Freight FAQ: Learn the Freight Basics

As a shipper, you know one thing for certain: business shipping can sometimes be complicated. You probably have a lot of questions about the logistics of moving your products from your warehouse to their final destination. And honestly, no one can blame you. We're here to simplify the process for you.

When you work with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, they can help equip you with essential information for your freight shipping success — including creating solutions for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) just like you. Here we answer the most common freight questions Worldwide Express (WWEX) encounters as a 3PL and provide some basic information every freight shipper needs to know.

Frequently Asked Questions About Freight Shipping Services

In short, a BOL is a receipt for freight services. It's a legally necessary document that serves as a contract between the parties involved in a freight shipment. In fact, all freight shipments start and end with a non-negotiable BOL that documents the content and appropriate transportation of the shipment. It also protects the seller, shipper and recipient, and will be referenced in any case of litigation that may arise. Read more about the importance of understanding your BOL.

Freight classes provide a common ground between shippers and carriers to help determine the correct cost of a shipment. National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) codes standardize LTL freight rates in the United States. Depending on the type of commodity, a shipment is given an NMFC code and corresponding freight class.

And WWEX makes freight class selection simple!  Our easy-to-use online freight shipping tool helps shippers determine and select the appropriate freight classification for their shipments. Learn more about NMFC codes and receive helpful hints to determine your shipment's class in our Guide to Freight Class Basics.

The importance of freight packaging cannot be overestimated. After all, it's what protects your shipment from damage as it makes its way to its final destination. Best practices include using standardized 48-inch × 48-inch pallets along with crates and corrugated containers that are undamaged and provide structural integrity. You also want to be mindful that you do not waste space within your shipping containers. This can add costs and surcharges that are unnecessary.

Learn more and receive expert instruction in our Freight Packaging Guide.

Tracking is often provided by carriers through a website, app and notifications. But 3PLs like WWEX offer a more convenient one stop for all your tracking needs — in one place. Worldwide Express customers are equipped with SpeedShip®, our proprietary transportation management system (TMS). This platform allows you to easily track all your shipments, so you know their status and whereabouts all along the supply chain.

To boot, the TMS allows you to compare carrier rates and delivery speeds, and add insurance coverage. Additionally, you can store frequent sender and receiver addresses in your address book for quick retrieval when creating shipments. It also provides a selection of special services for pickup and delivery, the ability to email the BOL to the receiver, schedule a delivery appointment and much more.

Worldwide Express Goes Beyond Freight Basics

All 3PLs aren't built equally. Worldwide Express focuses on providing the services and solutions that make the biggest impact for SMBs, including:

1. A carrier network of 75+ less-than-truckload (LTL) and 85,000+ full truckload (FTL) freight carriers.

2. Innovative technology that simplifies shipping along your supply chain.

3. An account team that services all your needs, from small changes to escalated items.

4. A consultative approach that is based upon our more than 30 years of experience.

5. Expert guidance in designing a shipping strategy that meets your goals and needs.

6. Logistics insights that help you uncover issues, discover opportunities and solve challenges.

We have rigorous guidelines that freight carriers must meet to ensure customers like you only ship with the best in the market. In fact, we go well beyond initial vetting and develop long-term relationships with carriers that are built on trust and mutual expectations. Additionally, we look for carriers that are:

- Driven by technology

- Covered by the appropriate level of insurance

- Capable of providing a variety of solutions

- Dedicated to customer service and success

We also conduct compliance checks, ongoing carrier analysis and technology reviews to make sure that carriers continue to meet our high standards.

A full-service third-party logistics partner like Worldwide Express partners with a variety of freight carrier types so you have solutions for whatever shipping challenges you might have. This includes less-than-truckload (LTL), full truckload (FTL) and international freight shipping carrier services. We also include a variety of specialty freight services for:

- Expedited shipping

- White glove shipping

- Hazardous materials

- Refrigerated freight

- Trade shows

For some additional reading, learn more about 10 common freight shipping types in our Freight Services Guide.

Worldwide Express goes beyond freight basics. We like to think of ourselves as your shipping partner. We have more than 30 years of experience helping SMBs like you achieve their shipping goals, cut costs and increase efficiencies. Together, we'll provide the insight, analysis and guidance you need to create a strong, flexible shipping strategy that grows with your business. And don't take our word for it. Our awards and recognitions speak for themselves:

#1 Largest Non-Retail Authorized Reseller of UPS

#2 Largest Privately Held Freight Broker in the U.S.

#4 Freight Brokerage — Transport Topics (2023)

#16 Largest Logistics Company in North America — Transport Topics (2023)

Have questions not included in our freight FAQ?

Contact us today for a free shipping consultation to see how Worldwide Express can answer your freight questions, save you money, and increase efficiencies with our freight shipping solutions.