What Your Responsibilities Are When You Hire Flatbed Trucks to Ship Your Cargo
Flatbed trucks are the only option when you need to ship products or materials with certain characteristics. Heavy machinery, long or wide materials, tanks and other types of cargo cannot be shipped in a conventional container.
Most companies don’t want to get involved in the logistics required when shipping heavy materials. That’s why they hire a shipping company that has a flatbed truck fleet or, if the shipment is a one-time spot sale and relatively small, they hire a truck driver who owns his flatbed truck. However, that doesn’t mean that they can just forget about the logistics altogether. There are a few responsibilities that can’t or shouldn’t be handed over to the shipping company.
The law requires the owner of the cargo to obtain any permits needed to ship the cargo. These permits will depend on the nature, width, length, height, and weight of the cargo. You will also be responsible for paying any fees needed to obtain these permits and to apply with sufficient time so that you have them by the time you need them. Some shipping companies may assist or advise you on how to obtain the permits, but they will always be your responsibility.
Scheduling the delivery date
Just because you can drive to your client’s premises in six hours, doesn’t mean that your cargo will arrive in the same amount of time. Due to the nature of the cargo, a flatbed truck might not be able to take the most direct route and may have to take detours as some roads will not allow trucks over specified cargo limits or certain types of loads to go on some routes. Cargo that is too high or too wide may not be able to travel on certain roads or pass under specific bridges. You’ll have to take these and other factors into consideration in advance and plan accordingly so that you don’t miss your deadline with your client.
Loading and unloading
Cargo that goes onto a flatbed truck typically can’t be loaded manually, and in some cases, not even with a regular forklift. It’s up to you to prepare how to load it onto the flatbed once it arrives. Likewise, the cargo will have to be unloaded at your client’s premises. If there’s any equipment, cranes, or ramps that are needed to load or unload the cargo, you’ll have to be responsible for their presence. You may need to negotiate with your client regarding the unloading of the cargo as well, in order to clarify the responsibilities and liabilities.
For more information on what you may need to prepare for your upcoming flatbed shipment, please contact us at Nationwide Transportation.
We’ll take care of all of the details for you!