Main modes of transportation in the freight shipping industry as follows:
Ocean shipping is the most widely used mode for moving large volumes of cargo. While it is a very cost-efficient alternative to air shipping, it is rather a slow one.
It's a preferred method for shippers moving hazardous, liquid and/or heavyweight goods. For ocean shipping, cargo is stacked in containers which are then loaded onto vessels.
Air is the fastest and the most expensive mode of transport as compared to other modes of transport. It is a preferred option for shippers moving high value and perishable goods. While there are specialised flights for moving cargo, the maximum amount of cargo moves in the bellies of passenger flights.
Over-the-road transportation is the most extensively used mode of transport. There are two key types of over-the-road transportation:
Full truckload implies that one shipper uses the capacity of one entire truck to move the freight.
Less-than-truckload suggests that the shipper uses only a partial capacity of a truck and a single truck is used by multiple shippers.
Intermodal and Multimodal
Quite often transportation routes are complicated and long. This is where the multimodal and intermodal modes of transportation step in. It suggests a combination of rail, road, ocean and air for a single shipment.
Each mode of transportation has its drawbacks and advantages which are determined by the needs of the shipper.