So, you've got a batch of computer parts in Asia that need to be delivered to an assembly plant in New Jersey in 24 hours. What transportation mode do you choose?
Or, what if you need to ship 10,000 tons of bulk grain from St. Louis to New Orleans? Is rail the best option? Or barge?
Weighing the pros and cons of various modes can be overwhelming, especially when you need a reliable solution that makes the most sense for your business. If you need help deciding which transportation mode is the best for shipping your freight, this comprehensive view of the benefits and drawbacks of the most popular transportation modes — truck, rail, ship/barge and plane — can help. Don't miss the printable infographic or video.
Truck shipping is the most common mode of transport in the U.S. and provides quick delivery of shipments traveling short distances. While utilizing truck shipping will allow you to reach just about any location, your carrying capacity may be limited by the truck's size and weight restrictions.
Rail shipping is great for moving very large volumes over long distances, making it one of the most cost-effective and fuel-efficient transportation modes. However, if you do not have tracks at your facility, you may need to coordinate with trucks for first and last mile transport.
Water transport is environmentally responsible, fuel efficient and has the ability to carry massive amounts of goods of just about any size or weight. But if you are looking for quick delivery, ship transportation may not fit the bill, with shipments taking up to a month to arrive at their destination.
Air transportation is fast, easy to track and is accessible to just about any location with an airport nearby — but plane shipping comes with a high price tag and low carrying capacity.
Need a little more information to make a decision? Answer a few questions about your freight and an expert will be in touch.
- Truck Shipping Pros and Cons
- Rail Shipping Pros and Cons
- Shipping by Water Pros and Cons
- Air Freight Pros and Cons
- Rail 101 FAQs