Know Your Shipping Mode
Note — this was cowritten with Jasson McClain.
When shipping freight, you often will select a service based on how soon you need something delivered. Your service selection will dictate which shipping mode a carrier will use to complete your pickup and delivery.
Understanding how your freight will move based on the service you select can help you make the best decision for your freight. Since time equals money, many people want their crypto miners shipped and delivered quickly. However, fast transport is usually expensive. Let’s look at the different shipping modes and how they impact price and transit times.
· Air: Air freight is the fastest way to cover long-distance shipments, either internationally or domestically. Freight can travel on air freight networks, or a full plane can be chartered for a shipment. Air is usually the most expensive option, but it often has the fastest transit times and least amount of handling. This makes it ideal for high-value shipments.
· Ocean: Another option for international shipping is ocean services. Ocean services are based on ocean containers being sent on large ocean vessels. Ocean containers vary in size and function, but you can ship an entire container yourself (FCL) or share space on a container with other freight (LCL). If LCL is selected, it may take time for the ocean carrier to match your freight to a container, which can cause delays. Ocean transit is less expensive than air transit but has substantially longer transit times that can take weeks to deliver.
· Ground: From dedicated vehicles to shared space, there are different ground options depending on the distance that needs to be covered.
o Dedicated Vehicle: This could be a car, sprinter van, or a full truck (FTL) that drives directly from the pickup location to the delivery location. The size of your shipment will determine the size of the vehicle needed. Dedicated vehicles cost more than shared vehicles but have less transfers and usually faster transit times than shared vehicles.
o LTL: This stands for less-than-truckload (LTL), meaning your freight will not take up a full truck, but will share space with other shipments. There are different levels of service that can travel LTL, including next day, 2-day, 3-day, and economy. Economy service is typically the least expensive. However, delivery times fluctuate and are not guaranteed, as shipments may travel through a large network of hubs or ports, which can cause delays.
Special equipment such as flatbeds, temperature-controlled units, and liftgates can be utilized in both economy and expedited options. However, every mode and shipping option will always be subject to what is available at that time. If you are ever unsure about which is the best option for your shipment, talk with your shipping provider to determine which option best meets your needs.
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