Key points:

  • Freight shipping bulk orders can be cost-effective, but this can be a trade-off against speed and reliability
  • Extra costs from freight shipping can add up and can impact profit margin
  • Easyship can help you find fast and reliable transport for bulk orders and heavy goods, with exclusive rates from top couriers

Are you looking at shipping freight? While there are limited options for large and heavy shipments, there are some drawbacks to consider with this shipping method.

This article breaks down how much freight shipping is, the transport options available, and why not every company likes freight shipping.

Table of Contents

What Is Freight Shipping?

Bulk shipments that are too large to ship by parcel can be transported as freight shipments, both domestically or internationally and by land, air or sea.

Shipments weighing over 150 pounds, or greater than 30x30x30 inches are usually shipped as freight, as it becomes more efficient than piling up parcels.

What Are the Different Types of Freight Transport?

When looking at transporting in bulk, freight shipping companies have a range of options available for every small business:


While parcels are sized on the dimensions and weight of the package, with Truckload freight it depends on how much space the cargo takes up on a truck trailer. There are two main types of freight class:

  • Less-than-truckload (LTL).
  • Full truckload (FTL).

FTL is the go-to method for freight that weighs over 15K pounds and requires a whole truck. While LTL is for small freight that weighs between 150 and 15K pounds.

Rail Freight

This shipping method can be cost-effective, faster and more environmentally friendly compared to transporting large goods by truck. The extensive rail network in North America allows rail freight to be transported through the United States and across the border to Canada.

Ocean Freight

The most affordable method of shipping freight internationally. Generally, this is the slowest option and the most unreliable. Similar to transporting by truck, you can ship by full container load (FCL) or less than container load (LCL).

Air Freight

The fastest mode of freight transport, unsurprisingly it's not the most affordable option broken down here. The best option for shipping heavy goods that need to be delivered ASAP.


These freight shipping services combine multiple modes of transport to ship freight. This can be a combination of truck, rail, ocean and even air freight for international freight. Domestic orders typically combine truck and rail.


As the name implies, this is the fastest freight transportation method. However, this speed comes at a premium, with one of the highest costs to ship. Usually the fastest method is air freight, which can take upwards of a couple of days.

Related article: The Cheap Freight Shipping Guide for Your Online Business


How Much Is Freight Shipping?

Freight shipping rates can fluctuate fast, however there are common factors to calculate freight costs:

  1. Shipping method. This can be a key factor in determining freight rates. With some modes more affordable than others, it can be difficult to find a fast freight quote at the right price.
  2. Origin and destination. The overall distance that needs to be transported and limited access to supply chain infrastructure can impact the price.
  3. Weight and size. The dimensions of a shipment will determine the which type of freight classification your order requires.
  4. Extra surcharge costs. Some carriers may add a surcharge for transporting goods that require special handling or fall under special regulations.

Free Shipping Rates Calculator: Looking for a fast and reliable solution for bulk shipments? Explore Easyship's exclusive rates, with up to 91% off top couriers.

Drawbacks of Freight Shipping

Shipment Delays

No matter how accurate a quote you get from a freight carrier, delayed freight deliveries can have a significant impact on your business. In particular, delays in ocean freight have risen considerably between 2020 and 2022, impacting the reliability of international freight shipping as a whole.

From missing on time delivery targets, to disrupting your supply chain, slow freight deliveries can have a knock on impact. Top causes of freight delays include:

  • Wrong paperwork
  • Seasonal demand peaks
  • Global events
  • Consumer trends
  • Port congestion
  • Weather conditions

Extra Paperwork

eCommerce stores can be put off from shipping bulk orders by freight, simply due to the potential extra paper work. A bill of lading is essential for everything from truckload LTL freight to shipping outside the United States.

This freight perpetration paperwork has to be filled out meticulously. A single mistake can potentially disrupt the entire shipment, leading to delays or extra costs coming in.

Shipping Insurance Costs

Each time you move goods in bulk, you risk freight damage, even with careful selection of carrier. This can disrupt your entire supply chain, from unsellable stock to unsatisfied customers, all will impact business growth.

If you're looking to protect your shipments, Easyship Shipping Insurance will cover shipments up to the value of $10,000. Start covering your cargo without extra costs adding up today.

Securing Shipment Costs

To prevent freight damage, you need the appropriate packing for the type of product and mode of transport. For example, if your products are being stacked as pallets, the wrong packaging could lead to a large order being crushed.

While packaging expenses may be easy to overlook, it can quickly be an extra factor reducing margins. Any higher than necessary expenses will impact your logistics costs.


Get the Best Freight Rates With Easyship

Shipping by freight has a range of pro's that can benefit an online store with bulk or heavy orders to ship. However, it's not all plain sailing and there are drawbacks to consider. From shipping delays to extra costs and piles of paperwork, this article breaks down how they can impact your business.

Ready to ship? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and starting shipping your bulk orders today. Easyship can help you find a great freight shipping rate, while keeping your cargo covered by our Shipping Insurance.