Shipping Companies: What mode are each best at and how to get the most economical rates and best service!


You’ve got a product you’re looking to distribute regionally, nationally, or even globally. Yet a lot of time has been spent on the product, and maybe not enough on how to navigate that product from point A to point B. Perhaps you’re starting out, or you’re already working at a major company that’s looking to expand its reach.

Knowing the various types of shipping companies and which ones would be the best fit is a start. You don’t want to accidentally work with ground and parcel shipping companies, not realizing that they cannot handle the capacity you’re looking for.

Neither do you want to ship some goods that end up being LTL or Less-Than truckload, either. Let’s review several of the most common types of shipping out there and some of the leaders in the industry.

Freight Shipping Companies

This is also in conjunction with freight forwarding companies. The main purpose of these type of company is to move a lot of items and big items. These can be cars to airplane engines, and other types of industrial equipment. Their whole job is to get these products to their destination, and they have specialized trucking and logistical support to ensure that happens.

On top of that, freight shipping companies are also sometimes referred to as 3PL or third-party logistical companies that will handle everything from pick and packing to handling truck brokering, depending on where the destination is.

So, for example, when looking for coast-to-coast solutions within the United States, these companies could use their own fleet, hire another fleet to manage the delivery, or hire a combination of truckers, warehousing, and packing all depending on how deep the relationship needs to go.

Some of the major players in this industry are YRC Freight, XPO Freight, and T Force Freight. Some of these companies have their own infrastructure and fleet network, and others, such as T Force Freight partner with ground and parcel shipping companies such as UPS.

It all depends if you’re looking for big loads, Less than truckloadtruckload, or even the last mile. The last mile is the final delivery point that is usually used when the delivery is done in major cities. Since the cities are more difficult to navigate with a large truck, there are more compact and agile truck companies used for that last point of delivery contact.

Small Parcel Shipping Companies

Now to be fair, some of these companies also have freight divisions, but that’s what their primary business model is. The main players here are UPS, FedEx, and DHL. These companies specialize in-ground and parcel services and are an excellent logistical partner for small to medium-sized businesses that are more Business to Consumer (B2C) versus Business to Business (B2B) or Enterprise level businesses.

This is where someone may buy something off of an eCommerce shop or a marketplace such as Amazon, and a ground and parcel company would handle the majority of logistics.

It’s important to note that even these types of companies may have their own localized 3rd party logistics helping to handle the load of these smaller yet more frequent packaging. Another excellent use of these types of companies when compared to freight companies is that they’re able to get small packages to the destination fast and anywhere in the world.

If it’s even something like documents, companies like FedEx can get them anywhere across the globe as fast as the next day. That helps to a certain extent, but when looking for speed and bulk, then we look at the following type of company.

Air Freight Shipping Companies

This is when you need to move a lot and fast. The top one was Kuehne + Nagel in 2021, where they were able to ship 2.2 billion metric tons transported in the air. Some other popular air freight companies are DSV and DB Schenker, which are on the top of the list as well.

As you can imagine, this might be the option with the highest cost due to the speed and the method being used to travel. These items being shipped are reserved for those that are time-sensitive, and according to a report by the world bank, it’s the following items:

  • Documents
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Fashion garments
  • production samples
  • electronics
  • consumer goods
  • perishable agricultural and seafood products.


As mentioned earlier, these can be several times more expensive than other types of shipping, especially freight shipping via boats. Yet, whereas a boat can take several weeks (where these items may not be relevant or even spoiled), air freight logistics help get products to their destination in hours, or at the most a day.

How to get the best pricing and services with all shipping companies?

Now that you know there are all these types of services out there, it’s now about understanding what type of forward brokerage organization you need and leveraging technology that can help to centralize all these data points for you. This way, you don’t have to go to each individual company, request a quote, wait to hear back, and try to put it into a spreadsheet for comparison.

If you work with our software and work to automate the RFQ process through our API, you’ll be able to receive better pricing and expand on what your offering is. You can have one API tied to your eCommerce site that offers the best ground and parcel services and another one ready to work with wholesale shipping and freight movement. This will help you always to get the most efficient pricing and fastest shipping options when needed.

Work with the Easy LogisticHYPERLINK “”sHYPERLINK “” Management technology suite, and we’ll get your existing systems to automatically pull all the necessary information that is needed when it comes to your logistical needs.

That way, whenever you want to give a price quote to any type of customer (B2C or B2B), your ERP system will immediately pull up real-time shipping quotes that can be shared with your clients.

Remember, the more you’re able to ship, the more preferential pricing you’ll be able to get. It doesn’t matter how big or compact your company is, even if you’re just starting out because the last thing you need to do after working hard to get that sale is to try to spend the extra time to always have to manually input the product dimensions, weight, quantity, destination, and wait a while to get that type of pricing when you can already have it ready to go at the point of sale.

This will, in turn, help to build out a better customer relationship, and your clients will always appreciate the up-to-date and accurate estimates every single time.

Don’t take any more time considering this, and connect with us for a short meeting. We’ll help to walk you through our entire suite of shipping software and what the rates would look like to help you feel more at home with us.

We’ll help to connect you to all types of shipping and third-party logistical companies you didn’t even think you needed to work with and have those seamlessly integrated into whatever your current operating systems are. We’ll easily be able to see if we’re as great a fit as your technological, logistical-related partner.


Want help getting the best price and service from all these shipping companies? Connect with us.

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