The Battle of Bulk: Differences Between Parcel Shipping and Freight Forwarding

The Battle of Bulk: Differences Between Parcel Shipping and Freight Forwarding

When it comes to shipping goods, most manufacturers and retailers often envision the movement of individual box-sized items across different modes of transportation. This type of shipping is known as parcel shipping, which involves sending goods one at a time. However, another aspect of shipping deals with larger quantities of goods, such as whole pallets, truckloads, or shipping containers. This is known as freight shipping. Today, we’ll explore the differences between parcel shipping and freight shipping, including transportation methods, levels of service, and pricing structures.

Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarding revolves around the transportation of large quantities of goods. When you think of “cargo” rather than “parcel packages,” you’re likely referring to freight shipments. These shipments are measured based on their space within a shipping container. Full truckload shipments typically fill an entire truck trailer, which is approximately eight feet wide, 13 feet high, and between 40 and 53 feet deep. The weight limits for freight shipments usually range between 35,000 and 45,000 pounds, subject to local regulations.

Jenik Freight offers ocean, land, and air freight forwarding. Depending on the needs of our customers, we utilize a combination of these modes to reach their destination efficiently. 

Parcel Shipping

Parcel shipping is the more common type of shipping that retailers are familiar with. It involves moving individual parcels, usually through ground or air shipping, using small parcel carriers like Jenik Services. In parcel shipping, each item is packaged separately and sent individually to its intended recipient. This method is ideal for smaller or lightweight items easily handled by a single carrier.

Example of parcel shipping.
Knowing the difference between freight forwarding and parcel shipping can help you decide which is more suitable for your needs.

Differences between Freight Forwarding and Parcel Shipping

Critical differences between freight forwarding and parcel shipping are the quantity of goods, transportation methods, service levels, and pricing structures. 

  1. Quantity of Goods: The primary distinction between parcel and freight shipping lies in the number of goods transported. Parcel shipping focuses on individual packages, while freight shipping deals with larger quantities, such as pallets, truckloads, or cargo containers.
  2. Transportation Methods: Parcel shipments typically rely on ground or air transportation, utilizing small parcel carriers. In contrast, freight shipments can be moved via trucks, cargo planes, ships, or trains, depending on the specific requirements and logistics involved.
  3. Service Levels: Due to the nature of their operations, parcel shipping carriers often provide faster transit times and more precise delivery options for individual packages. On the other hand, freight shipping may involve longer transit times due to the coordination required for larger quantities and varied modes of transportation.
  4. Pricing Structures: The pricing structures for parcel shipping and freight shipping differ significantly. Parcel shipping rates are typically based on package weight, dimensions, and distance. Freight shipping rates, however, consider the space occupied within a shipping container, weight, distance, and additional services like loading and unloading. Jenik Freight offers competitive pricing based on personalized quotes unique to every customer. 

Concluding Thoughts

Understanding the distinctions between parcel shipping and freight shipping is crucial for manufacturers and retailers when determining the most suitable method for transporting their goods. While parcel shipping is ideal for individual packages, freight forwarding caters to larger quantities and requires coordination across various transportation modes. 

By recognizing the disparities in transportation methods, service levels, and pricing structures, businesses can make informed decisions that optimize their shipping processes and meet customer expectations effectively. Whether it’s parcel shipping or freight forwarding, choosing the right approach ensures the smooth and efficient movement of goods from point A to point B.

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