During the COVID pandemic, the shipping industry not only reduced air freight capacity due to a major disruption in the airline industry, but shipping rates have increased as well due to resumption of production in Chinese manufacturing plants. This caused an increased demand for air freight during a period of historical low supply, a double whammy for the price conscious manufacturers who are looking to reach customers across the globe. Today, we explore the alternative shipping methods to air freight that will give you great value for the shipping services you require.
1. Intermodal Freight
Intermodal freight shipping involves shipping with a mix of transportation modes such as rail and trucks. By using a mix of transportation options, competitive shipping rates can be found for a select route, or a collection of routes. However, routes may be less flexible when choosing the mode of transport with the lowest rate which may result in a longer shipping duration. Thus, it is important to optimize shipping routes that offer a great balance of shipping cost and shipping time. Of course, the options available depends entirely on the location you ship from and the location you ship to.
2. Truckload Freight
If you are looking to ship between locations serviceable by roads and trucks, this option may be the best for you. Shipping at fill truckload capacity maybe the most economical and fastest option other than air freight with the right shipping route and time. As truckload freight are shipped direct to its destination, there is also less movement of cargo between transit locations and depots. With a customizable service and shipping equipment due to the exclusive capacity in this option, pricing is much more flexible depending on your need, although it can be a little higher.
3. LTL Freight
LTL freight stands for less-than-load freight, where a partial capacity of a particular transport mode is used for your goods and is combined with goods from other customers to save on shipping cost. While LTL freight shipping rates are lower, they may take a longer duration to reach its destination as multiple stops may be needed by the shipping provider to drop off other goods that are part of the cargo. As with other shipping options, the shipping costs are determined by the distance to the destination, item dimensions and weight, locations of pickup and delivery, duration of shipping, and the time of the year. Costs increase as the distance covered during shipping and the item dimensions and weight increase. The locations of pickup and delivery impacts shipping costs as well because if the location is not usually serviced by or are not part of a regular shipping route, shipping costs may increase. The duration of shipping required may also impact shipping costs as time sensitive cargo requires expedited and prioritized delivery. Weather conditions during each season as well as peak demand period will also increase shipping costs. However, with LTL freight, all these options can be customized and tailored to your budget and desired costs.