The freight shipping process can appear complex on the surface, especially to first time or small business shippers. While we all wish shipping freight could be as simple as sending a message in a bottle, the reality is, there are a number of regulations and processes in place to ensure valuable freight is safely delivered to its final destination. There are a number of helpful resources for industry experts that you can refer to in order to maximize efficiency. To make the experiences easier we would like to answered the most common shipping questions.
What Is Truckload Shipping?
Truckload shipping is the movement of large amounts of homogeneous cargo, generally the amount necessary to fill an entire semi-trailer 48′ or 53′ or intermodal container. A truckload carrier is a trucking company that generally contracts an entire trailer-load to a single customer.
Truckload Equipment Options
Generally speaking, you can choose between flatbed, dry van, and refrigerated trailer. Each has its own purpose and use to best fit your needs…
- Flatbed – Flatbed shipping is transportation for cargo that may not require the enclosure of a dry van, cannot be loaded or unloaded from a dock or does not fit within the dimensions of standard truck trailers. A flatbed’s design allows for cranes and forklifts to load goods from all angles.
- Dry Van – Dry van shipping refers to the vehicle or compartment used to haul shipments. They’re considered the most common type of freight transportation, and they’re designed to haul pallets or boxes of cargo, as well as most any other type of equipment.this kind of trailer is used when there aren’t specific temperature requirements.
- Refrigerated – A refrigerated trailer is used when freight must be temperature controlled. These trailers not only ship food but also plants, medication, personal care products and other kinds of freight that require refrigeration.
As you can see the equipment you choose depends on the freight you are shipping.
How Does a Shipper Choose Between Less then Truckload (LTL) and Truckload?
Less than truckload or LTL is a method of shipping that allows shippers to only pay for trailer space that they use per shipment. These are “less” than full truckload shipments. LTL shipments may consist of one to ten pallets that weigh anywhere from one hundred to ten thousand pounds. Full truckload is for shippers that have enough freight to fill an entire trailer on their own. It is also used when pickup or delivery times aren’t flexible. Based on your freight needs, you can choose a method of shipping that works for your deadlines, budget, and requirements.
How Much Weight Can a Full Truckload Accommodate?
Generally, full truckload shipping allows shippers to ship up to 44,000 pounds in a single shipment. Dry Vans are capable of carrying up to 45,000 pounds. Before booking a shipment, you should ask the carrier what the weight capacity of the trailer is to make sure the freight won’t exceed that amount.
What Are Some Truckload Best Practices To Consider?
The strategy behind moving raw materials and finished goods from one place to another has been one of the challenges faced by suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers since the dawn of commerce. Every method of shipping has recommended best practices that assist in achieving a more positive shipping experience. Truckload freight shippers should keep the following best practices in mind…
- Shipping Trends – Keeping abreast of trends in the shipping industry can help you gauge when demand is lowest for the lane you want to ship in and what the going rate is.
- Consistent Shipping Schedule – Due to driver shortages and increasing regulations, keeping a consistent shipping schedule will increase your chances of becoming a preferred customer.
- Flexibility – It is best to be flexible when a shipping schedule is more sporadic with delivery times. Plan far enough ahead to make sure a carrier is able to fit your freight into their schedule.
While these aren’t the only common questions and answers related to the freight shipping industry, we hope this post serves as a useful resource the next time your small business has freight to ship. Truckload shipping has many variables and questions associated with it, but working with freight shipping experts can make it much easier.
About American Lighthouse Transportation
American Lighthouse Transportation has been serving shippers with honesty and integrity throughout the United States, since 1998. You can depend on our experienced and knowledgeable management team, drivers, and support for all your shipping needs. We communicate effectively to make sure your shipment arrives safely, accurately, and on-time! You can count on us for personalized customer service, expert guidance, accurate anticipation of potential setbacks, and possible workarounds and solutions.
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