Flatbed Logistics – The Challenges of Flatbed Shipping
Many companies overlook the difficulty of handling flatbed logistics. While it’s true that there are software and other tools to help deal with logistics, it still requires plenty of planning, organizing, and controlling; more than most companies are prepared to handle, especially if they’re doing it for their first time.
Here are some of the factors that are involved in flatbed logistics that you might want to consider:
- Empty loads. It’s incredible how many organizations forget that the trip back to their premises is as complex as the trip to the shipment’s destination. Trucks don’t magically reappear at their base after unloading their cargoes. They still have to be fueled, driven and maintained enough to be able to return.
- Fuel. While not overlooked, the cost of fuel is commonly underestimated, especially when the trucks are used for short trips. Even moving the truck around your premises for loading or just sitting in traffic can cause fueling costs to adds up.
- Permits. Companies that use flatbed trucks often require permits to transport their products and materials due to their nature. These products are typically oversized or have uncommon loading and freighting sizes and forms, or otherwise they could be shipped via trailer truck. Because the form of the cargo sometimes extends beyond the dimensions allowed by regulations, (for example, if the load is of an unusual height or width), federal and local governments normally require permits to transport them. The nature of certain materials and chemicals that are inflammable or corrosive is also another reason why governments require permits.
- Route planning. It’s precisely for the same reason that flatbed loads require permits that they can’t be transported on all roads. There are limits on the size and weight of cargoes not only in on highways, but also on city streets. That means that before your truck leaves your premises, you have to plan the full route down the the individual streets that will take the truck to its destination.
- Loading and unloading. Flatbed loads typically cannot be loaded by traditional means, which means that you will have to take loading equipment or plan for other methods. This is yet another complication you’ll have to deal with.
- Storage. Lastly, you will need space to park your trucks, and the size of the space needed to park a fleet will increase as your company grows. Depending on your location, this might pose a problem.
While purchasing a flatbed truck or fleet might sound attractive, the increase in logistics that you’ll have to deal with are not something to take lightly. That’s why you might want to consider hiring a flatbed truck company to handle your shipping needs and focus your attention on the main activities of your company.
Nationwide Transportation is ready to meet your flatbed shipping and logistics needs.