Freight service refers to the use of a moving company to only transport your belongings from one place to another. You will be responsible for packing everything yourself and loading your belongings onto the truck, and then the moving company will drive that truck to your new home. It will then be your responsibility to unload everything off the truck. As you take care of the manual labor yourself, rather than relying on the moving company to do this, you only pay the fees involved in having the truck drive from the original location to the destination. Thus, using freight service is a less costly way of moving.
Types of Freight Service
There are two types of freight service available, depending on the size of your shipment. If you need to move the contents of a large household, your move will be considered Full Truckload (FTL) freight. If this is the case, the moving company will drop off a trailer at your home. You will then be given a predetermined amount of time (usually 24 – 48 hours) to place your belongings in it. The trailer will then be picked up and delivered to your new home, where it will be your responsibility to unload.
If you don't have that many things to move and won't be able to fill up an entire trailer, your belongings will be shipped as Less Than Truckload (LTL) freight.
In this situation, your goods will be placed on a truck with other people's shipments. With an LTL shipment, your goods may take longer to get delivered, as the truck will have to make several stops.
Many LTL shippers will offer assistance in loading your goods, though at a price. Though you would probably have to pay for this help, the cost of an LTL shipment is already pretty low, so you might be more inclined to spend some money for these services. At the same time, some LTL shippers will unload your goods without an added fee. However, they will likely only bring the items to your doorstep; you will have to do the rest. Make sure you know what type of service is included and the costs for any additional service before you move.
Packing for Freight Service
Regardless of whether your shipment will be FTL or LTL, you will still need to buy all of the necessary packing supplies. Once you have obtained them, you can begin packing everything up. Make sure your boxes are clearly labeled with your name and the address of your new home, especially for an LTL shipment. Otherwise, your belongings could potentially get mixed up with another shipment.
When loading a trailer for your FTL freight, remember to put your large appliances and furniture in first, against the wall of the trailer. Then you can start filling in the rest of the trailer with your boxes, packing lighter ones on top of heavier ones. Another thing to consider before you load the truck is that the company providing your freight service may not include a loading ramp when it delivers the trailer. Thus, you will probably have to pay an additional fee to rent one from the company or another provider.
Packing all of your goods onto a truck and having someone else in charge of them can be pretty nerve wracking. Therefore, you should plan to have all of your goods insured before the move. While the moving company providing your freight service will probably offer you basic coverage, this can be as little as $.10 per pound. In order to be more confident about the safety of your belongings, you can purchase additional insurance coverage to protect your goods from being lost or damaged. Ask your moving company about which insurance companies they would recommend.
While freight service isn't for everyone, it is a viable option if you don't want to drive a truck to your destination. Simply pack and load everything yourself, and then wait for your goods to get to your new home.