A Quick Guide to Different Types of Freight Transport

As we increasingly move towards a global marketplace, more and more businesses are relying on transport logistics. Whether it’s to stock their own shelves or to send stock to customers, businesses need a combination of couriers, UK haulage and international freight services to fulfil their orders. But what services should you be looking for to serve your business? Here we look at some of the types available.

Freight Transport

Courier Services

A courier service typically delivers a number of small parcels to a variety of different addresses along a pre-planned route. Often the courier delivers primarily within the UK, but most companies also deliver internationally. Delivery timescales are often short, with next-day and same-day becoming increasingly common. Also advantageous to the customer is that the parcel can be tracked en route from beginning to end. But the price reflects this – it’s a relatively expensive way to send goods.


Haulage companies deal in larger sizes and volumes of goods. Pallet delivery or container deliveries are for heavier and larger products or bulk deliveries of smaller ones. The usual practice is for hauliers to transport a single load from one address to another, without deviating for other drops as a courier would. Because these goods will usually travel long distances, they’ll often take longer to reach their destination, especially if that’s country-to-country. But timescales can be negotiated with the haulage company involved before the job begins, so there should be no surprises. While shipping large quantities of heavy goods is never going to be cheap exactly, it’s a much more cost effective way of moving a lot of items than to break the load up into individual packages. 

Groupage Services

Groupage services are one way of lessening the cost of freight if your goods are too many or too heavy to be delivered by courier, but not enough to warrant hire of an entire truck or artic. In essence, a number of cargo loads from various suppliers are consolidated into one load or container, to be shipped together on single or multiple pallets. The customer is usually charged only for the volume and weight of their part of the load, so prices can work out much cheaper than paying for a whole trailer or container that you won’t fill. It can also be the quicker option than waiting until you do have sufficient cargo to fill an entire load.

Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarding services arrange for the transportation of cargo, particularly where import/ export is involved. This is where knowledge and experience really come into their own, as they will usually have a network of contacts to negotiate possible issues such as customs and transfer of goods from one mode of transport (a lorry, for instance) to another, whether that’s sea or air freight. They’ll also have links with hauliers in the country the goods are going to, so better prices can be negotiated for that stage of the journey. While the service may cost upfront, it’s worth it to know your goods will be looked after throughout and delivered safely.

This is just a brief overview of some of the methods of transport logistics we provide or can arrange at MAC European Freight Ltd. For help in deciding what’s right for your business or to discuss a shipment, call us today.

Road haulage in Telford

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