Ask Difference

Freight vs. Cartage — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 18, 2023
Freight refers to goods transported in bulk by truck, train, ship, or aircraft, while cartage specifically pertains to the charge for transporting goods locally, especially by truck.
Freight vs. Cartage — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Freight and Cartage

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Key Differences

Freight encompasses the goods transported by various means such as trucks, trains, ships, or aircraft. It generally implies a broader scope of transportation. Cartage, on the other hand, deals more narrowly with the transport of goods, particularly over short distances or locally, often by truck.
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Sep 18, 2023
While Freight can cover vast distances and potentially cross continents or oceans, Cartage is more localized, usually restricted to a city or a specific region. It's essentially the "last-mile" or short-distance movement of goods.
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Costs associated with Freight can vary greatly, depending on factors like distance, mode of transport, and the nature of the goods. Cartage, being more specific, refers to the fee or charge for transporting goods locally.
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Sep 18, 2023
Both Freight and Cartage play pivotal roles in the logistics and supply chain of businesses. While Freight is the broader term encompassing the movement of goods, Cartage focuses on the niche aspect of local transportation.
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From a customer perspective, when they're charged for Freight, it could mean the goods have traveled a long way. But if they see a Cartage fee, it would typically imply a local or shorter distance charge for delivery.
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Sep 18, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Scope

Broad (covers various modes of transport)
Narrow (usually restricted to local transportation by truck)
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Distance

Can be long-distance or short
Typically short-distance
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Charges

Can vary based on mode, distance, goods
Fee for local transport
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Usage

Refers to goods transported
Refers to the charge for transport
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Implication

Goods might've traveled vast distances or internationally
Goods were transported locally or over a shorter distance
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Compare with Definitions

Freight

Goods transported by a specific mode (e.g., air freight).
Air freight is faster but more expensive.
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Cartage

A charge for local transport.
There was an additional cartage fee on the invoice.
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Freight

Transporting goods commercially.
The company specializes in freight services across the country.
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Cartage

The work done by carters.
The cartage industry has evolved with the advent of trucks.
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Freight

Large load of transported goods.
The ship was carrying a heavy freight of coal.
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Cartage

The act of transporting goods locally.
The company offers cartage services within the city.
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Freight

Goods transported in bulk by truck, train, ship, or aircraft
A decline in the amount of freight carried by rail
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Cartage

Short-distance transportation of goods.
Cartage is often required for last-mile delivery.
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Freight

A freight train
I can hear the regular wail of the twelve o'clock freight from my house
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Cartage

The conveyance of something in a cart or other vehicle.
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Freight

A load or burden
These warm winds deposit their freight of moisture in showers of rain
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Cartage

The act or process of carting.
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Freight

Transport (goods) in bulk by truck, train, ship, or aircraft
The metals had been freighted from the city
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Cartage

The cost of carting.
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Freight

Be laden or burdened with
Each word was freighted with anger
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Cartage

The transport of goods by cart; carting
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Freight

Goods carried by a vessel or vehicle, especially by a commercial carrier; cargo.
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Cartage

Any vehicular transportation of goods.
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Freight

A burden; a load.
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Cartage

A charge made for such transport.
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Freight

Commercial transportation of goods.
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Cartage

The act of carrying in a cart.
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Freight

The charge for transporting goods. Also called freightage.
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Cartage

The price paid for carting.
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Freight

A railway train carrying goods only.
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Cartage

The work of carting
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Freight

To convey commercially as cargo.
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Cartage

Transporting goods within a specific area or region.
The warehouse provides cartage to nearby businesses.
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Freight

To load with goods to be transported.
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Freight

To imbue with a specified element or elements
Freighted her words with innuendo.
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Freight

(uncountable) The transportation of goods (originally by water; now also by land); also, the hiring of a vehicle or vessel for such transportation.
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Freight

(uncountable) Goods or items in transport; cargo, luggage.
The freight shifted and the trailer turned over on the highway.
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Freight

(countable) Payment for transportation.
The freight was more expensive for cars than for coal.
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Freight

(figuratively)
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Freight

(countable) A burden, a load.
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Freight

Cultural or emotional associations.
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Freight

(transitive)
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Freight

To load (a vehicle or vessel) with freight (cargo); also, to hire or rent out (a vehicle or vessel) to carry cargo or passengers.
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Freight

To transport (goods).
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Freight

(by extension) To load or store (goods, etc.).
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Freight

(figuratively) To carry (something) as if it is a burden or load.
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Freight

Chiefly followed by up: to carry as part of a cargo.
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Freight

(obsolete) Freighted; laden.
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Freight

That with which anything is fraught or laden for transportation; lading; cargo, especially of a ship, or a car on a railroad, etc.; as, a freight of cotton; a full freight.
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Freight

The sum paid by a party hiring a ship or part of a ship for the use of what is thus hired.
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Freight

Freight transportation, or freight line.
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Freight

Employed in the transportation of freight; having to do with freight; as, a freight car.
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Freight

To load with goods, as a ship, or vehicle of any kind, for transporting them from one place to another; to furnish with freight; as, to freight a ship; to freight a car.
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Freight

Goods carried by a large vehicle
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Freight

Transporting goods commercially at rates cheaper than express rates
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Freight

The charge for transporting something by common carrier;
We pay the freight
The freight rate is usually cheaper
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Freight

Transport commercially as cargo
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Freight

Load with goods for transportation
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Freight

Goods transported in bulk.
The freight arrived at the port on time.
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Freight

A charge for transporting goods.
The freight costs for the shipment were higher than expected.
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Common Curiosities

How is Freight charged?

Freight charges can vary based on mode of transport, distance, and nature of the goods.
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Is Cartage the same as Freight?

No, cartage specifically pertains to the charge for transporting goods locally, often by truck.
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What does Freight mean?

Freight refers to goods transported in bulk by various means like truck, train, ship, or aircraft.
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What does a Cartage fee represent?

A cartage fee represents the charge for local transportation of goods.
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Is Cartage only for short distances?

Typically, cartage refers to short-distance or local transportation of goods.
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Can Freight include international shipments?

Yes, Freight can include goods transported across international borders.
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Can a company specialize in both Freight and Cartage?

Yes, many logistics companies handle both long-distance freight and local cartage services.
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How can I determine if a charge is for Freight or Cartage?

Check the details. Freight charges may vary based on distance and mode, while cartage is for local transport.
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Is air transport considered Freight?

Yes, goods transported by air are referred to as air freight.
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Do all Freight shipments have Cartage fees?

Not necessarily. Cartage fees apply to local or short-distance deliveries.
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Can a package delivered to my home have both Freight and Cartage costs?

Yes, if it was transported over long distances (freight) and then delivered locally (cartage)
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Does Freight only refer to the goods transported?

While "freight" primarily refers to the goods, it can also denote the charge for transportation.
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Are Freight costs and Cartage costs listed separately on invoices?

Typically, yes. They can be itemized separately, especially if a third party handles the cartage.
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Are Freight and Cartage used in supply chain management?

Yes, both are integral parts of supply chain logistics.
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Is Cartage limited to trucks?

While cartage often involves trucks, it essentially means local transportation, regardless of the vehicle.
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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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