Freight transportation and shipping are how different cargo, goods, and commodities are moved across the world. This can be by land, sea, or air, although a good deal of freight transportation in the United States involves moving cargo via truck and trailer, as well as via railroad cars.
How Does Freight Transportation Work?
Freight transportation has five general steps. First, the freight transportation company gathers information about the product to be shipped, such as the dimensions, weight, and type of product. Next, a logistics team will determine the best transportation method to get your products to their final destination.
After that, it is important to find adequate packing materials for shipping your products. Just before shipping, the freight transportation and shipping company ensures that all products are properly labeled. Lastly, a bill of lading is drawn up, which covers any final details and the terms of your shipping arrangement.
Benefits of Using Freight Transportation
Freight transporters move goods to their destination securely, on time, and cost-effectively. These are just a few of the many benefits of freight transportation whether shipping goods via land, sea, or air.
- Outsourcing to top carriers – Freight transporters have secure and safe operations to ensure your goods arrive on time and in full to their final destination. Take the worry out of logistics by partnering with a quality 3PL in East Coast Transport, that works with the best carriers.
- Cost-effective transportation – Freight transporters leverage intermodal transportation, FLT, LTL, and many other strategies to reduce the cost of freight transportation. Choosing an expert freight transport and logistics company to manage your freight transportation can save you money, time, and headaches.
- Fast and reliable delivery – The best plans for efficient pickup, transit, and delivery of goods can change in a second. Unforeseen challenges such as weather, equipment breakdowns, driver availability, and more can derail your freight transportation plan. 3PLs always have a backup to backup plan ready to go so your freight is reliably delivered when and where you need it.
What Qualifies as Freight in Freight Transportation Services?
In general, any shipment that weighs over 150 pounds is considered freight, and will need to be shipped using a freight transport service like East Coast Transport. However, if your shipment is under that 150lbs mark, you should be fine to ship it through traditional mail carriers.
What Are the Different Modes (Types) of Freight Transportation?
- Ground Freight: This mode of freight transportation is one of the primary and most common methods of delivering freight and is commonly broken down further into road transport (trucking) and rail transport. This delivery type is versatile, as many different beds can be used, and can accommodate short- and long-range deliveries. Rail transportation is especially efficient at moving large amounts of goods or extremely heavy goods. Ground freight transport is generally very cost-effective and offers shipping companies a great deal of flexibility.
- Less-than-Truckload (LTL): This is a form of ground freight used to transport small amounts of goods that cannot fill an entire shipping container by combining them with other shipments. LTL is typically used for loads between 150 to 15,000 pounds.
- Full Truckload (FTL): This is another form of ground freight used to transport large truckloads (full shipping containers) of freight. FTL is typically used for loads greater than 15,000 pounds for more economical and safe freight transportation.
- Intermodal: Intermodal transportation refers to ground freight using one or more forms of transportation, typically rail and trucking, for the most efficient freight transportation.
- Ocean: Large cargo container-bearing vessels can transport huge amounts of freight internationally and are generally very efficient and cost-effective. This type of freight covers roughly 90% of the international market’s transport needs.
- Air: Cargo planes can be used to transport cargo quickly between different areas, regardless of distance. However, this is again considered pricier than other options and generally cannot accommodate large shipments.
Equipment For Ground Freight Transportation
Equipment used to carry ground freight varies according to the type of goods.
- Dry Vans are the most common type of trailers used by commercial trucking companies. The length of the dry van is generally 48 or 53 feet and can handle a load of up to 45,000 pounds. Dry vans are commonly used for transporting dry commodities.
- Flatbeds are used to transport oversized or bulky freight including machinery, lumber, and produce. Flatbeds are not ideal for delicate or weather-sensitive goods.
- Temperature-controlled transportation is necessary for any goods that can spoil or become hazardous without a controlled environment. Refrigerated trucks (or Reefers) are generally used to transport perishable products such as pharmaceuticals, produce, dairy products, and more.
