Freight vs Cargo: Difference and Comparison

Transportation of goods for commercial purposes involves a wide range of rules and procedures. Freight and Cargo are two terms that are associated with the transportation of goods for commercial use.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Freight refers to goods transported by land, air, or sea, while cargo refers specifically to goods transported by sea or air.
  2. Freight is often used to refer to commercial shipments, while cargo can refer to both commercial and non-commercial shipments.
  3. Freight can be transported using various methods, while cargo is transported using cargo ships or airplanes.

Freight vs Cargo

Freight is any type of fee or money that is charged by the carrier or transporter, but it can also be used to define the goods being transported by small vehicles. Cargo is the goods that are transported with the use of large vehicles like ships and planes. It is also referred to as mail.

Freight vs Cargo

The term freight may indicate a large of things like goods that are transported, the amount payable, and money charged for transportation.

Cargo basically refers to the goods that are being transported by large vehicles like a ship or a plane. Mail may also be termed as cargo.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFreightCargo
MeaningFreight refers to any sort of money or fees charged by the transporter or the carrier, or it may also refer to the goods being transported by smaller vehicles like trucks and trains.Cargo refers to the goods that are transported with the help of comparatively large vehicles like planes and ships.
RelationFreight may be related to goods or charges of transportation.Cargo is only related to transferring of goods.
Type of vehicleFreight refers to the goods that are being transported with the help of small vehicles like trucks and trains.Cargo is transported with the help of large vehicles like ships or planes.
ScopeFreight can not be considered as mail.Cargo can also be referred to as mail.
CompaniesThe top freight companies in the world include XPO Logistics, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, DHL supply chain, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services.The top cargo companies in the world include A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, CMA CGM Group, and Evergreen Marine.

What is Freight?

Freight transportation basically refers to the transfer of goods from one place to another using different modes of transportation. One of the major modes of transportation is the transportation of goods overland.

The second type of freight transportation is transportation by train. Many transport companies prefer a combination of both rail and land to transfer goods.

A freight broker refers to an individual who acts as an intermediary between a shipper and the freight service provider. Generally, every freight broker specialises in a specific kind of freight like auto, bulk tanker, and oversize.

Another type of freight transport is Intermodal transport, which refers to shipments that involve more than one mode of transport. It is a combination of air, rail, ship, and land.


What is Cargo?

The term cargo is basically used in the case of products in the cold chain because perishable goods are always transferred towards the final end-users, even if the goods are held in cold storage or similar preserved conditions.

It protects the carrier more than the cargo. If the cargo is very large, then the carrier must have insurance to protect the goods from any type of risk like theft, fire, and rain.

Many containers meet accidents due to which all the cargo is destroyed. In the sea, cargo is prone to risks like high seas, adverse weather conditions, and sea robbers.

Cargo is transported through ships and planes, due to which the terms cargo ship and cargo planes are widely used. Like freight, cargo cannot be used to indicate the money charged for transporting cargo from one place to another.


Main Differences Between Freight and Cargo

  1. Freight refers to the goods that are transferred through small modes of transport like trains and trucks, whereas cargo refers to the goods that are transported through ships and planes.
  2. The cost of transferring freight is comparatively lesser when compared to cargo.
Difference Between Freight and Cargo

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