For a company that only ships small parcels that weigh less than 100lbs, the number of options that you have to worry about when shipping your goods are relatively small. Everything should be fairly straight forward and it should be fairly easy for you to decide how to ship your goods.
Usually, the biggest decisions will be about how fast the delivery will be made, usually which will cost more with increasing speed. However, when you start shipping larger loads of cargo with a Chicago courier service, there are many more options to deal with. As you approach 10000lbs of shipping weight you will have to choose to either rent a portion of a truck load (LTL) or a full trailer (FTL).
Once you start shipping FTL there will be more options again to deal with, such as whether you require flatbed trailers or refrigerated trailers for moving your shipments. To avoid ordering something you in no way need, it is important to understand these terms before having to place shipping orders of this magnitude.
Trailers which can be refrigerated are generally going to be fairly more expensive than a regular trailer, and are not something that you need to worry about unless you ship goods which could be damaged by the heat. This is typically something that is a worry for companies who are shipping medical material, pharmaceuticals, or perishable food products which need to be kept cool.
Food is the largest user of refrigerated units as it much be transported quickly and coolly if it is to keep from spoiling and still be able to be sold in the supermarkets in its destination cities.
Flatbed trailers are used for more specialized hauling applications than refrigerated trailers. A flatbed trailer is a large, open trailer that is simply one large platform on wheels to be hauled by a semi. These are used primarily for hauling goods which are too large to be stored inside a storage container type trailer.
Quite often you will see vehicles or large machinery being hauled on flatbed trailers, as well as extremely wide loads which could not fit in a regular trailer. The widest of these loads are sometimes large industrial components for oil platforms or manufacturing facilities, as well as houses and other structures which are sometimes moved. These exceptionally wide loads are also slow moving and require pilot vehicles to mark their progress, increasing the cost a great deal if they are required.