The haulage industry is the silent backbone of any vibrant economy. Just as telecommunications signals run eternally through fibre optics, and just as radio signals are sent over invisible airways continuously, likewise there are always trucks on the roads, ships on the seas, and planes in the air carrying goods.The heart of the successful trade of these goods is a solid legal agreement. Without it no trade works because no matter how reliable the service, the organisation of the delivery between the two parties is not guaranteed.Independent contractorsPerhaps the most straightforward of transport contracts are those where a company has the clout and leverage to arrange their own delivery. Usually these companies have their own lorries and depots and are able to move their own goods from the warehouse. The agreements, often intra-organisational, are hence often nominal yet necessary for international border crossing.CharteringMost common in shipping, a charterer is a party who arranges transport contracts whereby they hire a ship or a shipbroker to transport their own cargo. In other instances, this agreement is used to hire ships without cargo and then the charterer can lease the ship space for a higher rate to other parties. The essence of this agreement is that the chartered vessel is hired for a specific time and on a specific route.Private contractsThe private contract differs from chartering transport contracts in that a vessel is not hired by the agreement. Rather, a sender or forwarding agent and a transport company agree to move a package or cargo by various means, usually internationally. This can involve the sender filling a complete haul or crate or container, or a container can be shared and multiple packages can utilise the one delivery. This is the most common form of agreement in international delivery, when the initiator of the agreement needs to find the most efficient and speedy way to move a package but they do not charter ships or have the finance to have their own transport.ConsolidationSince grouping packages into one delivery is a major way of saving money in transport contracts, consolidation is a very common agreement. In this case, an intermediary or grouping agent contacts the sender of goods and the transport company and arranges for different packages, often from multiple senders, to be grouped together into the one container. This effectively assures a transporter a full load so that they save money, while at the same time the sender of smaller packages does not need to pay for a full load. The intermediary makes a profit in this agreement principally because they intend to save the other parties money.