Freight and courier: important differences explained (5 minutes)

Freight and courier: differences explained (5 minutes)

What is the difference between freight and courier? People often use the words with the notion that they have the same meaning, while they do not. Freight is simply the transportation of cargo (goods in bulk) from one point to another by truck, sea, aircraft, and rail. A courier is a person or company that transports documents, goods, and packages from one point to another.


Ever tried making a shipment and the carrier comes with a vehicle that doesn’t fit? It is only natural that companies have different perceptions of what is classified as freight and courier.

Learn More: Difference between freight and courier

Freight and courier

Freight and courier

Freight is also known as cargo. Freight is the transportation of cargo (goods in bulk) from one point to another. It can be transported through:

  1. Ships: where goods are stacked in containers.
  2. Aircraft: considered the fastest and is used for perishable items.
  3. Trains: used for the transportation of steel, wood, coal, and other mining products.
  4. Trucks: the usual mode of transport to deliver cargo on land.

Cargo can include goods, materials, wares, livestock, heavy equipment, spare parts, baggage. Freight forwarding companies are usually used for the transportation of bulk cargo or cargo that needs special handling and care. The services of a freight forwarder can be expensive or cheap depending on the items that they have to carry.

Related: Freight Forwarder: 3 important ways they reduce risks

A courier is a person or company that transports documents, goods, and packages from one destination to another. Couriers are similar to parcel or mail delivery services and use their staff and vehicles to transport items. It is a service that offers fast and committed delivery, security, and constant tracking of items and packages. Its operation can be limited to a certain locality or nation.


Freight forwarding companies, most times, do not own their means of transporting packages. Instead, freight companies will partner with several carriers to increase their shipping capabilities. They also negotiate with them to find the fastest, most economical, and most reliable shipping route.

Sometimes, freight companies can be the less expensive option because they always look out for the safest and most economical way to transport your cargo. However, this can sometimes cause fewer or longer shipping options and makes it more difficult to track your shipment, and can cause delayed shipping and damages to your goods.


Couriers are usually focused on speed, that is why they mostly use trucks and airplanes to transport goods and also provide door-to-door service. You should be assured that your goods will remain with the courier for the entire period of its transportation.

When shipping with a courier, you should know that there are cargo size limits. If your cargo is above the limit, it will not be accepted. You should also observe the dimensions’ limit of the courier service.

Courier, when compared to freight forwarding services, can cost slightly more because of how fast their services are. However, if your business values speed, then courier services are the best way to go.

 In conclusion

Courier services and freight forwarding both provide excellent customer support and will go the extra mile to ensure that your goods and parcels are safely delivered on time. We hope we have been able to educate you on the difference between freight and courier. Understand that they both transport goods from one point to another. If you have questions, leave us a comment down below and we will get you an answer as soon as we can. Contact us to have your cargo shipped at competitive rates.