Freight terminals can be classified by their size, the added value they provide, and their function:
- Gateway. A world class gateway should contain the whole range of value-added activities related to transportation, from financing to modal and intermodal infrastructures. Still, basic gateways can also exist, mainly focusing on transferring cargo between maritime and inland transport systems.
- Transshipment hub. A port terminal that dominantly specializes in the transshipment of containerized cargo from one shipping network to another. Since limited handling is done on cargo, transshipment hubs provide lower levels of added value.
- Logistics zone. An agglomeration (clustering) of logistics activities in a managed real estate segment.
- Freight village. A logistics zone, or an element of a logistics zone specializing in services.
- Intermodal terminal. A facility transferring cargo between either rail or barge transport systems and road. Commonly acts as a load center for an inland market.
- Satellite terminal. Perform a very specific function such as transloading, often in the vicinity of a gateway. Some satellite terminals, such as in Los Angeles, are very significant at providing specialized freight distribution activities.
Logistics zones are often co-located (associated) with port or intermodal terminal facilities. If co-located with a port terminal, the term port-centric logistics zone is used. If co-located with an intermodal terminal, the term inland port (or dry port) is used. Such facilities command the distribution of a vast market area and act as inland load centers. Some inland port facilities like Chicago or Kansas City can have substantial added value activities.