Shipping Courier Vs Freight: What’s the Difference?

Did you know that 11 billion tons of cargo shipments are estimated to be transported annually globally? At the start of the global pandemic, the different modes of shipping slowed. Yet, with things settling down, more companies are using couriers and freight shippers again. 

However, deciding between using a shipping courier or a freight courier can be a challenge. That’s why the team at Pillow Logistics has detailed the differences between these two modes of couriering, so you can better understand which type of shipping best suits your needs. We’ve also included the benefits of shipping, couriering, and freighting. 

Courier Vs. Freight: What Is Courier Shipping? 

Courier shipping specializes in delivering packages, goods, and documents from one destination to another. Courier companies get various goods where they need to be faster, more reliably, and more securely than freight shipping. 

In most instances, couriers offer many kinds of delivery options. Depending on your courier service, your packages or parcels can be delivered the next day or the same day. You could also focus on time-sensitive items and have them shipped via courier. You can do this while having the tools to track the goods you have sent for delivery in real time.

courier delivery in Indianapolis

The Benefits of Courier Shipping

If you’re considering courier shipping, you must learn more about the benefits. The more you know about these courier advantages, the better you’ll be able to determine if it’s the right solution for your shipping needs.

  • Couriers provide reliable tracking systems. This allows senders and recipients to track the progress of their shipments in real time.
  • Couriers focus on the security of packages. They use measures to protect them from loss, damage, or theft during transit.
  • Courier services often offer flexible delivery options. This includes same-day or next-day delivery. Thus accommodating the specific scheduling needs of senders and recipients.
  • Couriers provide convenience. By offering door-to-door delivery, they cut the need for recipients to pick up their packages.

Yet, there are drawbacks associated with shipping courier services. For example, larger deliveries are usually not performed by courier companies. This is because of their fleets’ size and nature. 

They don’t take larger orders or abnormal loads. This is because it doesn’t sync with their door-to-door business model. Also, shipping courier services are more expensive. This is because they are often safer and more personalized than freight shipping. 

Courier Vs Freight: What Is Freight Shipping? 

Freight shipping is a mode of transportation. It moves large quantities of goods or cargo from one location to another. It involves the shipment of bulk items, oversized goods, or heavy equipment. To do this, it uses various modes such as trucks, trains, ships, or airplanes. 

Interestingly, freight shipping is used by businesses to transport goods domestically or internationally. Popular companies that use freight shipping include Apple, Shein, and Nike.

Usually, freight shipping involves consolidating many cargo loads into a single container or vehicle. It is done this way to optimize space and reduce shipping costs. Also, freight shipping often provides additional services. These include tracking, insurance for businesses, and customized delivery options. This allows couriers to meet a business’s and its consumers’ specific needs.

forklift unloading freight from a trailer at a logistics company loading dock

Benefits Of Freight Shipping

As we did with courier shipping, we thought it would be great to list some key benefits of freight shipping. So have a quick look below to learn more: 

  • This shipping is cost-effective for transporting large quantities of goods. It allows for reduced shipping costs per unit.
  • Freight shipping offers various transportation options. These include trucks, trains, ships, or air travel. Thus providing flexibility and accessibility to various destinations.
  • Freight shipping provides enhanced security and protection for cargo during transit. With robust packaging, handling procedures, and insurance options available.
  • Affordable partnerships can be formed. These partnerships happen with those who routinely transport goods nationally or internationally. 
  • Freight shipping plays a vital role in global trade and supply chain logistics. It enables the efficient and effective movement of goods across regions and countries.
  • Freight shipping involves less restrictive weight limits because of the modes of transport. 

There are, unfortunately, a few drawbacks to using freight shipping over courier shipping. For example, you will probably share your freight shipping space with another company. Everyone’s goods will be in the same container, truck, or airplane. 

Additionally, you could experience delays in your shipment. For example, if it goes through various customs or if other cargo not belonging to you needs to be dropped off at different destinations from yours. 

When Should You Use A Courier Service Vs When Should You Use A Freight Service: What Are The Differences?

Deciding between a courier service and a freight service depends on various factors. Courier services are best suited for smaller packages and urgent deliveries. They offer fast and reliable delivery. 

This is possible with door-to-door service, making them ideal for time-sensitive items. 

In contrast, freight shipping services are more suitable for larger and bulkier shipments. For example, intercity or international transportation and cost-effective solutions. 

They also provide various transportation options, like trucks, trains, ships, or airplanes. This is ideal for businesses dealing with large cargo volumes. They can also handle specialized requirements. 

Yet, freight shipping services may need extra coordination. They also might have longer delivery times than courier services. Still, they offer flexibility, scalability, and customized solutions as an advantage. 

Courier delivery van in Indianapolis Pillow understands Courier Vs Freight shipping

Speak With Pillow Logistics To Decide If Freight Or Shipping By Courier Is Right For You

Understanding the difference between shipping courier and freight services is essential. Not knowing the difference makes it hard to choose the right option that aligns with your business’s shipping needs. 

Shipping couriers excel in the fast and reliable delivery of smaller packages. They focus on speed and efficiency. On the other hand, freight services cater to larger and bulkier shipments. They offer cost-effective solutions and versatility in transportation modes. 

At Pillow Logistics, we can help with courier shipping and freight shipping. Contact us to speak with one of our friendly logistics team members. We’ll help you determine which delivery option best suits your needs, budget, and preferences.