Choosing the correct mode of transportation is not easy. Sometimes even the most expensive way of transportation can keep your total costs lower. The mode of transportation can either make or break your business, and that’s exactly why you should take a moment to inform yourself about different ways of transporting your goods.
Some ways of transportation are slower, some are more secure, and some are simply cheaper than others. Let’s take a look at some methods of transport:
Transporting by truck
This method of freight transport is used worldwide, but the quality of it may vary from region to region. Even if you choose to transport your goods by air or sea, you should know that a truck will be responsible for delivering your product from the port to the final destination. There are two methods of truck freight:
LTL – Less than truckload method involves smaller (about 1200 pounds heavy) orders that do not require entire space of a vehicle, and it’s the usual method of transport.
TL – Truckload freight shipments take up the weight or space of an entire trailer, and they typically travel on one truck from the port of arrival to their final destination.
TL method of freight is a wise choice if:
- There are enough items to fill an entire truck
- Shipping of items is time sensitive
- Your customers prefer a whole truck dedicated to one kind of item
- The weight of items makes it more cost-effective than LTL
Transporting by rail
Rail is commonly used for transporting bulk items stored in containers which can be easily moved from one mode to another. By using containers, business cut the cost of transportation and expedite shipping. Despite the fact that rail is not as flexible as road transport, it’s cheaper and more energy efficient, especially if long distances are involved.
The most important thing to consider when transporting items by rail is finding out whether a railroad company offers loading/unloading services. Sometimes you might have to hire a third-party to handle this, and that might leave a mark on your budget.
Transporting by air
Transporting your items by air is a wise choice if they’re urgent, time sensitive, and heavy since most companies do not impose weight limits.
Pros of air transport
- Low insurance costs
- Inexpensive warehousing
Cons of air transport
- Limited by the availability of major airports
Low-cost air shipping might become a reality, because of gigantic air freight drones, but we’ll have to wait at least a couple more years for that.
Transporting by sea
Transporting items by sea is the wisest choice if your shipment is large and not time-sensitive. The greatest thing about transporting items by sea is that you can ship almost anything. That’s possible because there are many different types of shipping containers.
Shipping containers are built to withstand almost anything, and they come in a variety of sizes. The best thing about them is that you can either buy them or rent them. Some companies, like Sea Container Sales and Hire, even offer second-hand containers, which you can hire or buy as a cost-effective solution. Here are some sea freight pros and cons:
- Cost – Transporting items by sea is still the cheapest way to transport goods directly to your customer
- Capacity – Cargo ships can carry a massive amount of cargo, unlike airplanes and trucks.
- Reliability – As someone once said, the sea is a cruel mistress. You can love her, you can hate her, but you can’t trust her.
- Speed – Freight ships are notoriously slow, and have a long distance to cover.
Everything depends on the situation, and it’s the same with transporting your goods. Choose speed over cost only if you’re sure that you’ll make a big profit!