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Everything You Need to Know About Expedited Freight Shipping

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Time-sensitive deliveries add pressure for shippers to move cargo quickly and reliably. In order to do so, everyone in the chain of logistics must be organized and ready to take action. Thankfully, when time is of the essence, expedited freight shipping is designed to handle this challenge smoothly to meet the growing demand for moving freight at record speed.

Learn what type of freight is most commonly expedited and what makes these hauls desirable for carriers.

What Is Expedited Freight Freight and Who Uses it?

Expedited freight involves the delivery of a large volume of product in a short period of time. Typically, ground freight shipments can take up to 10 business days, whereas expedited freight shipping usually takes 1–3 days.

Some of the industries that benefit from expedited freight shipping:


In the United States, drug shortages have increased by about 30% in 2023. Between quality control and high demand for certain drugs, pharmacies need to distribute new shipments of medication as quickly as possible.

Medical Supply Companies

Along with medications, pharmacies and health care centers often need other medical supplies delivered within short time frames. Hospitals often see device shortages in things like specimen collection materials, ventilators, surgical equipment, and general supplies.

Automotive Suppliers

Demand for automotive parts varies widely, which means suppliers often use expedited freight to get parts delivered on time. Whether a tire shop has an unexpected need for a certain type of wheel, a manufacturer needs parts from an OEM in a pinch, or a product shortage has been fulfilled, expedited shipping gets freight moving.


Retailers often deal with fluctuating demand and have to meet deadlines for seasonal shipments, making expedited freight a great option. For perishable products, retailers rely on expedited freight shipping to deliver on time to avoid losing product.


Companies that ship large quantities of products ordered online can benefit from expedited freight shipping. Anything requiring mass production may need shipments delivered quickly in order to fulfill orders.

Types of Vehicles Used for Expedited Freight

Sometimes in order to get a delivery expedited, carriers will deploy teams of drivers in various types of vehicles.

Straight Truck/Box Truck

These vehicles can transport 10–26 thousand lbs depending on the size, which makes them great for expedited shipping fleets.

Sprinter Van

Sometimes an expedited shipping company will disperse a large load across a team of several sprinter vans in order to make a tight deadline.

Dry Van

A dry van, or dry van trailer, is a large trailer 28, 48, or 53 feet long. These trucks look like a typical semi-truck, but they’re not temperature-controlled or rated for transporting wet goods.

Hot Shot

Hot shot trucking is usually fulfilled by a pickup or other medium-duty trucks that attach a flatbed trailer to the back of their vehicle. Depending on the truck and type of trailer used, hot shot trucking is a great solution for equipment, machinery, construction materials, or delicate freight.

Expedited shipping may also involve LTL shipments (Less Than Truck Load) in which a traditional-size semi-trailer may have room for your load among their other cargo.

Benefits of Expedited Shipping

Expedited shipping is the best option when loads need to be delivered in a pinch. For offering a fast, reliable, and guaranteed end-to-end shipment, carriers can increase rates based on weight, timeline, and product specifications.

Some of the benefits of expedited shipping are:

Attractive to Everyone Involved

One of the advantages of hiring an expedited freight carrier is that an expedited surcharge incentivizes brokers, carrier dispatchers, and individual drivers to take the job and get it done within a shorter time frame.

Fast and Reliable

Because you’re not relying on large traditional freight or one driver, expedited shipping is significantly faster than typical jobs. And trustworthy carriers will guarantee your product arrives on time.

More Affordable than Air

Expedited air freight is another option for quick turnaround times, but it’s much more expensive than ground freight. Expedited freight is your best bet when it comes to value.

Safer for Cargo

Since shipments spend less time in transit during expedited shipping, they have far less risk of damage. This can lower packaging costs and keep cargo safe.

Helps Control Inventory

Expedited shipping can help businesses maintain lean inventory and limit the products they need to pay to store. It also helps reduce additional costs, manage and handle long-term inventory

Overall, expedited shipping allows you to cover more ground in a shorter period of time.


When you need a delivery completed in a short time frame, there are several options for expedited freight shipping. By working with your broker or 3PL, you can find reliable carriers that are either dedicated to expedited shipping or who include it as an option in their operation. The carrier will then use one or more drivers to complete the delivery faster than a traditional shipment.
While traditional shipments take up to 10 business days, expedited freight shipping guarantees your delivery in 1–3 days, depending on the distance and availability.
If you absolutely need your product to arrive in a short amount of time, expedited freight shipping is definitely worth the cost. It’s still more affordable than air, faster than traditional freight, and guaranteed to arrive on time.

If you absolutely need your product to arrive in a short amount of time, expedited freight shipping is definitely worth the cost. It’s still more affordable than air, faster than traditional freight, and guaranteed to arrive on time.

Find More Expedited Freight

When you need expedited freight shipping, TruckStop’s Expedited Load Board is the perfect resource to connect shippers and carriers. Whether you need the basic tool to post lanes or search for loads, or the advanced plan with rate insights and real-time updates, you can find everything you’re looking for in this one central location.

With tens of thousands of expedited loads delivered daily, this load board connects you with trustworthy results and carriers you can depend on. Plus, with TruckStop’s Book It Now feature, you can secure an expedited freight delivery without waiting to hear back from dispatch.

Find the right solutions for your business and learn more about the Expedited Load Board today.

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