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domestic transportation services

Many eCommerce businesses ship goods across the country, to store in warehouses or to their customers’ homes. With this transportation comes a lot of time and money invested into finding the best domestic transportation for your goods. When it comes to shipping, your customers want it fast and you want it cheap…so how can you find a happy medium to keep everyone satisfied?

Let’s take a look at the different domestic transportation options available to you.

What Is Domestic Transportation?

Domestic transportation is the movement of goods within the borders of a single country (for instance, the United States, where domestic freight typically covers all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico). It occurs when the transportation is only within one country.

If the goods are transported across any borders – by land, sea, or air – it is no longer considered domestic transportation. If that happens, it’s considered international transportation; we’ll look at the differences between domestic and international transportation a little bit later. 

Some of the benefits of using domestic shipping include affordability, more options, and easier or smoother processes when compared to international shipping.

3 Ways to Transport Goods

There are a few different methods of domestic transportation. Transporting goods can be done via air, sea, or land. When it comes to land, this can happen via truck or rail. 

Air transportation is the fastest method of moving goods from one place to another. This is a commonly used shipping method for shorter timelines and smaller shipments. But with a short timeline comes a higher price tag – and even weight limitations (as you might expect with an airplane). 

Sea or ocean transportation is more common with international shipping, but in domestic transportation, it may be used with islands like Hawaii or Puerto Rico for U.S. domestic shipping. It is used with larger and heavier goods that don’t necessarily have a time constraint on their shipping deadlines. This type of transportation is often affected by weather and port delays. 

Ground transportation has two components: railways and roads. These are usually the most cost-effective form of domestic transportation.

  1. Rail transportation is easily accessible and cheaper than other forms of transportation. It’s used for larger or heavier goods but can take a longer amount of time.
  2. Road transportation uses trucks to move goods from one place to another, between cities, or even in the same metropolitan area. It is inexpensive and easy to use. Depending on where the goods are starting and where they’re going, it can take a long time as the driver moves the goods across the country. 

What Is the Fastest Way to Transport Goods?

The fastest way to transport goods is via air. Items can go on the airplane in the morning, and depending on where they are going, be at the new location within a few hours. Most of the time, airplanes are used for overnight shipping or two-day shipping methods for eCommerce stores, as they move goods far distances quickly. 

With faster shipping, you are bound to experience higher rates. For example, with 5-7 day shipping, you pay on average $9 for most domestic shipping carriers in the U.S. That rate goes up to an average of $30 for 1-2 day shipping.

What Is Involved in Domestic Transportation for eCommerce?

transportation costs

Domestic transportation is a part of life for eCommerce businesses. It involves the coordination and movement of products from one place to another and often involves multiple steps when you look at the entire life of your inventory. Domestic transportation helps you move your inventory from your manufacturing facility to your warehouse, and from your warehouse to your customers after an order has been placed. 

Many eCommerce companies use a logistics provider, or a 3PL, to help coordinate domestic transportation. These businesses are solely focused on logistics support for eCommerce businesses, serving as a middleman who is a transportation expert. They have the tools and resources to provide quick service, faster and cheaper shipping, and safe storage and transportation of goods. Some additional services that 3PLs can provide for eCommerce businesses include:

  • Ocean or air transportation.
  • Land transportation (via trucks or rail)
  • Customs compliance and documentation preparation. 
  • Warehousing and storage services. 
  • Returns management and customer service.

What Are the Differences Between Domestic & International Logistics? 

Some of the steps involved in logistics remain the same, no matter if it’s domestic or international shipping. However, there are a few key differences between the two. 

With domestic transportation, goods are moved between states or regions in a country. This can help with individual shipments and with relocating large amounts of inventory between warehouses or manufacturing locations. Domestic transportation services can help eCommerce businesses (and other businesses) move items on trucks, trains, and airplanes. Each method has pros and cons for domestic shipping, but timelines for moving goods and transportation costs often impact the decision of which method to choose.

With international transportation, goods are moved across international borders. This includes goods moved on the same continent – so between Canada and the U.S. and within Europe. Here, some additional challenges can come into play with customs requirements or shipping restrictions. Oftentimes with international transportation solutions of inventory, cargo insurance can also be involved when moving international shipments over large distances to reduce the liability of carriers. 

Benefits of Using a 3PL for Domestic Transportation in eCommerce

Here are the biggest benefits of hiring a logistics partner for the domestic transportation needs of your eCommerce business:

  • Lower shipping rates: 3PLs often can offer lower shipping prices because they have long-standing relationships with carriers and have negotiated rates that often differ from public rates. These rates might even mean you can offer free or lower-cost two-day shipping for your customers.
  • Inventory management and warehousing: At a 3PL warehouse, the staff can help you manage the storage of your inventory and keep better track of what’s in stock. This keeps your business running smoothly, and you may even be able to integrate the warehouse management software and inventory management software with your eCommerce storefront so current inventory levels are reflected live on your website.
  • Knowledge and expertise: Employees at 3PLs are kept up to date on new trends and best practices for warehousing, shipping, packing, and more. Any regulations or laws are integrated into their warehouse and shipping processes, so you don’t have to worry about falling out of compliance.
  • Time management: When your eCommerce business works with a logistics provider, your team will have more time to focus on other parts of the business. They won’t need to spend time picking and packing orders or organizing warehouse shelves, they can focus on product development or customer service. By outsourcing certain tasks, you can get hours back every single week.

Partner With ShipNetwork for Domestic Transportation

domestic freight

By using ShipNetwork’s domestic transportation services, eCommerce business owners can save time, lower transportation costs, and grow their business. By partnering with us for your eCommerce shipping and order fulfillment needs, you will be able to see 100% order accuracy, one-day fulfillment with 2-day ground delivery, and a network of warehouses across the country.

Request a quote today to learn how ShipNetwork can help improve your domestic transportation processes.