Get Familiar with some Common Transportation Methods for Import and Export

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Get Familiar with some Common Transportation Methods for Import and Export

Transportation is one of the major components in the world of Import/Export. There are a slew of terms and methods that are good to know, and we are going to outline a few of the common methods and terminology.

Heavy Haul Freight Movement:

Heavy Haul Freight movement, is the heavy haul trucking of overweight and/or oversized shipments. There are times when it is not only overweight but also over dimensional too which requires a special kind of routing that allows the shipment to only pass on highways which allow that kind of a weight to be transported in the USA and Canada. Heavy Haul Trucking generally requires special trailers and trucks that have the capacity for the kind of volume or weight to be carried. And sometimes also require getting a permit issued from many of the Governmental agencies, municipalities, and states from where the shipment will pass.


Full Truckload Shipping-FTL:

Full Truckload shipping can be explained in two ways:

  1. There is enough load to fill a full truckload.
  2. You only have enough goods for a partial truckload, yet you want a dedicated truck.

Full Truckload or FTL is preferred when there are high-risk commodities to be transported or when it has to be transported in a limited timeline or when there is enough good to fill the truckload.

Benefits of FTL:

  • Good for high risk or fragile load shipment
  • An excellent method to transport large quantities.
  • Less risk attached as the shipment remains inside the same truck from starting point to finishing point
  • Faster transportation, therefore good for products where demand is higher


Less-than Truckload Shipping-LTL:

LTL or Less-than Truckload Shipping is ground freight shipping where the combining of goods from many customers is done. This is a budget-friendly way to transport goods with average demand or limited quantities. Particularly beneficial for smaller companies and businesses as they can share the shipment charges with other businesses. With LTL, you pay according to the length of travel and amount of load shipped. This method of transportation can carry some more risk, as the trucks stop many times to repack or unpack goods, increasing the chance for potential damage or delay.

Benefits of LTL:

  • Good for small businesses
  • It is cost effective


Flatbed Movement:

Flatbed Trailers are typically used for the movement of goods that are large, wide, and sometimes awkwardly shaped. Construction materials, machinery, lumber, are all examples of goods that would typically be transported via flatbed.

Refrigerated Shipping:

This is used for transportation of certain perishable items that require temperature-controlled shipment. Items can be meat, vegetables, fruits, fish, dairy products, pharmaceuticals, etc. The containers in which the items are transported are known as refrigerated containers or reefer containers. These containers are enabled with all the appropriate technologies to keep the temperature optimal for the specific item and for the continuous monitoring of temperature that has to be done throughout the travel.

If you need help with your import & export business, get in touch with us at


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