What does freight shipping mean? Freight and shipping have long been used interchangeably, but there is actually an important distinction between them. This article is designed to help you better understand the nuances between freight and shipping. With concise explanations of each term, it will clear up any confusion surrounding these terms and give you greater insight into the world of logistics.

Shipping freight meaning depends on the context in which it is used, but generally, freight refers to the cargo or goods being transported, while shipping can refer to both cargo and the transport vehicle. Generally speaking, we can say that:


Products or goods that are transported by any means, be it land, air, or sea commercially – is called ‘Freight’. It usually refers to the bulk transportation of items and can be broken down into air freight and regular shipping.


Shipping involves transporting goods from one place to another, and it can be for commercial or non-commercial purposes. It doesn’t have to be exclusively bulk shipments; various sizes are accepted. In addition, shipping does not only happen by sea anymore – a multitude of transport systems are available now! Bulk goods are transported from one destination to another in various ways, including by ship, air, and other means. Shipping is also the term used for mailing personal items or delivering consumer goods directly to customers.

The Shipping vs Freight Debate

Freight shipping typically involves the transportation of large cargo, such as pallets or containers, from one place to another. This type of shipment typically requires special services like packing and crating, loading and unloading assistance, storage options, trucking or rail transport, and other services necessary for the shipment of large items.

On the other hand, shipping typically references smaller packages or items that are sent through a postal service or package delivery company such as UPS or FedEx. With this type of shipment, there usually isn’t any special handling involved – just standard packing materials like boxes and envelopes, plus the right postage or delivery fees.

What’s the Difference Between Freight and Shipping?

The key difference between freight and shipping is that freight shipments usually involve large, often bulky items that require special handling to get them from one place to another. Shipping can apply to any type of shipment, small or large, but typically includes smaller packages and items sent through a package delivery service. Both types of shipments can involve domestic or international transport, depending on the needs of the shipper.

Overall, freight and shipping are two different services that help people and businesses get their goods from one place to another in a safe and efficient manner. Knowing the difference between them is important when deciding which option is right for your particular shipment.

Did You Know?

Initially, the term “shipping” was reserved exclusively for transporting cargo by sea. However, its definition has since broadened to encompass any form of transportation. Initially, the term “freight” was used to describe cargo on ships, but over time its definition has expanded.

What Is Freight?

The main difference between freight and shipping is that freight typically refers to the physical goods being transported, whereas shipping generally refers to the act of transporting those goods. Freight is an item or shipment that is transported from one place to another by a means of transportation such as air, truck, train, or ship.

What Is Shipping?

Shipping involves all aspects of the process from the preparation of goods for transport, to their actual transportation and delivery. It includes the packing, labelling, and handling of goods, as well as tracking and tracing shipments throughout the entire process. Shipping also encompasses any costs associated with transporting goods, including taxes and other charges. In essence, freight is what is being shipped while shipping refers to the act of doing so.

From a logistics standpoint, there are several different types of freight that can be transported: air cargo (such as packages or mail), ocean cargo (containers or pallets), land cargo (truckload or less than truckload/LTL) and rail cargo. Each type of freight requires specialised knowledge and expertise in order to ensure safe transport and delivery. Shipping companies thus specialise in one or more of these areas and can provide comprehensive services for the successful handling and delivery of freight.

Final Word

In summary, the main difference between freight and shipping is that freight represents the goods being transported while shipping refers to the act of transporting those goods. Shipping involves all aspects of the process, from preparation to delivery, while freights are categorised according to type (air cargo, ocean cargo, land cargo, rail cargo). Both are necessary components of a successful logistics operation.