How To Choose The Right Mode Of Shipping – Freight Or Parcel?
Selecting Freight or Parcel: Expert guidance for optimal shipping.
Every day, countless goods travel many miles between businesses and consumers. But they don’t all travel the same way. Some travel as individual parcels, while others are delivered via freight shipping. But how does parcel compare to freight?
This freight vs. parcel shipping guide will answer that question, and more, with a detailed look at freight and parcel features and differences.
What Is Parcel Shipping?
Let’s kick off by defining parcel shipping Parcel shipping is what most consumers are familiar with, and it’s the common method used for transporting goods to individual homes and addresses.
With this method, goods are packaged up into boxes. The boxes can vary in size and weight, but are usually easy to pick up and move around by hand. They’re typically loaded onto vans or lorries, with couriers and mail workers transporting them along fixed routes.
A parcel shipment is usually easy to track, relatively speedy, and reliable. It’s the right choice for a lot of everyday goods and consumer products.
A Parcel Shipment Example
A consumer logs onto a website selling electronic goods. They decide to purchase a new laptop. The retailer packages up the laptop in a box, attaches a label with the buyer’s address, and sends it off via courier.
The courier company accepts the parcel and transports it to the right hub or depot in the relevant part of the country. They then load it onto a delivery van or truck, which follows a set route, delivering parcels to individual addresses throughout the day.
Freight shipping is totally different to parcel shipping. It deals with the transport of heavy and large items, along with large groups of items. For example, a vendor sending 50 boxes of goods to a company would typically opt for freight, rather than parcels.
Various vehicles and transport systems can be involved in the freight delivery process, like planes, trains, lorries, and ships. International freight shipping, for example, may involve large quantities of goods being loaded onto a cargo ship and sailed across the globe.
Freight is often more cost-effective than parcel shipping, as senders pay one fee for a large number of items, rather than separate costs for each one. However, it may also take longer.
A Freight Shipment Example
A car manufacturer wants to send a batch of their latest models to a dealership in another country. They would have to make arrangements with a freight shipping provider to have the cars loaded safely into shipping containers and onto a cargo ship.
The ship would then transport the cargo overseas, where the cars may then need to be loaded onto a car transporter. The transporter can then drive the rest of the route and unload the vehicles at the dealership, ready to be sold.
Freight vs. Parcel: Key Differences
When we compare parcels to freight, we can immediately identify some key differences. Understanding these differences is key to answering the question “How does parcel compare to freight shipping?” and picking the right mode for your business.
Freight and parcel differ most in terms of size. Parcel shipping is typically used for much smaller goods and individual products. Meanwhile, freight shipping is the preferred option for bigger and heavier items, as well as items sent in bulk.
When we compare parcel prices to freight, freight usually works out cheaper per item sent. Even though freight involves sending bigger and heavier items, freight shipping cost provides much better value. The reason being, it’s more efficient to send things in bulk.
When we look how does parcel compare to freight, purpose is another big factor that sets the two apart.. Freight is often used for transporting large shipments between businesses, also known as business to business or B2B shipping. Parcels tend to be more commonly used when sending items to consumers.
Freight and parcel shipping can also be carried out in slightly different ways. They may both involve the use of different vehicles, but freight tends to involve more frequent use of vehicles that are suitable for transporting bulky, heavy items, like trains and cargo ships. Parcels tend to spend more time in vans or on planes when traveling international.
Both parcel and freight providers aim to keep goods safe and intact on their way to their destination. However, freight shipping tends to involve more forms of physical protection, like shipping containers to guard items from the elements or pallets to keep goods organised. In contrast, parcels can sometimes simply be thrown into the backs of vans without much protection.
Which Method to Choose
Now that we’ve looked at how does parcel compare to freight, it should be easier for business owners to choose between them. Here’s a quick guide on when you should use parcels and when to opt for freight deliveries instead.
When to Choose Parcels
If your business only tends to ship goods in small quantities, or independently, parcels are usually the better option. For example, a small company selling clothing, jewellery, or accessories online will only need to use parcels to get goods out to their customers.
When to Choose Freight
Freight is the right option for any business that regularly ships large, heavy items, or items in bulk quantities. It’s generally used by B2B companies, vendors, manufacturers, and other businesses sending lots of items to different locations on a regular basis. If you’re using parcels to send bulk items, the cheaper freight shipping cost could save you a lot of money.
Choose the Right Mode of Shipping for Your Business
Ultimately, when it comes to freight vs. parcel, the differences are clear and easy to understand. Freight is all about big and heavy items, while parcel shipping is handy if you want to send something small, on its own.
For businesses that do a lot of shipping, it’s important to understand the differences, compare parcel prices and freight costs, and make the right call. Consider the size and quantity of the items you ship, where you send them, and your shipping budget to decide between parcels or freight.
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