Difference Between Freight and Cargo (With Table)

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. Some people use these terms interchangeably, but there are few differences between both these terms.

Freight vs Cargo

The difference between freight and cargo is that freight refers to any sort of fees and money charged by the goods carriers from the client, whereas cargo refers to does not refer to any kind of fees but simply means goods. Freight may also refer to the goods that are transported by smaller vehicles like trucks, whereas cargo refers to the goods transported by larger vehicles like ships or planes.

The term freight may indicate a large of things like goods that are transported, the amount payable, and money charged for transportation. Freight indicates the goods that are being transported by trucks or trains or may also indicate the money that the carrier charges for his services.

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. Cargo is transported with the help of large cargo containers. Cargo is only related to goods being transferred and not to any sort of payment.

Comparison Table Between Freight and Cargo

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 main vehicles involved in this mode are trucks, buses, and big vans. One of the best ways to make transportation effective is to hire long and short-haul trucking firms for transportation.

The second type of freight transportation is transportation by trains. Many transport companies prefer a combination of both rail and land to transfer goods. This is done to make the transfer effective and simple. A freight broker is another highly used term in this concept.

A freight broker refers to an individual who acts as an intermediary between a shipper and the freight service provider. Generally, every freight broker is specialized in a specific kind of freight like auto, bulk tanker, and oversize. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration gives license to a freight broker in the USA.

Another type of freight transport is Intermodal transport that refers to shipments that involve more than one mode of transport. It is a combination of air, rail, ship, and land. Freight transportation companies are one of the most profit-making companies in the world.

What is Cargo?

Cargo refers to the bulk goods transported by air, land, or water. 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.

The word cargo is derived from a Spanish word called “cargar,” which means to load or impose taxes. The carriers of cargo must have a required amount of cargo insurance. 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 risks 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 usually transported through ships and planes, due to which the terms cargo ship and cargo planes are widely used. Like freight, cargo cannot be used for indicating the money charged for transporting cargo from one place to another.

Main Differences Between Freight and Cargo

  1. Freight refers to any kind of money or fees charged by the transporter or carrier of goods or the goods that are transferred by smaller vehicles, whereas cargo solely refers to the goods that are transported from one place to another by larger vehicles like ships and planes.
  2. Freight may be related to goods or charges of transportation, whereas cargo is only related to goods.
  3. Freight does not imply goods transferred through the mail, whereas cargo may also be referred to as goods transferred through the mail.
  4. 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.
  5. The cost of transferring freight is comparatively lesser when compared to cargo.

Conclusion

Freight and Cargo are terms that people use interchangeably and hence may sound very complex and confusing. Freight and Cargo must be insured so that if the ship, plane, or truck suffers an accident, then the life of people involved and goods must be insured.

The difference between the two may also be the type of locomotives that may be used. Freight is generally transported by a truck or a train, whereas cargo is generally transferred with the help of ships and planes that are bigger in size.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965856413002218
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877050916302198
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