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The definition of shipping is simply the physical movement of goods from one point to another. And it can take several forms depending on the distance that needs to be covered and the required speed of the delivery.

You can cut costs by handling the shipping of goods yourself, but it can cause much less worry if you use a shipping and logistics company to take on all the responsibility. To make an informed decision you need to know how the conventional way of shipping goods globally actually works. What are the shipping types? Read on to find out more…

Shipping types

There’s an entire range of shipping options available and these include:

Freight shipping

This option is used to transport goods that are generally too heavy for normal parcel delivery. Cargo can be sent by sea, air, rail, or road, depending on the destination. Often multi-modal transportation is arranged to get your goods there within deadlines and at a cost-effective price.

Road or ground freight is a standard transport method for national delivery, typically used for small to medium-sized goods that are driven by a professional driver to the destination.

Rail is an option for transporting larger goods, with arrangements made for road transportation for the final stage of delivery.

Container shipping

Large containers that fit onto container ships are used to transport your goods by this method. Containers can be shared to reduce costs, and cargo can be collected from the docks, or delivered to the final destination by lorry.

Containers are a standard size of either 20 or 40 feet enabling them to be stacked both below and on deck. For coastal and inland waters smaller feeder ships will carry the containers onto the box ships.

International shipping

This is the term used to define goods being delivered between countries, but not always by sea. Transportation methods may include road, rail, or air, or a mixture of all. Everything from letters to heavy freight can be sent this way.

Types of international shipments include:

Air freight

Special freight planes will be able to transport goods on a daily basis to almost any city in the world. And a freight service company will also arrange any additional mode of transport needed to move goods to and from the airport.

Airfreight rates are based on the weight of the goods as larger items will take up more space on the aircraft. Your decision to use air or sea freight will be based on the price, the size of your cargo, and delivery times.

Sea Freight

Sea freight transportation is suitable for moving goods overseas as accommodation can be made for all weights, sizes, and shapes. One disadvantage here is the time it takes – this can be up to several weeks, but it can be up to six times cheaper than air freight.

Different types of ships used for this mode of transport include:

  • Roll-on/roll-off where vessels carry both passengers and road haulage driven directly onto the ship.
  • Cargo ships that carry any general cargo of all types.
  • Bulk carriers typically transport large quantities of commodities such as coal and grain.
  • Tankers that carry oil and gas in bulk.
  • Charter vessels that operate according to set demands, cots, and immediate supply conditions.

Courier services

If you’re shipping a small quantity, you’re most likely to use a courier that delivers from door to door. A courier international delivery service will take charge of the process, and is an easy method of arranging collection and delivery of your parcel.

The speed of delivery makes them ideal for international express shipments, as they’re the quickest way to ship parcels worldwide. There are generally no hidden costs, but these can be quite expensive compared to air and sea freight.

Shipping fragile items

Fragile shipments need to be carefully packaged to avoid damage during transit. Items need to be packed in a suitable shipping box with an adequate amount of bubble wrap, corrugated inserts, packing peanuts, or airbags. The box should be closed and taped securely.

If you’re sending the item abroad you need to research and select the best standard international shipping option. Shipping insurance is essential – you can get cover for lost items or full cover for lost items and damage. You should also be aware of any rules or regulations of both the origin and the destination of the shipment.

Find all-in-one transportation experts

DRG Solutions can help with any international shipping from Barcelona. You’ll get all the professional help and advice you need with regards to transportation, logistics, and the entire management process. Sending your goods all around the world will be made simple. And give you the best value for money. All you need to do is discuss your needs with an experienced advisor at any time.