Cargo Transport in Foreign Trade: Unveiling International Road Freight

For companies involved in the production or distribution of goods, transportation plays a fundamental role in the operation, growth, and prosperity of their businesses. Among the various available modes of transportation, international road freight stands out as a versatile and relevant option for foreign trade.

In this article, we will explore the concept of international road freight, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as crucial factors to consider during the service quotation.

What is International Road Freight?

International road freight refers to the fee charged for the transportation of goods between two countries via roadways. This service encompasses everything from collecting the cargo to delivering it to its final destination. In Brazil, road transportation has become a predominant choice for foreign trade, accounting for more than half of the country’s logistics operations.

Advantages of International Road Freight

International road freight offers several advantages, such as:

  • Door-to-Door Service: Road freight provides the convenience of direct transportation from the origin to the final destination, facilitating the logistics of delivery.
  • Higher Frequency and Availability: A well-developed road network enables higher frequency and availability of access routes, contributing to shorter delivery times.
  • Speed and Flexibility: Road transportation is fast and flexible, allowing for quick handling of cargo and route adjustments if necessary.
  • Quick Vehicle Replacement: In case of accidents or breakdowns, vehicle replacement is faster and more efficient, minimizing disruptions to operations.
  • Ideal for Short and Medium Distances: Road freight is particularly suitable for short and medium-distance trips, expediting the delivery of goods.

Disadvantages of International Road Freight

On the other hand, some disadvantages of international road freight are:

  • Lower Load Capacity: Compared to water and rail transport, road transportation has a lower load capacity.
  • Higher Operational Costs: Road freight can be more expensive when compared to rail and sea freight.
  • Efficiency Affected by Congestion: During times of heavy congestion, road efficiency can be reduced, affecting delivery times.

Brazilian Road Network

Brazil has an extensive road network, representing over 64% of national transportation, according to the National Confederation of Transport (CNT). However, a significant portion of these roads is unpaved, which can pose logistical and environmental challenges.

National Policy for Minimum Freight Rates for Road Cargo Transportation

The National Policy for Minimum Freight Rates for Road Cargo Transportation was established in response to truck driver protests in 2018. This policy aims to provide minimum conditions for freight operations within the national territory, ensuring adequate compensation for the services provided.

Quoting International Road Freight

Quoting international road freight is an essential process for assessing the costs and feasibility of a transportation operation. Several factors should be considered when calculating the freight cost, including:

  • Distance to the Final Destination: The longer the distance traveled, the higher the costs related to vehicle displacement, fuel, and equipment wear and tear.
  • Fuel Prices: Fuel prices, especially diesel, vary by region and the oil market, directly influencing the freight cost.
  • Tolls: Tolls are important for financing road maintenance and vary depending on the route.
  • Road Quality: Road quality impacts transportation efficiency and vehicle wear and tear.
  • Delivery Deadline: The more urgent the cargo delivery, the higher the freight cost.
  • Type, Value, Weight, and Volume of Cargo: Cargo characteristics influence transportation costs.
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Fees: Costs related to vehicle maintenance and mandatory fees should be considered in the freight quote.

Importance of International Road Freight Quotation

A detailed quotation for international road freight is essential for transportation and purchasing companies to understand the costs involved in an operation. This allows for more informed decision-making, process optimization, and the offering of more cost-effective services.

Basic Considerations When Choosing Road Freight

When opting for road freight for foreign trade operations, it is essential to take some basic precautions, such as:

  • Checking the transportation company’s authorization for international operations.
  • Ensuring that the company has acquired the mandatory insurance for liability arising from the transportation contract.
  • Verifying that the company has calculated the freight correctly.


International road freight plays an essential role in foreign trade operations, providing flexibility, speed, and efficiency in the movement of goods between countries. Understanding crucial aspects of freight quotation and taking precautions when choosing the road freight mode is fundamental for companies to carry out their operations more strategically, efficiently, and competitively in the global market. By considering international road freight as a logistics option, companies can make more informed decisions, ensuring the success of their international transactions.

What is Cheap2Ship?

Get to know Cheap2Ship, a technology company specializing in logistics and foreign trade. Through our advanced freight management and quoting platform, medium and large companies have experienced a significant increase in operational efficiency and a reduction in logistics costs.

Our commitment is to provide greater transparency in the costs related to current freight providers, such as shipping companies, freight agents, and carriers. With this, our customers can make more informed and strategic decisions for their businesses.

To learn more about our innovative solutions, visit our website and follow us on social media. There, you will find relevant content on foreign trade, logistics, and the supply chain. We are ready to drive the success of your company in the global market. Join us and discover how we can make a difference for your business.