Your company’s supply chain and shipment routes are critical to ensuring maximum success for your business. Every move that your shipments take affects your bottom line. Oftentimes, it’s actually more cost-effective to use more than one mode of transportation to get your shipments to their destinations.
What is Transloading?
Modern businesses rely on the import of raw materials and manufactured goods, which are shipped in to ports from abroad. It is often not practical to simply send the goods straight to destination. All of the goods in a given container don’t always ship to a single location, final destinations can be far away, and use of ocean containers inland can be very expensive. This calls for a solution.
Transloading is the process of moving a shipment from one piece of equipment to another. Typically, container transloading involves a process such as picking up a container from port, bringing it to a warehouse, unloading it, consolidating and reloading the cargo onto a truck, and heading out to its final destination.
Naturally, due to increased international trade and the growth of ecommerce, over the years transloading services have become more common, and transloading is now a standard method of shipping goods for many companies.
Transloading vs. Cross Docking
Compared to transloading services, cross docking services involve the unloading of products from a truck onto another truck for delivery with the goods spending little time on a dock. This is common for LTL or smaller shipments that are commingled with other shippers’ goods that travel together part of the way to destination. With container transloading, products are completely unloaded from their container and reloaded onto a truck for the same customer, for packaging, time, or cost reasons.
Transloading vs. Intermodal Transportation
The key difference between container transloading and intermodal transportation is that with intermodal shipping, the products being shipped stay in the same container for the entire haul. Transloading, as mentioned previously, involves the consolidation of or movement of freight prior to loading onto its final delivery vehicle. Sometimes it can be beneficial to use transloading as a compliment to intermodal shipments.
When Transloading is Used
Transloading typically comes into play for one of two reasons—either a shipment is traveling a long way from the port or rail ramp to its delivery location, or a shipment is being delivered to multiple locations.
Benefits of Transloading
Reduced Shipping Costs
Container transloading services allow you to implement greater fuel efficiency and reduce empty transportation costs, such as returning containers back to their ports. Ultimately, because transloading is an efficient method of transportation for shipments, it helps reduce domestic freight spend. Consolidated loads and flexible transportation modes lower costs, as well.
With transloading, you may not even be required to manage or store shipments before they are shipped to your customer. You should be sure to choose a transloading facility with the correct equipment, proper insurance, and a convenient location to the port or rail.
Faster Delivery Speed
Transloading allows companies who are on the hunt for a competitive advantage in delivering their products quickly, to do so while saving time. Transloading allows you to speed up your supply chain, often cutting days off cycle times with reduced shipment dwell times. Products don’t end up sitting at ports, terminals, or warehouses awaiting their next transfer.
Speed and customer service often go hand in hand, particularly for customers eager to receive their ecommerce purchases. Positioning your products closer to your customer gives your business an edge in today’s competitive market.
Increased Supply Chain Efficiency
Transloading can be a part of a larger supply chain strategy that provides improved inventory control management and materials handling.
Pay Attention to Your Shipping Container Weight
Illegally overweight containers often come into the United States. What may be of legal weight limits overseas is not always legal here. It’s important to know the weight of your shipment, and declare the correct weight to your trucker. It’s better to properly plan and spend a few dollars to transload shipments rather than being burdened with delays and fees born from being sent back to the port or warehouse, and costly fines imposed by the DOT due to illegal container weight.
Why You Need a Reputable Transloading Company
Trusting one transloading company with your shipments is often easier and more efficient—you have one POC, one invoice, and chargeable detention and waiting times aren’t a concern, as your transloading needs are all handled by one company.
Ground Force offers all-in-one container and truck transloading services to get your shipments to their final destinations as efficiently as possible. We have warehousing availability in almost every major city in the United States. Our staff has the experience to manage the proper handling of your cargo, and we work with jib-cranes, extended forks, drum grabbers, and overhead lifts on a daily basis for goods that are not packaged on standard skids.
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