Utilize transloading to get from point A to B, with a pit stop
Do you ever wonder how freight gets to the islands or foreign countries? Yes, it can be offloaded from air or sea, but how does your freight end up on the vessel? How about when you are shipping multiple partial shipments, but a full load ends up at your final destination? Sometimes these instances start off with the process of transloading. Whether using multiple transportation solutions or just a singular mode, transloading can help to solve your transportation challenges or simply be a more cost-effective option for your supply chain.
What is transloading?
Transloading is the process of moving a partial or full load from one mode of transportation to another, pallet by pallet. This process typically takes place in a transloading warehouse.
Transloading vs. intermodal
While intermodal involves multiple moves, as well, it typically requires moving the whole shipping container by chassis or crane rather than transferring individual pallets.
How does the process work?
Having a single broker handle all legs of the journey is vital to a smooth transload. And if done correctly, you won’t notice anything different about your shipment. Many brokers have access to transloading warehouses and can get your load from point A to point B with a transload in-between seamlessly. Freight brokers can book all legs of transportation for you and hold all customs docs and paperwork needed so that your logistics provider has one point-person to call for updates. Dock workers organized by the broker will be able to move your pallets from one container to another, and off to the next destination your load goes!
Note: Because the process of transloading puts more hands on your freight, the risk of damage is the same as when freight is initially loaded. Be sure to utilize a professional broker with access to a proper warehouse to minimize the chance of damages.
The importance of paperwork
Because the freight is hand-loaded two or more times throughout the process, it’s crucial to have the correct paperwork in order. Not only will this help prevent lost freight, but it will also be required for cross-border shipments going to or from Mexico and Canada.
Working with a broker who is organized and has all their paperwork in order will make the process go smoothly. With knowledge of both modes of transportation, a broker will have full visibility into where your load is — even as it changes carriers.
When should you utilize transloading?
Transloading is helpful in a variety of situations and can be used to diversify your supply chain. In general, transloading is beneficial:
If you’re looking to reduce costs
Transloading can help to reduce costs on your end. If a full 53-foot container is not being utilized and you are shipping a partial shipment, transloading may make sense in some instances to strengthen your bottom line. For example, consolidating multiple partial loads while transloading on one of your transportation legs can be a cost saver.
If flexibility is key
Transloading provides some flexibility in your supply chain which in turn can provide some stability for your business. While using multiple forms of transportation to ship your loads, you can reduce the cost of disruption to supply chains such as backlogs at ports or lack of chassis available. Transloading can be used as a workaround to plan around these issues that may arise.
If you want to ship to remote locations
If you choose to transload, you are opening up your ability to reach more destinations. Puerto Rico or Hawaii can only be reached by boat or air, which means shipments will likely need to be transloaded from one mode of transportation to another. For example, road to air or road to boat.
How ArcBest can help
By partnering with ArcBest and working with a broker, transloading can be extremely beneficial to your business. ArcBest has access to ABF Freight service centers throughout the country, and many of these service centers can be used to transload your freight. Additionally, ArcBest is able to book ocean containers for shipments to the islands or overseas. This will give us the ability to bill you directly in the form of 2 bills (one for each form of transportation), which helps to streamline your billing process.
Explore how ArcBest can help with your shipments and get in touch today to discuss your needs.