The United States is home to a robust manufacturing industry, with everything from food and beverages to furniture, cars, kids’ toys, and electrical appliances and books being built every year. But it’s not enough to merely produce those goods; they have to be transported too, and logistic transportation is important. Trucks, trains, and more can carry goods from factories to warehouses to distribution centers, and logistic transportation may be done by land, sea, or air. This includes expedited freight services, hazmat trucking companies, LTL freight companies, and more. The United States is home to many small but hard-working truck carrier companies in particular, and this logistic transportation may be quite convenient for shipper customers. How might this work out?
A lot of good are moved within the United States, and a lot of goods are also imported and exported each year. Goods can be moved by truck, train, or ship, but many of these good are in fact delivered by trucks in particular. Why? A truck is a relatively small and wheeled vehicle that can drive along roads and reach many places that ships, trains, and planes cannot reach. What is more, most carrier companies in the United States are small and can only afford trucks, and many shipments are small enough so that only a truck is needed, anyway. The numbers show that trucks move around 71.5% of all American freight by weight, and something similar can be said about Canada’s transportation network, too. Both nations employ many truckers and have many such vehicles on the roads. The United States is Canada’s biggest trading partner, and many goods are exchanged across the expansive American-Canadian land border every year. Trucks make that trade possible, and statistics show that American trucking and freight delivery will only grow within the coming years.
Often, a trucking company may make use of a third party known as a freight broker company, and these freight brokers may help arrange profitable meet-ups between trucking companies looking for work and shipper clients who need their goods delivered somewhere. These freight broker companies may also help track the truck and its logistic transportation, such as making use of GPS tracking. Geospatial data analysis makes logistic transportation easier, and a truck’s current position, speed, and estimated arrival time may all be available for interested parties to see. Trucks may also use GPS trackers for help in case they are lost or damaged, or even stolen.
Trucking means charging invoices to the shipper client, but many trucking companies can’t afford to wait long for those invoice payments to arrive. To smooth out the cash flow, many small trucking companies will hire an invoice factoring company to provide loans. That factoring company will agree to collect 100% of the invoice when it’s paid, and in the meantime, give the carrier client a large up-front loan based on a generous percentage of the invoice’s value. This helps the carrier cover its expenses during the wait time. When the invoice is paid, the factoring company collects it all, and gives the carrier another, smaller percentage of the invoice value. The loans may add up to 95-98% of the invoice’ value, and the remaining percentage is kept by the factoring company as a fee.
How to Transport
Trucks can deliver goods in more than one way. Larger clients will have a full truckload of goods to deliver, but in other cases, the truck may accept many smaller pieces of cargo from different shippers. This is LTL, or “less than truckload”, delivery. Each shipper pays only for the truck trailer volume that their items take up, which is much more money-efficient than paying for the entire trailer’s worth. The truck, meanwhile, isn’t losing money by delivering only one small set of cargo.
Some trucks carry specialized goods, so the truck and crews themselves will be specialized, too. Reefer truck trailers have refrigeration units on them, which allows them to carry cold-sensitive cargo, typically groceries such as frozen foods, wine, meat products, and dairy. Other trucks and their crew will be specialized to carry hazardous materials ranging from toxic industrial waste and nuclear fuel rods to dry ice, liquid nitrogen, and canisters of flammable oil or natural gas.