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Monday, October 31, 2011

Point A to Point B

Shipping something from Point A to Point B sounds like it should be as easy as calling up a few freight companies and figuring out who has the best deal. If only it really were that simple. No, when it comes to shipping your freight, a lot more planning and logistics has to go into it.

Planning Out the Route
While the majority of us can hop in a car, punch some directions into our GPS, and just go where the nice lady with the slightly digital voice tells us, those hauling freight, particularly oversized freight, have to put a little bit more thought into how they get to their final destination.

Unlike a car, which the majority of roads are built for, trucks hauling freight don't fit onto every road and under every overpass. While overpasses are, generally speaking, built to allow standard sized trailers go underneath them without any problem, trucks hauling oversized and overweight freight may have to make allowances for road conditions.

Conditions such as overpasses, bridges, trees, and utility poles and lines all have to be factored in when moving freight that is outside the usual dimensions. This can add miles and hours to a trip that when more direct would be far more efficient. This also adds time to the planning phase of preparing to ship the freight and is something that should be taken into account when figuring our your timeline.

Loading Up the Truck
Unlike the movers you hired to help you get into your new house, not every freight company offers door to door service. Some will require you to have what you need shipped brought to them, a step that increases not only the time required, but also the costs as you'll have to pay to have your freight brought to the terminal where it will be loaded onto the truck that will eventually haul it to another terminal, off-loading it to another truck for delivery.

There are companies that offer door to door service so it's definitely worth checking into them as they can end up saving you time and money in the long run, as well as take another step of logistics out of your already hectic planning.

Special Shipping Needs
Don't forget to work with your freight company to make sure that any special needs your items need are met. While shipping palates full of pillows doesn't really require much in the way of planning, shipping 10 tonnes of crab meat will require planning for a refrigerated trailer to keep the meat from spoiling.

Most of the special needs should be able to be covered by any freight company, but when seeking one out it's good to bring up your needs so that you know if they can meet them before committing to too much and then finding out later that they can't and having to start your search all over again.

Call Around
The most important step is to comparison shop. Much like any other product or service you would buy, freight shipping companies are not all the same, and finding the one that fits your needs will require talking to several of them to find out what they offer and making sure those services match your needs. Finding the perfect mix of time, money, and services is absolutely possible, provided you put in the time to find them. Plan far enough ahead to give yourself the time to find that company.

Steve Falco is a trucker with experience in LTL shipping services and heavy haul trucking. To learn more about these types of services and others, visit Access America Transport at:

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