The United States is home to some of the most robust manufacturing industries in the entire world, with everything from computer parts to paper to groceries and more being driven across American roads by truck every day. The same is true to the north in Canada, and both nations have many thousands of truck carrier companies that may offer such services to clients such as expedited freight. Other vehicles may be used if need be, and aerospace logistics involve when a cargo plane will take off and land, such as at an island. These planes often handle expedited shipping services, and they can even facilitate expedited international shipping services. Trucks in particular are common for American and Canadian freight today, however, and they may go to places where planes or trains cannot, such as to make trade show shipments. Whether making trade show shipments or anything else, trucks can make small cargo deliveries that would be wildly price-inefficient for larger vehicles. Trade shows, for example, involve getting kiosks and display materials set up, and a company taking part in one may hire truck crews for trade show shipments to that destination.
As of 2013, for a recent example, trucking transportation services delivered some 13 billion tons of cargo, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this may reach 18.79 tons by the year 2040. What is more, the U.S. Department of Transportation has predicted that the value of freight being moved may grow from $882 per ton in 2007 to $1,377 in 2040. There are plenty of trucks, carrier companies, and crews ready to make these countless deliveries, and trade show shipments and groceries alike may be carried across American and Canadian roads. In fact, the bulk of land trade between the United States and Canada is done by truck at the extensive land border between these two nations. Overall, some 12 million trucks, rail cars, locomotives, and sea vessels are moving goods across the modern transportation network, and some 5.9 million truck drivers are currently employed across the United States. Unusual or hazardous cargo, meanwhile, calls for specialized trucks.
Types of Shipments
Some deliveries require some particular conditions so that the delivery is safe and effective, and so that a client shipper gets the best possible deal for shipment. LTL, or “less than truckload,” is one such option. Larger shippers such as Target may use entire trucks at a time, but smaller shippers may need only a fraction of the storage room in a truck. A shipper doesn’t want to pay for wasted space, however, so a full semi truck will have cargo from several different shippers in it at once. This means that a shipper only pays for the storage space that their cargo actually occupies, and the carrier company doesn’t lose money by transporting tiny deliveries with their large trucks. This might be done for trade show shipments, for example, when one truck delivers several kiosks or show stands for different participants at that trade show.
The truck itself may be designed for unusual loads, and a growing carrier company may start adding a variety of trucks into its fleet for more flexible shipping options. A reefer truck, for example, is one that has refrigeration units in the cargo space, turning it into a mobile freezer. Reefer trucks are a staple for the grocery industry, for example, since many cold groceries would be spoiled in the back of a regular truck. Dairy, frozen foods, and more may be delivered in this manner. A grocer client may receive both regular trucks for dry goods and a reefer for frozen groceries and dairy. Such a client will probably also rent space at a warehouse that has its own refrigeration units. In other cases, a truck may carry hazardous materials, ranging from nuclear fuel rods to liquid nitrogen to barrels or canisters of natural gas or oil. Truck crews will have certifications and training for such cargo, and may wear protective gear too. Even dry ice, or frozen carbon dioxide, is a hazardous material that a truck may deliver. Such ice gives off harmful carbon dioxide gases and is dangerously cold to the touch, so protective gear will be worn when loading or unloading it.