Use of Technology For Measuring Weight in Freight Transportation
The technology of measuring freight weight plays an important role in supply chain management. Advancements in freight transport technology help move commodities all over the world. Because technology is constantly evolving, transportation and logistics companies are continually challenged to meet consumer demands on price and quality. Weighing freight correctly ensures proper handling of items through the supply chain, eliminating losses and increasing profits.
Freight Transportation and logistics companies must be as efficient as possible when moving goods in order to stay competitive and meet business objectives. Digital weighing scales, systems, and software help to manage the weight of freight throughout the supply chain. Using a Freight transportation management system keeps costs down and eliminates data entry errors by storing common freight classifications.
Automating the technology of weighing freight means quicker access to data and a more efficient shipping process. Information is captured electronically and transmitted to the necessary systems for review. Freight handlers use the data to identify issues with weight and dimensions, applying additional charges if necessary. Having transportation data easily accessible also reduces issues with the end consumer, which can occur when freight is delayed. Additionally, a quality control system is in place ensuring that all facets of the supply chain are running smoothly.
Freight can be weighed at any time during the shipping process. If the weight on the Bill of Lading is wrong, additional fees are incurred. Weigh stations are checkpoints to verify the vehicular weight, and trucks must often stop along their route. Determining the correct weight of freight ensures that vehicles are filled to the optimum capacity, meeting delivery deadlines.
Issues Associated with Measuring Freight Weight
- Freight that is inaccurately weighed and measured or a different size than expected, will need to be reweighed and re-measured, incurring additional costs.
- The Department of Transportation (DOT) has truck weight regulations in place. Incorrect weights will likely lead to price adjustments.
- The NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification®) has 18 different classifications for freight to determine proper handling and costs. The correct NMFC class must be included on the Bill of
- Lading when shipping freight. Without the classification, freight is automatically flagged to be re-measured and reweighed, resulting in extra resources, time, and money.
In order to keep costs down, meet client expectations, and ensure timely deliveries, there are several proactive measures a company can do when weighing freight.
Proactive Measures when Weighing Freight
- Work with a 3PL (East Coast Transport) that is familiar with the technology of weighing freight. East Coast Transport are knowledgeable in all aspects of transportation and logistics. They can clarify details, assist with classifications, and communicate issues, avoiding delays and additional charges.
- Avoid estimating shipment weights and dimensions. Some carriers have laser technologies available that can determine exact measurements and weights. Inaccurate or incomplete information will cause extra work, add expenses, and hinder relationships.
- Clearly stated expectations and special instructions for shipping the freight. Situations (like reweighting), that result in the use of unexpected equipment or labor, will result in additional expenses and transportation delays.
How Freight Transportation Rates Are Calculated?
Many factors go into determining freight transportation rates. These factors vary and change over time. Here are some of the factors and reasons why they vary:
- Method of Shipping – Rates depend on the freight’s shipping requirements and transportation mode. For example, expedited and LTL freight is more expensive than normal shipping and FTL freight.
- Origin and Destination – The rate of the freight transporters’ services depends on the distance between the origin of the shipment and the destination of the delivery. Distance to a major city can also influence freight rates.
- Weight and Size – The load and dimensions of the freight are necessary to determine appropriate rates. Length and width determine which type of equipment is needed and freight weight affects the amount of fuel necessary to transport the freight. Freight weight and size are both key factors to determine the rate and for carriers to meet DOT regulations.
- Special Services – Freight with special care needed, such as perishable, delicate, or hazardous products, are more likely to have a higher freight rate.
Ship and Track Your Freight Safely with East Coast Transport, LLC!
At East Coast Transport, we take pride in ensuring the best customer experience for all of our clients, and in providing them with no-nonsense solutions to their shipping needs. With our state-of-the-art equipment and our unparalleled customer service, we are sure that we can meet whatever needs you may have.