If you are in the manufacturing business, you might come across the term “freight carrier” a lot. They are the companies that you work with to ship your products from one destination to another. But, without understanding what a freight carrier is, and the kind of services they provide, you might not utilize their services to their full extent.
Freight Carriers – Who are they?
Freight carriers can go by the name of common carriers, trucking carriers or freight companies. Freight carriers are companies or individuals who specialize in the transportation of goods from one destination to another. Freight companies not only handle goods but can also operate as freight forwarders.
Before you choose freight solutions for your business, you need to understand the key differences between TL or freight brokers and freight forwarders, and so on. The following is a little about those in detail.
What does a freight carrier do?
Freight companies help transport goods or cargo via various means of transport like sea, land or air to the desired destination. These carriers operate domestically and internationally and follow the rules and regulations of respective territories. A few freight trucking companies also provide cargo pick up services along with transportation.
The common types of freight carriers
Before you pick the right freight carrier for your business, you need to have a basic understanding of the different types of carriers. The following are the different categories:
Common Carriers and Contract Carriers
Common carriers are the freight carriers who provide services to meet the shipping needs of the individuals/public. On the other hand, contract carriers only work with the shippers they have a contract with. In addition, there is a major rate difference between common and contract carriers.
National, Regional and Local Carriers
As the name itself suggests, the local freight carriers serve local areas with a distance range of 100 miles. Most of the freight trucking companies fall into this category.
The regional carriers operate more fleets and trucks and serve a more extensive area when compared to the local carriers.
National transport carriers compete with shipping giants like UPS and work with large scale companies/businesses. Out of the three, the largest carriers are those who provide nationwide services.
Private Carriers and FoPrivate carriers use the shipper’s vehicle and do not charge the customer any additional fees. For hire carriers on the other hand move public freight and can charge an additional charge based on the distance or service provided.
The different types of freight options provided by freight companies
When it comes to freight carriers, businesses or individuals get to choose from various available options. A few factors like the weight of the shipment, the distance, the price, the timeframe, etc. should be considered before choosing one.
TL Or Full Truckload
Most of the freight trucking companies provide an option of full truckload, where the vehicle is dedicated to the shipment of one specific company/business. In simple terms, from the time the goods are loaded into the truck, and till the time they reach the destination, the truck carries the goods owned by one business. The major benefit of TL is the time of transit as the vehicle does not make any stops for cargo loading or unloading; it travels directly to the destination, thus reducing the travel time.
LTL or Less than Truckload
When the shipment of a company takes up less than a full truck load’s space, they can opt for an option called “less than truckload”. Freight carriers who provide LTL often combine shipments of different companies that need to be delivered to the same location.
The process of LTL can be complex as it involves various loading as well as unloading zones, and uses various access points to get the cargo delivered. This often increases the transit time but can help companies save money.
PTL or Partial Truckload
The partial truckload is pretty much similar to less than truckload, but the freight carrier companies use three key factors to categorize this kind of shipment.
– the size of the PTL needs to higher when compared to LTL
– the goods should not be vulnerable
– no pressure with the transit time
Freight companies that provide PTL load the truck with various shipments and deliver them at various locations. Hence, they would be multiple stops for both loading and unloading.
How to pick the right freight carrier?
Now that you have a basic understanding of freight carriers and the kind of services provided, here’s a few tips that will help you pick the right one.
Large freight carrier companies have a lot of equipment and tools at their disposal. They use technology for the safety of the cargo being shipped. Before you go ahead and pick a carrier, make sure to consider the requirements of your business, the destinations you ship the goods to, the volume and your budget.
It is also important to check on the reliability, experience, and compliance of the carrier before trusting them with your shipment.
In addition, you should ask yourself the below-mentioned questions before hiring a freight carrier company for your shipping needs:
– Does the freight carrier have the needed equipment to handle my cargo?
– Does the carrier follow the regulations and is licensed?
– Does the overall cost fit my company’s budget?
– How experienced are they in handling international shipments?
– Do they provide shipping for oversized cargo?
– The timeframe for the shipments
Freight carriers play an important role in the supply chain, and they work with a mission to provide the best equipment to meet the shipping needs of the companies. To understand how they operate, and how useful they can be for your business, make sure to familiarize yourself with how the industry works, and talk to an expert to have a clear understanding of the services provided by freight carrier companies.
- Posted by admin
- On February 19, 2021