Ever wonder how the goods for your home are transported? Building an efficient supply chain network of various modes of transportation is necessary. Understanding the weaknesses and strengths of each method is essential to building an effective supply chain. Below is a list of principal modes of transportation that are used to transport goods to your home.
Road freight is the most common mode of transportation. It is the most versatile mode of transport with minor geographical constraints due to the continued improvement of road infrastructure and vehicles. It is the preferred mode to carry smaller loads over short distances and is the only model capable of door-to-door delivery.
In the home remodeling industry, 20.3% of improvements were exterior improvements such as installing new siding or roofing. Every wonder how these common products are transported? Anything ranging from small to medium quantities is shipped by road, and small packages are usually transported in vehicles equivalent to a personal car. Companies specializing in e-commerce deliver packages to clients with a truck. The two forms of road transport are Truck Load (TL) and Less than Truck Load (LTL).
LTL handles smaller shipments to respective locations along specified routes. The truck will make stops depending on the number of shipments, and the cargo is transferred to different trucks multiple times along the way. The only downside for this model is that shipping may take longer, increasing the possibility of the shipment being damaged.
TL is much faster than LTL as trucks go from origin to your home without additional transfers and stops. However, a shipper has to ship a lot of cargo to make the shipment economical.
External influences, including traffic, weather, and road regulations, are the downside of road transport. Finding an experienced driver is also becoming increasingly challenging, which has led to an increase in intermodal transportation.
The growth of world GDP has increased the demand for higher-value goods. The world air cargo traffic has continued to grow to cater to the increased demand. Air freight is an essential mode of transport that serves supply chains and markets that demand speed.
Industries such as retail and automotive utilize air freight which helps them achieve just in time (JIT) inventory replenishment. JIT minimizes storage and inventory costs, provides greater flexibility, and enables production lines and stores to order items.
Perishable goods, including flowers, foods, and pharmaceuticals, take advantage of shorter transit times. Air freight ensures less handling of the cargo to minimize the likelihood of theft or damage.
The downside of air freight is that it can be expensive due to the fuel that is used and has weight and size limitations. Regulatory bodies limit items that can be transported by air, and oversized items are suitable for other modes of transport.
Rail transport is considered a green option transport mode as it burns less fuel per ton-mile than vehicles. A train ferrying over 100 wagons only requires one driver; however, additional costs are bound to be incurred when a road delivery is needed at the end of rail transit.
Longer journeys, on average, are less expensive by rail, while shorter trips cost less by road. The point of neutrality is usually governed by various factors, which are commodity and route-specific and lie in the range of 130 to 150 miles.
If an effective plan is set, rail is usually a quick and effective mode of transport as all containers are transported to your home at a go. It is an environmentally friendly option as trains release less carbon dioxide than planes.
Sea transport usually handles cargoes bigger in size and volume. Ocean freight is a less expensive mode of shipping goods; however, it takes time before delivering them to clients. A benefit for maritime freight is that weight and size are not an issue.
The mode of transport is used extensively in moving bulk commodities, including agri-products, iron ore, coal, petroleum, and crude oil. More oversized items, including propellers and engines, are transported in this mode depending on the sensitivity of the delivery time. Because it is a less expensive mode of shipping, 95% of cargo is transported on high-volume ships.
Multimodal solutions utilize more than a single mode of transport. It combines different transportation modes, including road, rail, and sea, allowing clients to manage shipments cost-effectively to ensure efficiency and optimum care. Reports indicate that at least 12 million rail cars, locomotives, trucks, and vessels move commodities over the transportation network.
A good example is combining cross-region rail networks with the truck. Providers continually offer such solutions along with the laid down infrastructure to deliver goods to clients.
There are various options for transporting goods. Clients should prioritize their needs and compare costs when planning the shipment. Knowing what mode of transport is best for your company helps you make informed decisions to create a winning supply chain to expand your business.