The 5 Main Types of Freight Transportation

Ocean shipping


Ocean shipping also known as maritime transportation, is the oldest mode of transportation for moving goods across the oceans. It is an economical choice for long-distance shipments and bulky products. More than 90% of companies use ocean shipping for their shipments. The United States uses ocean shipping for 70% of its international trade. This mode of transportation is the only choice for certain products, such as building materials, crude oil, and metals, which cannot be transported by air.



  • Cost-efficient option for long-distance transportation
  • Suitable for bulky and heavy products that cannot be transported by air
  • Reliable mode of transportation for global shipping
  • The only choice for some goods like construction supplies, crude oil, and metals



  • Longer delivery times compared to air transportation
  • Limitations for shipments to destinations far from ports
  • Additional costs for handling and insurance
  • Risks of damage or loss of goods due to extreme weather conditions or technical issues with the ship.

DocShipper info :  Before choosing sea freight as the best way to ship your products, you can read our article on the advantages of sea freight transport services.  Don't forget that DocShipper is an expert in sea freight forwarding and can help you with the entire process of your shipment! If you need any information or a free quote, contact us!

Air shipping


Air shipping is the second-best option for transportation nowadays. Air shipping is a fast and convenient mode of transportation for short-distance distribution or shipments that need to travel long distances quickly, even internationally. It is more expensive than other modes of transportation but provides additional security and faster delivery.



  • Fast mode of transportation for short and long distances
  • Provides additional security for high-value items
  • Available in most parts of the world
  • Suitable for international shipments


  • More expensive than other modes of transportation
  • Limited capacity for bulky and heavy products
  • Carbon emissions contribute to environmental pollution
  • Possibility of flight delays or cancellations due to weather conditions or technical issues.

DocShipper info :DocShipper is not a simple freight forwarder, and that’s why we can propose other services, like our door-to-door service. We’ll handle your shipment from A to Z, including if you are choosing air freight. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

Road shipping

fret routier

Road shipping is a popular and reliable mode of transportation that comes with various shipping modes, such as full truckload and less-than-truckload. It is easy to get a freight quote and select the required equipment. Trucks are equipped with built-in navigation systems and exact-time tracking abilities that help track shipments in real time. Road shipping is a cheaper option compared to air and ocean shipping, making it a good choice for moving goods.



  • Reliable and popular mode of transportation
  • Comes with various shipping modes and trailer types to suit different shipping needs
  • Easy to get a freight quote and select the required equipment
  • Trucks are equipped with built-in navigation systems and exact-time tracking abilities for real-time tracking of shipments

Cheaper option compared to air and ocean shipping


  • Limited range compared to air and ocean shipping
  • Subject to traffic and road conditions which may cause delays in delivery

Rail Shipping

Rail shippingRail shipping, also known as rail freight or rail transportation, is the transportation of goods by train. It is a cost-effective and efficient way to transport large quantities of goods over long distances.

Rail shipping involves loading the goods onto rail cars, which are then transported by locomotives along tracks that connect cities and towns across the country. The rail system is an integral part of the logistics industry, connecting suppliers and manufacturers with distributors and consumers.

Advantages :

  • Ability to carry heavy loads
  • Efficient in transporting large volumes of goods
  • Lower cost compared to other modes of transportation
  • Suitable for transporting bulk commodities over long distances
  • Environmentally friendly option

Disadvantages :

  • Limited connectivity to certain regions
  • Additional transportation costs and longer delivery times
  • Significant investments required in maintenance and upgrades of rail infrastructure


Intermodal & multimodal

courrier-transportant-commande-livrant-colis-service-livraison-express-fret-logistique-distribution-fret-aerien-concept-courrier-postal-mondialIntermodal and multimodal transportation modes are two ways of combining different modes of transportation such as road, rail, ocean, or air for a single shipment.


  • Offers a more flexible and cost-effective solution for complex routes.
  • Allows for a combination of modes to take advantage of the strengths of each mode.
  • Provides
  •  a wider range of options for shippers to choose from.
  • Reduces the risk of cargo damage during transport.
  • Enhances supply chain efficiency and speed.



  • Can be more complicated and time-consuming than using a single mode of transportation.
  • Requires coordination between multiple carriers and can increase the risk of delays or errors.
  • Can be more expensive than using a single mode of transportation for shorter distances or smaller shipments.

DocShipper info : Combine multiple freight companies can be a loss of time and money. Don’t worry, DocShipper has the solution for you. We can handle your shipment from the departure with a truck to crossing the ocean by vessel or plane, we’ll be your only interlocutor, and we can handle your shipment from the beginning to the arrival! Don’t hesitate to contact us for any question or to get a free quote ! 

DocShipper Advice: We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product? Enjoy our sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier? Ask our experts to do quality control to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics? Our international freight department supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution? Our 3PL department will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!


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