The 5 Most Common Types of Freight Explained

Are you a newbie shipper trying to understand how different types of freight is packaged and how best to do so for saving time and money?

The logistics industry is home to some of the world’s most elite problem-solvers and creative thinkers. Why? Because there are a multitude of meticulous methods for packaging, handling, and transporting freight.

In this blog post we discuss 5 of the most common types of freight. 

Less Than Truckload (LTL)

This is one of the most popular logistics services, which deals with loads that weigh between 100 and 20,000 lbs. The benefits of shipping LTL is that smaller loads are combined to fit inside one trailer, instead of one small load only filling half the space. 

This is highly economical, as the cost of shipping is shared amongst businesses and less trucks are needed to make deliveries. 

Volume LTL

When a shipment exceeds six standard pallets weighing more than 6,000 lbs or takes up more than 12 feet of a trailer, then it is considered as Volume LTL, which receives a different quote from standard LTL.

This distinction is highly important, helping to avoid Cubic Capacity Penalties that can pop up when freight weighs less than 6 lbs per cubic foot, yet takes up more than 750 cubic feet of trailer space.

Truckload (FTL)

The opposite of LTL is FTL (full truckload) where a shipment that weighs between 5,000 and 45,000 lbs requires more space and usually takes up an entire trailer. 

This is ideal for specialized freight that needs to travel in special conditions. The benefits of FTL include faster delivery times since loads generally do not need to be transloaded onto other trailers.


Intermodal drayage is a popular way to transport a variety of loads via ship, truck, and/or rail. Combining these methods can be fuel efficient and save time, especially when rail is utilized for long distances. 

The cargo is already prepped and packaged in containers for transloading, reducing time spent on handling between modes. This is also one of the greener ways to ship, reducing the carbon footprint due to less reliance on fuel.

Expedited Shipping

For critical shipments that need to be delivered between 1-5 days, expedited shipping is the mode of choice. 

The goal of expedited shipping is fast delivery time, which means there are no stops from point A to point B. 

The 5 Most Common Types of Freight Explained
Courtney L.
March 20, 2023

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