Freight denotes goods that are to be transported from one place to another by a commercial carrier. Carriers that deliver these goods are usually called freight forwarders.
These freight forwarders specialize in moving large quantities of goods over large distances, and may use their own fleet of vehicles or hire service providers of transportation.
In today’s busy world we often take for granted the fact that goods can pretty much be shipped to and from any part of the world with great efficiency and speed. It wasn’t too long ago when transporting cargo to other countries would normally take a couple of months before they reached their destination.
Today, when needed, large amounts of freight can be transported in as little as a few hours. That truly is a long ways off from the time our parents had to wait months and months for their deliveries.
Modes of Transportation
The efficiency of today’s freight service depends on the technological advances to the industry of transportation. In the past century, the development of high-speed, high-load transportation has been dizzying.
These innovations have made the today’s world a smaller place to live in. Because of these transportation modes, there is no place on earth that is too far to deliver to.
Freight forwarders rely on what is called intermodal transportation. This means that the freight they carry does not go on only one type of transportation. The freight may hop on ships to reach a different countries, and then get ferried to a distant location, then trucked to a receiving station.
Popular and Animal Transportation
In the early days, the only means of transporting huge amount of goods was through the use slaves and slave animals.
The caravans that crisscrossed the Middle Eastern deserts and the merchants that traveled over the silk road in Asia all bore trade goods that took as long as half a year to deliver. This accounted for the extreme price of their goods.
The Great Pyramids in Egypt were not built using materials delivered by freight companies such as FedEx (as opposed to the tongue-in-cheek advertisement that company produced). The ancient slave drivers used slave power to transport the materials needed for the pyramids from the quarry to the site.
As the science of shipbuilding and navigation increased, man started to consider ships as a viable means to transport large quantities of foodstuffs to famine struck countries. Grain ships used to ply the European trade routes. Cargos of spice and exotic jewelry from the East made the empires of Spain and Portugal exceedingly rich.
As the development of ironclad vessels came along, freight forwarding as a business began to emerge. These ships could carry tremendous amounts of freight across vast bodies of water.
Railway transportation was the pioneer of freight transportation. The fact that the term freight train is prevalent says something of the important role railways had in the transportation business.
Although railways were acceptably fast, they were limited to areas that had railways. It would be a few more decades before faster, more flexible means of transportation were available.
Trucks and trucking companies are the most versatile of all freight modes. As long as a location has roads, it is within the scope of the trucking business.
During World War II, aircraft were capable of delivering tons and tons of cargo to battlefields. Today, this technology lives on to improve the freight forwarding business. Air Transportation is fastest means to deliver freight from country to country.
James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of FreightSpot.com and writes expert articles about freight .