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Freight vs Package Shipping: What’s the Difference?

Resources > Freight vs Package Shipping: What’s the Difference?
What kind of shipping does your business need? Learn about freight vs package shipping and see how a strategic LTL or FTL ally can help your goods move.
Published: November 3, 2020
Last Modified: October 5, 2023
Author: Ask Truckload

So you’re in the market for a shipping service. You know your options include freight shipping and package shipping.  It’s common for small businesses that aren’t familiar with these types of services to get confused. Let’s consider freight vs package shipping and see what might work best for your business.

The question of freight vs package shipping can cause a headache. In the simplest term, freight shipping is useful when you are shipping palletized items; package shipping might be useful when shipping one-off items. 

what is freight shipping

What is Freight Shipping?

Freight shipping generally refers to large shipments. Freight is often packaged in on pallets or in sturdy containers. Freight shipments in trucks are often categorized as LTL (less than truckload) or truckload. You might opt for LTL shipments if you’re moving a few pallets of goods; truckload shipping is useful when you’re shipping more pallets.

For the most part, shipments over 150 lbs are considered freight. Freight in usual business speak, is large loads consisting of many products, usually ranging in the hundreds, being transported long distances, either by trucks and other modes of transport.

Are you shipping freight for the first time? Learn 15 questions to ask freight carriers and find the right partner with the right information.

What is Package Shipping?

what is package shipping

Package shipping is a shipment that is under 150lbs. It can be considered light freight however, most package companies will consider it a larger package load. Package shipping is mainly used for courier services. This is when you have a medium to small van or truck, delivering products door to door. Consider the kind of truck you see pull up to your home when you have ordered something from Amazon, this is package delivery.

It’s also usually restricted to local areas. Therefore unlike freight hauling, the service is for a local area, such as a city, town, or rural zone. Package shipping should be reserved for businesses that are fulfilling product delivery to customers’ doors. However, it can also be used to move inventory from warehouse to warehouse. Yet, this is also usually reserved for a local area. 

What is the Difference Between Freight and Package Shipping?

what is the difference between freight and package shipping

Package delivery has a few discrete features different from freight shipping. So freight vs package shipping, which is better for you?

Package Shipping

  • Small packages, such as parcels are the main contents of a package truck
  • The loads carried are typically less than 150lbs
  • The trucks are usually no longer than 28-feet
  • A package truck will make multiple stops throughout the day, delivering orders to customers at their door.
  • A package truck can have anywhere between 50-100 parcels depending on the average size

Wondering about the difference between freight shipping and moving? Check out our article Moving vs Freight Shipping: What’s the Difference? to find out.

Freight Shipping

  • Large loads, such as palettes of products that have been packaged together or wrapped as one or more.
  • Loads can vary from weighing 5,000 to 70,000lbs for a typical large haul trip.
  • Oversized loads can weigh well over 110,000lbs
  • Usually making one trip, from point A to point B
  • The truck can be larger than 58-feet
  • It could take 1-3 days for a delivery to be made
  • Hundreds of miles can be covered in one trips

Need freight shipping from Connecticut to Texas? See how a strategic ally can help transport goods along this busy route.

When is Freight Shipping a Good Choice?

when is freight shipping a good choice

Freight shipping is a brilliant choice for when you’re moving large loads than any other form of road transport can deliver. When you need a transport service that can ship many tonnes of product to another point in your business or to a client, then freight is the only realistic option.

You can deliver tens of thousands of pounds to your warehouse from your production facility. If you need to move a large quantity of inventory from one warehouse to another, this is by far the best option. When you simply have too big a load to make with a small truck, larger trucks can be your saving grace. For example, when you require the moving of a large piece of machinery, rather than breaking it up into parts, a freight truck can lift the load all in one go to determine whether it needs to be.

Freight shipping is used by large businesses because they need to move lots of products to their depots. Straight from their manufacturing plants, they can transport large amounts of product, such as cars, food, drink, materials, crude, etc, to a depot which can then use smaller trucks to distribute the loads to businesses and or local storage facilities. 

Interested in freight movement in Southern California? See how an expert ally can navigate SoCal’s busy highways and more.

Get a Hassle-Free Freight Quote Today

Understand the differences when it comes to freight vs package shipping? Let an experienced partner handle your next freight shipment.

USA Truckload Shipping, powered by R+L Global Logistics, is an expert when it comes to freight shipping.  We have the trust of hundreds of customers. From small business owners who are moving location and in need of a service that can make long-haul trips with their inventory, or medium to large-sized business owners who require reliable large load shipping services, we have served our clients with pride and consistency. We’ll handle everything from freight shipping from California to freight shipping from New York and every route in between. Learn more with our freight resources.

Reach out to us by phone at  (866) 353-7178 to get a hassle-free truckload freight quote from a live, friendly agent. Our record of on-time delivery speaks for itself. From working with top flatbed carriers on the road today to expert hazmat carriers ready to make sense of regulations, we’re ready to provide expert service and cover the miles for you.

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