Transloading, or the process of transferring cargo between varying means of transportation from its source to its final destination, is becoming ever more popular in the industrial shipping industry with each passing day. This process covers products from stereos to dangerous chemicals, and can cover all kinds of transportation from rail to truck to airline to ocean liner.
Transloading is not a new process—it has been around in some form or another since the combination of horse-and-buggy and railcar and the early days of the steam engine. However, it is a process enjoying a major resurgence, having increased by a full 50% in the past 14 years alone, and it only shows signs of increasing in popularity.
A Complex Process
This is an extremely complex process that often requires the use of a logistics management firm to handle all of the variables involved. For example, the containers needed to move liquid nitrogen are far different than the shipping crates used to move sports equipment. However, when done correctly, there are many advantages, including:
- Fast resupplying of inventory
- Low transportation costs
- Fast turnover and reduced storage costs
In order to obtain these advantages, it is vital that the efficiency of the transloading process is maintained and optimal.
Meeting the Challenge
Clearly, the object is to get cargo from one point to another with minimal impact on the environment, or loss of inventory. Recently, the skyrocketing costs of fuel and issues regarding equipment and driver shortages combined with a growing demand for services, have created an unfavorable economic situation when it comes to maintaining their own long-haul fleet.
A long-distance shipping company cannot afford its cargo holds to be devoid of cargo on any given trip, out or back. Using a transloading company allows the company to reduce both the costs of maintaining a fleet of long-haul trucks and the risk of empty cargo holds.
For shipping companies who move cargo more than 300 miles on a regular basis, transloading is a viable solution for increasing efficiency. Adopting transloading as a solution for shipping needs not only decreases your costs by reducing the size of the company’s fleet, but adds a huge number of other efficiency- and cost-related advantages through combining shipments with other vendors. Some of these combination-related enhancements include:
- Product Shipments
- Labeling and tracking
Since a given shipping company will often deal with multiple vendors at the same time, the costs are shared between the various companies. In addition, much larger volumes of cargo can be shipped at once. Moving the equivalent of four truckloads of cargo by railcar, for example, carries roughly the cost of only 2.5 truckloads of cargo by long-haul trucking. All of this, combined with a strong logistics management provider, can wildly increase the speed, efficiency, and smoothness of a company’s supply chain.
Shifting to a transloading solution from a traditional long-haul trucking solution can not only save time and money, but can increase the overall efficiency of a shipping chain. If you have any questions about industrial shipping or what kinds of storage to use, feel free to drop us a line.