Which Service Type Is Right for Your Freight Shipping?

Depending on what your freight is, where it needs to go and how quickly it needs to get there, different freight services provide options to help you make it happen.

Do you know which service type is right for your freight shipping? Different types of shipments require different kinds of services, so it’s important for you to choose the right one!

Be sure you are getting the right service for your needs by learning about each service type – and when you should use it.

Standard Guarantee
Depending on the service level, a standard guarantee shipment is guaranteed to be delivered on the standard service day by 5:00 p.m., Noon, 10:00 a.m. or within a one-hour window with a money-back guarantee. Standard guarantee is a good option for shippers who can’t afford for their freight to be delayed.

Day/Time-Specific Critical Guarantee & Expedited / Weekend Guarantee
A day/time-specific critical guarantee shipment ensures delivery on a specific day/time or on a non-standard service day. Some LTL or expedited carriers offer expedited service for delivery on holidays, weekends and after hours. These services are a good fit for shippers who have freight that must be delivered on a specific date, within a short window of time or outside of the standard transit day timeframe.

Cross-Border Freight
Cross-border freight shipping typically includes tracking tools that help speed up delivery time and customs clearance while maintaining compliance with trade regulations. This service type is ideal for businesses that send a high quantity of shipments from the U.S. to Mexico or Canada.

Air Freight
Air freight allows you to ship quickly and reliably to virtually anywhere, domestic or internationally. Air freight is a good option for businesses with high-value or time-sensitive shipments and for heavy freight shipments that require reduced travel time, reliable service or high-end protection for delicate or valuable goods.

Ocean Freight
Ocean freight refers to the logistics of exporting and importing cargo by shipping lines. This is an affordable service type for international and domestic freight shipments outside of the continental U.S. that are not time-sensitive and are restricted from air shipping due to size and weight.

Reverse Logistics
The process of moving goods from their final destination back to the original shipper or elsewhere is called reverse logistics. These services are beneficial for customers who have seasonal returns, merchandise change-outs, stock adjustments, product recycling, disposal of spoiled or damaged products, recall events or returnable container tracking.

Sealed Divider Service
This service allows a shipment to be first on the truck and sealed with a wall to ensure the shipment remains intact and secure in the same trailer from pick-up to delivery. This is an ideal solution for shipments that could be easily damaged from handling and products that are prone to theft.

Trade-Show Service
Handle all the needs of trade-show shipping from start to finish with trade-show service. This is a great option for customers who need a reliable and cost-effective transportation solution for their trade-show shipments.

Retail Shipping
Many carriers offer retail shipping to stores and warehouse distribution centers. This service allows a carrier to work around the receiver’s schedule to ensure delivery of the freight. These services are available to businesses that manufacture and/or distribute products to retail stores and warehouse distribution centers.

Hazmat Shipping
A shipment requires hazmat shipping service if it contains one of the nine hazardous material classes:

  • Explosives
  • Compressed gases
  • Flammable liquids
  • Flammable solids
  • Oxidizers and organic peroxides
  • Toxic materials
  • Radioactive material
  • Corrosive material
  • Miscellaneous

When shipping hazardous goods, the shipper/ manufacturer of the hazardous goods MUST be hazmat certified. In doing so this will lessen the chance of your shipment being delayed due to improper packing or labeling of the shipment.

When determining which service type is right for your freight shipments, it’s also important to pay attention to any special requirements and restrictions. Learn about these and more in our full Guide to Comparing Freight Service Types.