What are liner and tramp services? – Odisha Diary

A freight shipping company is a company that transports goods and materials by land, air or sea. Companies often specialize in one mode of transport or offer a combination of services. There are two major freight shipping companies: liner services and tramp services.

Liner services operate regular routes, picking up and delivering goods to pre-determined locations and times. This type of service is offered by container ships, which can transport large amounts of cargo. Tramp services, on the other hand, do not have fixed timetables. Instead, they wait for freight to be offered to them by customers who need to ship items urgently or at a discount. Because they have no regular routes, tramps often travel to many different destinations.

Freight forwarding can be a complicated process, so it’s essential to understand the differences between liner and tramp services before deciding which one to use. By knowing what each type of service offers, you can decide which one best suits your needs.

What are the main differences between the two?

Loading capacity

Liner ships are container ships, which means they can hold large amounts of cargo. Tramp vessels generally do not carry containers and instead rely on smaller shipments. This often leads to an inflated price for freight shipping with tramp services.


Since tramp services do not have fixed routes, they visit many different destinations. Liner services usually stick to pre-determined routes, which often means they don’t go to as many places.


Liner services offer fixed schedules, while tramp services do not. This can be beneficial or harmful, depending on your needs. Tramp services are probably not the best option if you need to ship something urgently. However, if you have some flexibility in schedules, tramp services can often be cheaper than line services.

Service quality

Quality of service may vary between line and tramp services. Liner services are often more reliable as they have fixed schedules and operate on a routine basis. Tramp services can be of more variable quality, depending on the individual company.


The cost of ocean freight is generally higher with tramp services due to their smaller loading capacity and lack of fixed routes. However, if you are shipping freight urgently or need a discounted price, tramp services may be better.


Tramp services are generally more flexible than liner services. This can be an advantage if you need to ship something on short notice or at a reduced price. However, it can also mean that tramp services are less reliable overall.


Line services have been around longer and are usually run by larger companies. They often have more experience than tramp services. Tramp services may be newer and smaller, but they can still provide quality service.


The reputation of a freight forwarding company is essential to consider when deciding which one to use. Online services generally have a better reputation because they are established and have been in business longer. Tramp services may be newer, but that doesn’t mean they can’t offer quality service. It would be best to do your research to find the best company for your needs.


Liner services are generally more specialized than tramp services. For example, liner services may specialize in shipping container freight, while tramp services may specialize in truck freight. This specialization often leads to a better quality of service.

What to consider when choosing between line and tramp services

The size of your shipment

The size of your shipment will significantly determine the choice between liner and tramp services. If you have a big cargo, liner services are the best option. Tramp services may be more affordable if you have a small or medium shipment.

The urgency of your shipment

If your shipment is urgent, tramp services will probably not be the best option. Liner services offer fixed schedules and operate on a set routine, which often means they can ship freight faster than tramp services.

The destination of your shipment

Tramp services may be the only option if you are shipping freight to a remote location. Liner services usually stick to pre-determined routes, which means they may not serve as many places.