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What is the difference? Small Parcel vs. Freight Shipping - 24/7 Support including Chat
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Understanding the basics you need to know in order to converse in the world of small package and freight shipping will provide key intelligence needed to efficiently ship your product.

Small parcel shipments are under 70 lbs per and shipped in your own packaging or carrier supplied boxes.  These shipments are not sent on pallets and often move through a small package shipping system with carriers such as UPS, FedEx, Courier Service, or DHL for international.

Packaging exceeding the following criteria are best shipped via freight service rather than small parcel.

o  Packages can be up to 108 inches (270 cm) in length
o  Individual packages can be up to 150lbs (70kg)
o  Each package can be up to 165 inches (419 cm) in length and girth (2x width & height) combined
o  Dimensional weight calculations are required with a large size-to-weight ratio (multiply length x width x height/166= dim weight in pounds for US shipments)

Further details on size and weight limits for standard small parcel shipping can be found at

USPS also works closely with small parcel carriers delivering packages via FedEx SmartPost, UPS SurePost, or UPS Mail Innovations.  Or, you can work directly with USPS for sending express packages and priority mail.  Numerous shipping options can be found at

Some clients utilize courier services for small package shipments, especially is they are required to arrive the same day.  These companies often utilize airlines to get shipments to there destination on the same day.

Freight shipping involves multiple modes of transportation including LTL (less-than-truckload), TL (truckload), Ocean, and Intermodal (Rail).  These shipments are generally over the size and weight limits listed above and are stacked and secured on a wood or plastic pallet for easy loading, stability, and protection of the cargo.  These shipments can move via ground, air, ocean, rail, or any combination of these.  There are thousands of freight carriers offering these services.

LTL shipments are sent along with other cargo providing a reduced cost for transport in a trailer that is normally 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8 feet tall.  A shipment greater than 525 cubic feet is generally moved less expensively via FTL.  Rail services are also providers of FTL freight.  Further information including quotes can be found on similar websites such as

Freight forwarders, 3PL's, and Truck Brokerages also offer services and consultant advise for shipping freight.  They provide the best carrier and rates based on your requirements and coordinate all efforts from start to finish insuring safe, efficient transportation for your shipment while also providing additional resources.

Any questions or for further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.  24/7 Support including Chat can be found at

Wanna see what Ship Watchers can do for your company while paying for itself and saving you more off your shipping?  Go to:

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  1. Rick R.

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  3. Shelley Barnes

    When it comes to shipping packages, there are two main types: small parcel and freight shipping. As the name suggests, small parcel shipping is for packages that are smaller than what would fit in a regular mail box or courier service. Freight shipping, on the other hand, is for packages that are too large or heavy to be sent through regular mail. Why To Trust

    There are some key differences between these two types of shipping. For example, small parcel shipping can take anywhere from 1-5 business days to arrive, while freight shipping can take up to several weeks. Additionally, small parcel shipping typically costs less than freight shipping, but there is a chance that the package will not arrive at all if it isn't delivered within certain time frames.

    Overall, small parcels and freight shipping offer different advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs and preferences.

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