Public and private shipping service companies transport everything from cargo and freight to automobiles, personal luggage and pets, to both domestic and internal locations. Understanding a few key terms commonly used by shipping service companies will ensure that you choose the right company for your shipping needs.
First Class Mail - First class packages, which may be shipped by air or truck will arrive weeks earlier than packages shipped by third class methods such as trains and trucks. Consequently, first class air mail costs more than third class mail.
Freight Forwarder - Also known as a forwarding agent, a freight forwarder acts as a director of freight shipment logistics.
NVOCC - A non-vessel operating common carrier. NVOCCs act as couriers and are physically and legally responsible for the logistics as well as the safe transport of cargo.
Courier - The ships, trucks, trains and airplanes that physically move cargo.
Weight - Besides delivery time, package weight has the greatest effect on mailing costs. The U.S. Postal Service measures First-Class Mail in one ounce increments, while most Priority Mail, Express Mail, Parcel Post, and Media Mail rates are measured in one pound increments.
Budget Shipping Options - Flat rate boxes are a cost-efficient way to ship items within the U.S. Customers pay a flat rate for the size of the box, no matter how much the parcel weighs. The cheapest way to send international mail is by ship, which can take weeks and may pose a risk to fragile items.
Expedited Shipping - Expedited shipping options transport goods faster than standard shipping, at increased cost to the customer.
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Shipping services encompass all types of shipping, including overnight by a courier or internationally with priority mail. This category can include shipping packages and freight by land with trucks and trains, by air in planes, or by sea with actual ships. Depending on the type of package you are sending, for what purpose, and how quickly you need it delivered, there are many types of express companies that specialize in shipping.
Some shipping companies focus on delivering express mail domestically. Generally, you will need to pay a post fee, or you can buy a standard flat rate box, and then drop it off at a post office or their company's store. Note that same day shipping and extra weight may cost more. Don't forget to insure packages that are of high value, and use "handle with care" tape if it is fragile. The packages will then be delivered to their offices in the corresponding town for your recipient to pick up.
Other shipping companies specialize in moving heavy freight for commercial businesses. This can include shipping goods locally or internationally that have a lot of weight and need to be handled in a special manner. Many of these shipments involve door to door shipment, which means they will use ships as well as trucks and trains to move goods to the boat and then to its final destination.
To find out more about various types of shipping services and which one is perfect for your type of mail, go online to your favorite search engine. Type in related keywords such as ground shipping, overnight couriers, notify mail and priority pickup. You will learn what is involved in each process and how much shipping will cost you.