3 flatbed freight shipping tips.
March 16, 2016
The list of products hauled by flatbed is long and diverse, everything from construction material to airplane wings. When you consider the trailer variations needed to move this assorted freight, finding the right truck may seem like a challenge - flatbed shipments do require special attention to detail. No worries though, we'll help you figure out what you need to consider. You'll have that flatbed shipment on the road in no time.
1. Understand your freight.
So, what are the particulars? Let's walk through the questions you'll need to answer each time you have a flatbed shipment. This will inform the rest of the shipping process and refine your equipment choices.
What commodities are you shipping?
Flatbed freight needs to be secured. Your carrier will need to know what you're shipping to ensure they have the right accessories for your product.
Is the product new or used? What is the cargo's value?
This information will be used to determine if the carrier has enough liability coverage to haul your freight.
What are the dimensions and weight?
Since there are no physical limitations for flatbed freight, over dimension and overweight freight is common. Your provider will need to verify all the correct permits are in place if they are required.
Are tarps required?
Not every load requires tarps, so not every truck will have them available. Your freight professional will find you the right truck if your freight needs covered.
Are there any other accessories required to safely transport the product like chains, corner protectors, dunnage, pipe stakes or coil racks?
Like tarps, all accessories require communication to make sure the right equipment is on the truck to safely transport your freight.
How will the product be loaded and unloaded?
Your freight service provider will refine the equipment choices based on how your freight needs to load. For instance, if you plan to load your freight from a loading dock, they won't send in a step deck since it isn't dock height. And if you plan to load with a crane, they'll cross a conestoga off the list since it has a roof.
Where are the pickup and delivery locations? If they are job sites, will there be crews waiting?
Riggers and crews are expensive. A service provider that understands the importance of deadlines will consider timing when they assign a carrier.
We know that's a lot to pull together, but you'll be thankful you did your homework. It puts you a step closer to the right equipment for your freight.
2. Know the trailers.
Take the time and familiarize yourself with equipment availability to make the best financial decision for your company and move your freight safely - a quality freight service provider can assist you with this. Some trailer types, like standard flatbeds and step decks, have decent capacity while the more specialized, like extendable trailers and conestogas, are tougher to find. If your shipment requires accessories, remember to communicate that to your provider to ensure the trailer you get can handle the requirements of your shipment.
3. A little help from a freight professional.
Finding equipment for a standard flatbed shipment can be time consuming, and finding a specialized trailer can be frustrating. If you've ever found yourself searching for a truck on short notice, unprepared for the cost or facing unique requirements, it might be in your best interest to work with a freight service that will have your back.
Freight service providers connect you to an expansive network that helps you secure capacity and locate equipment - experts will find you the standard flatbed, step deck, drop deck, removable gooseneck, flatbed LTL or over dimensional and overweight equipment that's right for your shipment. They will tender the load to a qualified contract carrier and arrange permits or recommend escorts when needed. They'll do what it takes to get your shipment delivered.
The primary benefits of working with a logistics expert include:
- Capacity insight
- Commodity knowledge
- Wide array of relationships
- A single point of contact for all of your flatbed shipments
- Visibility to track and trace shipments
You're now ready to take on flatbed freight shipping. When your shipment homework is done and you are familiar with equipment types, finding a freight service provider that gives you the choice of online self-service tools or a full-service team of responsive freight experts can be the difference maker in the success and ease of your flatbed freight shipping.
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