4 Jun

What’s the Difference Between Freight and Cargo?

  • By: mike
  • freight shipping
  • Comments Off on What’s the Difference Between Freight and Cargo?

You know these terms are both associated with transportation of goods, but perhaps you’ve confused them before. In that case, you’re not the only one. People in the transportation industry mistake the terms all the time.

However, there is a difference between freight and cargo and if you’re in this industry as well, you probably want to use the terms correctly in the future. In this article, we will try to explain it.


If we take a look at the meaning of the words, freight refers to goods transported by trucks or trains while cargo refers to goods transported by ship or plane (you’ve probably heard or cargo ships and cargo planes). Freight is often used to denote cargo transported via trucks or ships. But we can say with certainty that the term freight refers to commercial goods only, while cargo does not.


The term cargo can be used to refer to any goods being transported by plane or ship including mail. Unlike freight, cargo does not include the payment for the transportation of the goods. The confusion between the two terms lies mostly in the fact that the transportation fees charged are also called freight charges. Are you confused yet?

So to sum it up, the word freight can be used to refer to different things. It can be used to describe both the goods and the transportation fees. Even though initially cargo only referred to goods transported via ships or planes and freight referred to goods transported via smaller trucks, the difference is somewhat blurred sometimes.

Read our article on what is freight shipping in Los Angeles for further insights. We hope we’ve made the difference between the terms a bit clearer now. If you have any questions or need help shipping freight or cargo, contact us for a free quote at SMExpress. We’re available 24/7.


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