Transloading is a great option if you are not able to reach your final destination with just one mode of transportation. Two of the most common uses of transloading are rail-truck or ocean-truck transportation. Transloading is a great way for you to get your goods from one point to another using two (or more) modes of transportation.
Before you decide to integrate transloading in your transport plan, there are some things that you should keep in mind. Here are some basic rules so that you can include transloading properly into your transport plan.
Not All Containers Are Created Equal
If you are going from ocean containers to domestic trailers, then you need to realize they are very different in size. As a matter of fact 3 of the 40’ ocean containers will fit into 2-53’ domestic trailers or containers. This means that in order to save money you are going to want to avoid directly loading the ocean containers onto a trailer. If you are going the other way (truck to ocean), you will need to plan for the extra containers that you will need to complete the shipment.
Don’t Forget to Add Time
Shipping directly (if you can) typically costs more than using transloading. The issue is that transloading takes additional time. Containers need to be loaded (or unloaded) and then moved to the second mode of transportation. Sometimes the shipping times for rail or ocean do not match up directly with your needs. Before leveraging transloading services, make sure that the additional time added will not make your delivery late or even too late to be accepted. Nobody needs a load of Christmas decorations in July, so plan appropriately.
Use Customs Effectively
If you are shipping internationally and by ocean, then you are going to have to cleared customs. Not doing so will hold up your shipment until the proper documentation is filed and finished. By clearing customs at the port, you will not have to worry about any problems inland. This can add flexibility in your cargo handling and can help to eliminate the expenses associated with moving the cargo in bond.
Does the Math Work Out?
Realize that transloading is not a magic bullet. There is a tradeoff of costs that is going to happen. Before committing to transloading, make sure that the added costs of handling your goods is going to outweigh the costs of transportation.
Don’t Wait until the Last Minute
Transloading takes some logistics in order to work properly. This means that you cannot expect a transloader to be able to handle your shipment at the last minute. You need plenty of time to work out the timing of the shipment and coordinate all of the moving parts. Make sure to include all of the players in your supply chain to avoid issues.
Trust Cratex for your Transloading Needs
Need help setting up transloading services for your company? Contact Cratex Group today!