shipping and by what method. Also, the time it takes to arrive at the desired location is taken into consideration to arrive at a cost. The sooner you want the item the more the costly will be to ship.
  • Step 2. The shipping process. This step is when you decide how to ship your item (whether via truck, rail, sea, or air). Again, the method can add or detract from the cost. Air may be the fastest but may cost more than truck, sea, or rail. Sea may be the slowest but could be the most cost effective if your item does not have to be at its destination in a short period of time.
  • Step 3. The monitoring phase. Tracking your item to its destination has become extremely easy now that the internet is so widely available and convenient. Most shippers will give you a tracking number that you can use after logging into the web site. The tracking number will then let you know where your item is located and when it should arrive at its destination. Others use email to send notifications at various locations along the way.
  • Step 4. Time to pay. While wire transfer and checks are also still widely used, the most common payment method is by credit card, although debit cards are also popular. Both methods can be completed quickly and painlessly over the internet.