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When to Use a Freight Shipping Service

12 Dec 2013

When you are a single person sending a letter or small-to-medium sized package to your parents or children, you know what to do. You’re going to use the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or any number of other services. You can figure it out relatively quickly. If you are part of a large company, it’s even easier because the decision isn’t up to you. The company has a system and may or may not use similar services. But, what about that category in which you have very large or massive amounts of shipping and you have to figure out how to do it?

That’s when a freight shipping service may be the solution.

Freight shipping services specialize in bulky items that are over 100 lbs. Beyond that, there are further designations. Shipments over 8,000 lbs. require a dedicated truck; they are referred to as a truck load (TL) shipment. Shipments under this weight are of course referred to as less than a truck load, or LTL. This service, as you might imagine, is significantly cheaper, since it does not require an entire truck for shipping.

In many ways, freight shipping is very similar to regular parcel shipping, just for much larger packages. In order to get a sense of it fully, it is helpful to look at two of the alternatives.


One question certainly is, why don’t I just get a moving company to move this massive thing, whatever it may be? Some estimates put moving contents of a 4-bedroom house from coast to coast at around $10,000. You may not be moving a 4-bedroom house, but the fact is, moving companies used in this way can be very expensive compared to the alternatives. Freight may require more of you in packaging, addressing, or loading, but those are factors that can be planned and for which you can account.

Freight Forwarding Services

Freight forwarding services or freight forwarders are people or companies that act as a logistic mediator. They are a middle-man, but in cases like freight, it is sometimes needed. On behalf of either the shipper or the shippee, they arrange for the transportation of the freight. They may plan for consolidation of packages; they may contract with different carriers. They are there to be skilled at logistics and the flow of goods. They also usually take on liabilities involved with shipments. So in many cases, this may be an alternative that makes sense for many people or businesses.