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6 Things You Need to Know About Freight Shipping

Freight shipping is a critical part of doing business in today’s economy. Whether you’re shipping products to customers or suppliers, it’s essential to understand the basics of freight shipping. This article will discuss six things you need to know about freight shipping. By understanding these concepts, you’ll be able to save time and money on your shipments.

Know What Is Freight Shipping

Freight shipping is the transportation of goods by truck, rail, ship, or airplane. It moves products between businesses and customers and between states and countries.

Common types of freight shipping are:

  • Less Than Truckload (LTL). This type of shipping is for smaller shipments that don’t fill an entire truck.
  • Full Truckload (FTL). This type of shipping is for larger shipments that fill an entire truck.
  • Intermodal Shipping. This type of shipping uses multiple modes of transportation, such as trucks and trains, to move goods.
  • Partial Truckload. This type of shipping mixes LTL and FTL, where the shipment doesn’t fill an entire truck. 
  • Expedited is a type of shipping used when goods need to be delivered quickly. 

Factors That Affect Freight Shipping Rates

Freight shipping rates are determined by many factors, including the shipment’s weight, dimensions, and destination. Other factors that can impact shipping rates include:

  • The type of freight shipping (LTL, FTL, etc.)
  • The shipping company you use
  • The terms of your agreement with the shipping company
  • Whether you’re using a broker or not
  • Your credit history and payment terms
  • The amount of insurance you purchase

Some of these factors are beyond your control, but there are ways to minimize their impact on your shipping rates. Choosing a smaller pallet size can reduce your shipping costs. And if you have a good credit history and payment terms with your shipper, you may be able to get discounts on your shipments.

Know The Standard Pallet Size

Most freight shipments are transported on standard pallets. The dimensions of a standard pallet are 48″ x 40″. If you need to ship goods that don’t fit on a standard pallet, you’ll need to use an alternative container or packaging. It can add cost and time to your shipment. Pallets can be made out of wood or plastic. Wood is more common, but they require more maintenance. Plastic is more durable, but it can be more expensive.


Incoterms are international trade terms that define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers when shipping goods internationally. There are 11 different Incoterms, which are divided into two categories:

  • E terms (Ex Works, Ex Ship, Ex Airport, etc.): The seller is responsible for all costs and risks up to the point of delivery.
  • F terms (FOB Origin, FOB Destination, C&F, etc.): The buyer is responsible for all costs and risks after the point of delivery.

When shipping goods internationally, it’s essential to specify which Incoterm will be used in the contract. It will help avoid misunderstandings about who is responsible for what cost and risk. If you’re not sure which Incoterm to use, your freight broker can help you choose the best one for your situation.

Freight Classification

Freight classification is the process of assigning a freight class to a shipment. It determines the type of shipping and the price you’ll pay for shipping. The Freight Classification Manual is used by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) to assign freight classes to products.

The NMFTA assigns freight classes based on four factors:

  • Product weight
  • Product density or cubic measurement
  • Packaging
  • Shipping terms (LTL, FTL, etc.)

Products are assigned to one of 18 freight classes, with Class 50 being the highest and Class 500 being the lowest. The higher the freight class, the higher your shipping costs will be. It’s important to note that not all products will fit into a specific freight class. If your product doesn’t fit into a particular freight class, it will be assigned to the “Miscellaneous” class.

The NMFTA updates the Freight Classification Manual every year, so ensure you’re using the most recent version when assigning freight classes to your shipments.

Shipping Insurance

Shipping insurance protects your shipment against damage or loss. It’s important to purchase shipping insurance for high-value shipments, especially those shipped overseas. The amount of insurance you purchase will depend on the value of your shipment and the type of coverage you choose. There are two types of shipping insurance:

All-risk coverage covers any damage or loss, including theft and natural disasters. 

Specific-cause coverage covers losses caused by specific events, such as fire, water damage, or collision.

It’s essential to read the terms and conditions carefully before purchasing shipping insurance to make sure you understand what is covered. Shipping insurance is a valuable tool to protect your shipments. Ensure you’re using the right Incoterm, classifying your products correctly, and purchasing shipping insurance to safeguard your goods.

These are six things you need to know about freight shipping. You can ship your goods more efficiently and avoid costly mistakes by understanding these concepts. If you have any questions about freight shipping, don’t hesitate to contact a freight broker for more information. Thanks for reading!

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