Shipping by Truck vs. Shipping by Rail

12 May 2022 Freight Shipping

When it comes to freight shipping, there are many different ways to get your shipment to its destination. Whether you are looking to ship produce to multiple grocery stores or need to ship materials to an industrial facility, it is important to take the time to determine which method is best for the items you are shipping, applicable time constraints, and your budget. As a leading provider of complete third-party logistics solutions, the team at C&D Logistics knows that the method you choose can be the difference between meeting a deadline and missing it. That is why they have provided some information to outline the differences between shipping by truck and shipping by rail to help you make an informed decision.

Learn about the differences between full truckload vs. less than truckload shipping.

Shipping by Truck

From dry van and temperature-controlled shipping to full truckload (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL), there are many ways to ship goods by truck.


Shipping by truck offers the following benefits:

  1. Many convenient options for businesses of all sizes and every type of product.
  2. Easy to track and monitor.
  3. Allows for large quantities of goods to be moved quickly, especially over shorter distances. This is vital for shipments that are under strict time constraints.
  4. Pricing is generally transparent as the space and weight occupied by the cargo will be determined early on.

Potential Drawbacks

Potential drawbacks of shipping by truck include:

  1. Certain areas have laws that prohibit shipments of a certain size.
  2. Truck-based shipments can be significantly delayed by severe weather.
  3. Shipping by truck costs more than rail, especially when transporting items over large distances.
  4. Trucks produce more emissions than trains.

Shipping by Rail

Rail shipping is one of the most popular shipping methods in the world, especially for larger shipments or for items that need to travel great distances.


Shipping by rail offers the following benefits:

  1. Rail transport is widely considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly shipping methods available.
  2. Can move more freight in the same shipment. This makes rail shipping the ideal method for extremely large shipments or large items.
  3. Shipping by rail is far more cost-effective for long-distance shipments than truck-based shipping.

Potential Drawbacks

Potential drawbacks of rail shipping include:

  1. Shipping by rail is typically slower than shipping by truck.
  2. Rail shipping is more expensive than truck-based shipping for short distances or small shipments.
  3. Not as flexible as truck-based shipping as there are fewer options.

To learn more about the different freight sipping methods available or to discuss the details of your shipment, get in touch with the experts at C&D Logistics. They can be reached through their online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding their solutions.