Shipping by Road vs Shipping by Rail

In the competitive shipping markets there are a wide range of options from which your business can choose – air, sea, road and rail.  The most popular of these include both road and rail, especially if you are shipping across town, country or even nation.  As the premier company for all your packing and crating needs, we would like to share the pros and cons of shipping your goods by either road or railway.

Shipping by Road

Shipping freight by road is the most common method and perhaps the most versatile.  Transporting goods by road ensures that your product is moved directly from your door to its destination.  Road shipping is mainly used for the distribution and delivery of retail cargo.


Some of the pros of moving your cargo via road include:

  • Freight can be delivered quickly and at a set schedule.
  • It is a very cost-effective method especially at short distances.
  • It allows door to door movement.
  • It can track cargo movement via GPS and satellite tracking.


Some of the drawbacks of using road shipping include:

  • Shipping limitations around cargo size and weight.
  • Not cost effective over long distances.
  • Slower than rail over lengthy stretches.
  • Not as environmentally friendly when compared to rail.

Shipping by Rail

Shipping goods by rail is a perfect fit for the long distances and challenges of Canadian shipping.  Freight trains can ship a wide variety of freight as well as commodities and may be the perfect fit for your long-distance shipping needs.


Some of the advantages of choosing rail include:

  • The greenest option for shipping with the smallest carbon footprint. Shipping by rail consumes less fuel per ton than does shipping freight via road.
  • Can carry far more freight, heavier items and a variety of cargo when compared to road.
  • Is a cheaper and quicker option, especially over long distances.


Some of the cons of shipping freight via rail include:

  • Additional costs may be incurred to move freight to its final destination. This is usually accomplished via road shipping.
  • Not economically viable over short distances.
  • Abnormal or cumbersome freight cannot be shipped via rail if the freight cannot fit in standard rail cars. (over height or oversize)

Choosing rail or road for your shipping needs usually depends on a wide range of variables.  These include the distances you are shipping freight, the type of cargo that you are transporting and the number of items that you need to ship.

If you need help understanding the pros and cons of each shipping method or are interested in seeing how we can assist you, please contact us today.  We look forward to hearing from you and would love to be a partner for all of your shipping, packing and crating needs.