We realize how complex the different types of cargo descriptions might be as a firm with numerous years of experience in the importing sector. Anyone who is unfamiliar with freight transportation language may have difficulty understanding logistics phrases.

It’s important to note that each cargo description may have different requirements for handling, documentation, and customs clearance, so it’s essential to work with an experienced freight forwarder who can provide guidance and support throughout the shipping process.

It is important to recognize that different types of goods need distinct handling procedures, equipment, and paperwork. In this blog article, we’ll look at the various cargo descriptions available on our quote form and explain what they imply.

Air Cargo Descriptions

Air freight is a popular method of shipping cargo, particularly for time-sensitive or high-value goods. The two main types of air cargo descriptions are:

Air Cargo (Pallet)

This cargo description refers to freight that is loaded onto a pallet, which is then loaded onto an airplane. Palletized cargo is typically secured with straps or shrink wrap to prevent shifting during transport. Examples of palletized cargo include electronics, pharmaceuticals, and perishable goods.

Air Cargo (Consol)

Consolidation, or “consol” for short, refers to the practice of combining several smaller shipments into one larger shipment. Air cargo consolidation is particularly common for smaller, less time-sensitive shipments. By combining multiple shipments into one, shippers can save money on shipping costs. Examples of consolidated air cargo include clothing, toys, and small electronics.

Container Descriptions

Container shipping is a popular method for transporting large volumes of cargo, particularly between countries. There are two main types of container descriptions:

Container (20″)

A 20-foot container is a standard size for shipping cargo. This type of container is suitable for shipments of up to about 10 pallets or small vehicles. Examples of cargo that can be shipped in a 20-foot container include household goods, furniture, and machinery.

Container (40″)

A 40-foot container is twice the length of a 20-foot container and can hold more cargo. This type of container is suitable for larger shipments of up to about 20 pallets or multiple vehicles. Examples of cargo that can be shipped in a 40-foot container include building materials, heavy machinery, and large vehicles.

Other Cargo Descriptions

There are several other types of cargo descriptions that may be used on our quote form:

Groupage (LCL)

Groupage, also known as less-than-container load (LCL), refers to shipments that do not fill an entire container. Instead, multiple shipments are combined into one container for transport. This method is commonly used for smaller shipments or shipments to remote areas. Examples of LCL cargo include clothing, consumer goods, and food products.

Vehicle (RORO)

RORO stands for “roll-on/roll-off” and refers to the method of loading vehicles onto a shipping vessel. The vehicles are driven onto the ship and secured in place for transport. This method is commonly used for shipping cars, trucks, and other vehicles.

Vehicle (Containerized)

For higher-value or more delicate vehicles, containerized shipping may be preferred. This method involves loading the vehicle into a container for transport. Containers can be customized to accommodate the specific size and shape of the vehicle. This method is commonly used for shipping luxury cars, antique cars, and motorcycles.

Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods refer to materials that may pose a risk to health, safety, or the environment during transport. These goods are subject to strict regulations, and special handling and documentation are required. 

Examples of dangerous goods include chemicals, batteries, and explosives.

Dangerous goods and heavy-duty cargo require special handling and documentation due to the potential risks they pose. It’s important to work with an experienced freight forwarder who can ensure that all requirements are met to ensure safe transportation.

Heavy Duty

Heavy-duty cargo refers to large, heavy items that require specialized equipment and handling. This can include construction equipment, mining machinery, and oversized items such as wind turbine blades or transformers. 

Special permits and approvals may be required for heavy-duty shipments.

It’s important to work with an experienced freight forwarder who can ensure that all requirements are met to ensure safe transportation.

Different Types of Cargo Descriptions


In conclusion, understanding the different types of cargo descriptions listed on our quote form is crucial for a successful shipment. 

By providing the correct cargo description, shippers can ensure that their cargo is handled and transported in the most appropriate manner, reducing the risk of damage or delays. 

At our company, we have a team of logistics experts who can help you select the best cargo description for your shipment and provide end-to-end support for your freight shipping needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you with your next shipment.

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