When shipping freight is one facet of your business, there are a number of logistics companies that can handle this task for you. Before you commit your freight to a transportation company, it is a good idea to get some references and to shop around for the best quotes. Those quotes will vary depending on the shipping option you choose. In some cases, you may have to chose one option over the other due to time, handling or temperature constraints. In other cases, you may have enough wiggle room to choose the least expensive mode.
Here are three shipping options available to you.
Third-party logistics, aka 3pl shipping, has become a popular shipping option over the last few years. A logistics company essentially takes over the product warehousing, order fulfillment and freight forwarding duties for its client. Additionally, the client is keep apprised of the status of the goods at all times. Completely outsourcing freight responsibilities can be a valuable money and time saver that allows you to focus on other aspects of your business.
Intermodal is a shipping option that combines rail, ship and truck. As the freight travels, it remains in its container and is not touched when it changes from one transport mode to another. Intermodal has grown in popularity because it has proven to be efficient due to the rail component. Since trains receive the right of way on the road and do not have to battle traffic, rail transport is productive. Additionally, rail transport is not affected by higher gas prices and labor shortages, so it remains cost-efficient.
Over the Road
Over the road (OTR) shipping offers the most flexibility in regards to the types of freight that can be handled. OTR can accommodate products that require a certain temperature setting like food products, are less than a truckload or must be transported on a flatbed. Shipments that must arrive by a certain date and time, for example, should be sent OTR since the rest of the load can be worked around the time-sensitive one. When shipments are less than a truckload but exceed a certain volume, OTR will offer the best rate, too.
Ensuring your freight is delivered on-time and without damages does not have to be time-consuming. Transportation companies offer third-party logistics, intermodal and over the road options that get the job done.