Standard vs. Specialized Freight: Your Options

When planning your next major household move or commercial shipping project, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the different types of moving options available to you.

This article will introduce you to standard shipping options, as well as walk you through specialized freight options available for atypical shipments. As you will see, specialized freight is often used for large amounts of loose materials, oversized or overweight items, perishable products, or when the unloading area is not properly equipped for traditional freight trucks.


LTR (Less than truckload)

For most residential and non-industrial or wholesale needs, LTR shipping is your best option. This option is the least expensive and allows you to move either one or several items without the need to pay for an entire truck or a significant portion of one. This is a perfect option when shipping furniture, pallets, or several boxes at a time.

Partial Truck Load

A partial truckload is a medium-sized load that will take up a significant amount of room on a traditional truck trailer. Trailers carrying these loads tend to make fewer stops and carry shipping items from just a handful of clients. Clients who opt for the partial truckload shipping options can expect to pay according to either the weight or dimensions of the items being shipped.

TL (Truckload)

If you are planning on shipping a large load of items (weighing greater than 8,000 pounds), then you will need to investigate the TL option. This is the most economical way of shipping freight by square foot and guarantees that your items will not be misplaced or accidentally unloaded during a previous stop.

Specialized Freight


Flatbed trucks are one of the most common forms of specialized freight and are open to the air and elements, so they are not great options if you are transporting fragile or easily damaged materials such as paper or cloth. They are best used for loads that require side unloading or the use of a crane, are too wide or heavy for a liftgate, or if the destination lacks a loading dock.

Tanker Truck

A tanker truck is also a frequently used form of specialized freight and is used to transport liquid, bulk dry cargo, and gases. They are typically incredibly large and heavy, with average weights from the 5,000 to 11,000 lbs range. In addition, they are very difficult to drive because of a high center of gravity and require a very experienced truck driver to operate. You will most often see them delivering gasoline.

Refrigerated Trailer

Refrigerated trailers are the final type of specialized freight discussed. They are most frequently used for perishable items such as food and medications. They are kept cold through the use of ice, carbon dioxide (dry ice), or by utilizing diesel-fueled engines.

Call us today for a free LTL Freight Quote at 800-940-3598 or complete the Freight Quote form for an immediate response.