How do I know which type of freight transport is right for me?

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07/23/2022

When choosing a freight transport method, it is important to first know what the different types are, and their advantages and disadvantages to ensure that deliveries are on time and cost-effective in order to increase the valueperceived by the end customer. Depending on the activity of the company, the shipment of cargo will be more inclined towards one type of transport or another. Among the most commonly used options are international road, sea, rail and air transport.


In addition, a number of factors must be clear for such transport: goods, speed, cost and distance. The goods and the distance determine, on certain occasions, which type of transport is necessary due to the characteristics and limitations of the load; speed is becoming an increasingly important factor, as the client values the effectiveness of delivery positively; and cost savings are always present in companies for greater optimisation of resources.


International road transport

This is one of the most popular in Spain - at 76% usage - according to a 2016 study by the Spanish Logistics Centre thanks to the speed and versatility of the fleet of trucks that can be used depending on the type and size of goods being dealt with. It is one of the most economical and versatile options, as it is suitable for both short and long distances, although the inconvenience of road traffic can arise.


Maritime transport

With regard to maritime transport, this is the second most used at 21%, especially at the international level. Although it tends to be a slower type of transport - especially due to the weather - its cost is cheaper due to the lack of urgency (the price fluctuates depending on the weight transported). As with road transport, maritime transport also has a wide variety of vessels for different types of goods, but its traceability is more limited.


Rail transport

Only 1% of goods transported in Spain are transported by rail, but it is one of the most popular means of international transport. It is perfect for long distances and is often used as intermodal transport as a link between other types of vehicles such as aircraft or ships thanks to its standard containers. It is not a route that is used when there is urgency, but it is suitable for long distances, especially for bulk cargo.




This type of transport is more commonly used for high-value goods, which normally require insurance. Its volume, weight and urgency determine the price of the transfer -which is the highest of all-, but it is worth highlighting its speed: between 24 and 48 hours. However, one of the most notorious drawbacks is the need for a nearby airport.


There is also multimodal transport, which consists of combining two or more transports to reach the final customer or supplier. It is an efficient and fast option, although its costs can change depending on several factors such as the goods and the distance.

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