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Understanding the Distinctions: Freight, Logistics, and Trucking Companies

Understanding the Distinctions: Freight, Logistics, and Trucking Companies

Many businesses depend on the seamless flow of goods across borders in order to thrive. To create that flow, they rely on a complex network of companies and services that provide specialized services throughout every step of the supply chain. Navigating this network, or even setting it up, can feel a little overwhelming. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t have to be. Here is a look at three of the key players in this network of cross-border transportation: freight, logistics, and trucking companies – And which one might work best for you.

Freight Companies

One of the most versatile, and visible, players in cross-border transportation is the freight company. Also known as freight forwarders or freight carriers, they specialize in transporting goods from one point to another by whatever means are most cost-effective and efficient. For example, they may use any of these modes of transportation to deliver their cargo safely:

  • Air transportation
  • Rail transportation
  • Sea transportation
  • Road transportation

In their role as overseers of cargo shipments, these companies play a number of vital roles in the supply chain process. They can

  • Navigate customs and cross-border complexities
  • Implement state-of-the-art security measures
  • Work with multiple carriers to streamline transportation
  • Select appropriate modes of transportation
  • Coordinate shipments and routes for timely deliveries
  • And more

Thanks to this versatility, freight companies can cater to clients’ diverse transportation needs and cut down on the time and effort necessary to coordinate among multiple carriers and service providers.

Blue truck on a lot.

Logistics Companies

Freight companies, despite their diverse services, specialize solely in the movement of goods. Logistics companies, on the other hand, take a broader view, addressing the entire supply chain, from inventory management to storage, transportation to security. These businesses focus on achieving specific goals across your supply chain, including the following:

  • Optimizing the flow of goods from their point of origin to their final destination
  • Maximizing efficiency
  • Reducing costs
  • Achieving customer satisfaction

When it comes to cross-border trade, logistics companies play an important role in creating a smooth and seamless movement of goods. They use their extensive expertise in supply chain management to create cross-border solutions tailored to the needs of each client. In order to meet these needs, logistics companies can provide a wide range of services, including the following:

  • Consolidating shipments
  • Optimizing routes
  • Managing inventory
  • Coordinating with stakeholders and vendors
  • Navigating customs regulations
  • And more

Truck drivers talking.

Trucking Companies

Trucking companies have, perhaps, the most narrow focus out of all three. They specialize in moving goods over roads. Trucking companies are often the main players in last-mile deliveries, carrying goods from distribution centers to the final destination. In addition, trucking companies can take over cross-country or even cross-border shipping, as long as the transportation takes place by road.

Trucking companies usually operate a fleet of trucks that consists of vehicles of different sizes and types in order to meet the diverse needs of their clients. Among the responsibilities they can undertake for clients are the following:

  • Transportation of hazardous materials
  • Management of refrigerated or frozen products
  • Carrying large and small loads
  • Managing customs regulations and crossings
  • Real-time tracking
  • Safety features and security
  • Transparent communication and load monitoring

How To Choose The Right Company?

When you need to engage in cross-border transportation, how do you choose the right company to ensure a cost-effective and seamless experience? The primary goal should be to find a single company that can meet all of your logistics and transportation needs. Don’t try to navigate between two or three companies to get all of your needs met. Here are some questions to ask yourself before hiring one of these companies for your international loads:

  • What part of transportation do you need help with – From comprehensive supply chain support to simple road transportation?
  • Do you need services beyond simple transportation (e.g. Security, coordination, route selection, warehousing, inventory management,  etc.)
  • Will your products need to cross transportation modes (e.g. Sea to rail, or air to truck)?
  • What are your costs and budget?
  • How frequently will you be engaging in cross-border trade?

White logistics truck in parking lot.

Once you have a clear idea of your needs, you can more confidently choose the company that will best serve your needs. For example, if you only require last-mile delivery, you could hire a trucking company, but if you need supply-chain-wide support, you may need to hire a logistics company.

No matter what your international shipping needs, there is a cost-effective and time-efficient solution: Mex-Cal Truckline. As an all-in-one transportation and logistics company, we offer end-to-end support along the entirety of your supply chain. We have everything you need to seamlessly transport cargo between the United States and Mexico, including a fleet of 100+ modern vehicles, extensive yard support, access to C-TPAT-compliant yards, certified K-9 sniffer dogs, in-house mechanics, our own diesel stations, and more. Ready to get started? Contact us today!

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