Logistics of Shipping & Freight

Feb 12, 2021

To the general public, the terms “package,” “shipping,” and “freight” mean pretty much the same thing. But in the logistics industry, we do not use these terms interchangeably. If you’re a manufacturer, retailer, small business owner, or anyone who sends goods from one place to another, learning the differences among logistics terms can help save you money. Western Peaks Logistics explains how.

Shipping has become a huge business. Logistics exploded with the proliferation of e-commerce in the ’90s, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have turned to delivery services for all kinds of items they used to go to stores and buy themselves, such as home goods, clothing, food, and more.

What Is Shipping?

We call moving goods from one place to another “shipping” because at one time, ships were the primary movers of goods. Next railroads were added in and then motor vehicles, but the term “shipping” has stuck.

Nowadays, you can arrange a large shipment of products, such as a full truck load (FTL), or you can ship something as small as an envelope. The rate you get for shipping depends on a number of factors, such as how quickly you want to get your package to its destination, how heavy it is, and the size and shape of the package.

Large retailers are undoubtedly familiar with these terms and rules and likely have staff dedicated solely to shipping goods.

Small business owners, however, may be less-well-versed in the terms — especially those who may have started new businesses as a way to try to earn a living during the pandemic. Examples are vendors on Etsy, Craigslist, and other similar sites.

What Is Freight?

Freight is always a larger shipment — it’s never a single box or an envelope. It may not be a full truckload, but it’s still a sizeable shipment. It may be palletized or packed into shipping containers.

Freight is sometimes unloaded from ships and onto trains, then trucks. The trucks sometimes take the freight directly to the destination; other times they bring it to a logistics center with cross-docking facilities to be divided up for freight forwarding.

Shipment or Freight?

Because freight is always commercial and is usually made up of large and/or heavy items, shipping goods as freight is usually cheaper than regular shipping, which may or may not be commercial. If you’re a small or medium-sized business that ships items to Utah, Colorado, Idaho, or anywhere in the Rocky Mountain West, talk to the team at Western Peaks Logistics about how to get the best shipping rates.

Shipping can be a sizeable chunk of a small business’s budget, and the more you can save on these costs, the more profits you get to keep. For the best service in Salt Lake City, Boise, Denver, and the entire Rocky Mountain West, rely on Western Peaks Logistics.

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