What is a Freight Carrier?
A freight carrier is an individual or a commercial company, legally authorised and specialises in transporting cargo from one place to another. Generally, freight carriers are categorised into many variant divisions based on each carrier’s business operation.
Some companies may operate as a global freight forwarder, thereby managing the shipment of goods from one country to the other. On the other hand, some may focus on the domestic transportation of goods, which means goods are transported within a country from one city/town to the other. In another business operation, some companies may transport goods both within a country and internationally.
Shipping companies use different modes of transport systems to move goods. Goods move by land, rail, water or air and carriers specialise in one mode. However, some freight carriers provide multi-modal service, the combination of means of transportation to deliver goods. Multi-modal service of transport depends mainly on cost, time and cargo details. How to decide which mode of transport to use depends of the type of shipment a shipper has.
Freight carriers have different governing bodies which many of the companies are part of. These bodies make rules about the transportation of goods, set standard practices and how freight are paid. Some prominent organisations are:
- International Air Transport Association (IATA): is an association of airline traders around the world promoting cooperation in ensuring the safety, the security and the reliability of air services.
- Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA): is an organisation that provides leadership and direction for the third-party logistics industry.
- British International Freight Association (BIFA): is a non-profit making trade association based in the United Kingdom (UK).
- Freight Transport Association (FTA): is one of the biggest business groups in the United Kingdom that supports the efficiency of logistics in the country.
In the transport and logistics industry, freight carrier is also known as shipping company and freight company.