How is Truck Transport More Efficient Than Railroad?

Two of the most common forms of cargo transport are trucks and railroads. Both serve to take cargo across continents effectively every day. But which is more efficient? Which method is better in terms of speed, cost, and reliability?

While both remain key components of the economy, trucking accounts for over 70% of all freight running through the United States alone. That tells us something about the shipping industry. But let’s look at which is truly more efficient in the transport of goods, trucking or railroads.

Railroads as a Method of Shipping

For real efficiency in terms of fuel costs, railroads lead the way with about 400 ton-miles per gallon, so cargo can go a long way on very little fuel. The trains are perfect for hauling very large cargo over long distances quite effectively. Short distances tend to be a problem though and railcars are not as cost-effective for smaller cargo.

Plus, costs are much lower for rail than any other kind of transport system. The railroads also move quickly, on a set schedule, so you can have your cargo much sooner than you think via railway. However, trains can only go from station to station, which means you have to get your cargo to the station and pick it up on the other end. So even if you get it there by train, you still need a truck at both ends to complete the journey.

Truck Shipment Efficiencies

Go where trains can’t with a truck, which can provide door to door transport every time. Trucking may cost a little more, but the conveniences and speed far outweigh that extra cost to create better value. There is no set schedule, so trucking can offer a delivery system based on when you want to ship your cargo.

What differentiates trucking from rail, even more, is the ability to track your cargo every step of the way. While a truck may be slower than rail over longer hauls, they do have the flexibility to adapt to road conditions and weather patterns, which is not possible for train transport. But in any event, you can know where your load is through a GPS tracker.

Since trucks can get cargo to its destination relatively easily, especially on shorter runs, it is by far the better choice over rail. It may cost a little more to ship but trucks can handle just about any size load in any configuration, which is difficult to do with railcars.

Trucking is involved with just about all aspects of cargo shipments, so the efficiencies of trucks are felt globally throughout many industries. Because if you think about it, everything you have was brought to you by truck, whether the truck took the whole journey itself or it was part of the process. So trucking is so efficient that even railroads need it to make their shipments. That’s how much more efficient trucking is over railroads.

 

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What is LTL Trucking?

There are several ways to ship bulk items, car, rail, boat, truck, and air all have their advantages and drawbacks. One of the most common methods is by truck and even then, there are various options available. Here we will have a look at one of the most prevalent shipping methods, known as LTL trucking, to find out what it is, how it works, and when to use it.

What Does LTL Trucking Mean?

Trucks come in all kinds of sizes to accommodate various loads that can be shipped in them. But what happens if you need to send something by truck and it doesn’t take up the space that a full load would? That’s when LTL freight shipping comes in. LTL, or Less Than Truckload, is ideal for a shipment that does not require an entire trailer of space to haul it.

Typically, LTL freight is used to loads that weigh 150 to 15,000 pounds. This way, the shipper only pays for that portion of the truck that is used to carry to shipment. The additional space on the truck is usually taken up by other LTL shipments that are traveling in the same direction.

How Can You Benefit from LTL Shipping?

There are several ways a shipper can benefit from sending items through LTL shipping:

  • Lower shipping costs: Because you only pay for that portion of the ruck that is needed to hold the shipment, the cost is reduced, as other loads take up the extra space in the trailer.
  • Increased security: As most LTL shipments are loaded onto a pallet so that it can be placed on the truck, it is a more secure method of delivery than using multiple handlers to take smaller parts. Everything arrives in one piece, at the same time.
  • Added service options available: LTL shipping gives you access to other service options, including liftgates and inside pickup and delivery.
  • Tracking: The ability to track a shipment makes LTL an excellent way to go for any business delivery.

When is LTL Shipping Appropriate?

LTL is perfect for any business that wants to save on costs. As long as the shipment is under 15,000 pounds and it does not take up an entire trailer, LTL can get it there on a budget. Keep in mind that since the shipment is traveling by truck, you have to also consider the time it takes for the delivery. If you need something halfway across the country by the next day, LTL may not be the right choice. But given time to make the journey, LTL can save money and reliably deliver. Just remember, anything under 150 pounds can probably go via parcel shipping.

Any business wants to be efficient and cost-effective in their methods. With LTL freight, businesses have the option of low-cost shipping that is secure and trackable. And since LTL is a very common way to ship bulky items, it’s easy to find a reputable shipper that can handle the load.

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Reasons to Use Refrigerated Trucking

Sometimes, you need more than just the average truck to make a shipment work. Refrigerated trucking solves a lot of problems in its ability to handle perishable items during a long haul. There are many reasons to use refrigerated trucking for shipments, which have been used for about 150 years in one form or another.

Those businesses that use refrigerated shipping methods today can reach a wider customer base, lower costs, and provide value for their customers as well as their bottom line, and here’s why.

Multiple Layers of Protection

While the right packing for any shipped cargo is important, a good refrigerated shipping company utilizes the tools at their disposal to provide the appropriate temperature control settings for a stable environment while en route for total protection. This helps to keep cargo from being wasted in transport. The less waste for a business, the higher the return on their investment and the great ability they have to deliver for their customers. That means more goes to the bottom line.

Specialized Training

When dealing with refrigerated trucking companies in Red Deer, you can expect everyone involved to be fully trained in this specialized method of transport. It takes more than just a cold truck and a driver to handle these kinds of deliveries. When you have cargo that requires a specific temperature and a certain turnaround time, you need the qualifications of someone that knows how to take care of that shipment.

Certifications and Qualifications

To ensure that your refrigerated cargo is transported efficiently, effectively, safely, and on time, you need a qualified transport service with the right temperature-controlled systems to make it happen. That requires the proper certifications to keep your cargo safe throughout the trip.

Total Control

In many cases, you need a very high degree of temperature control to maintain the integrity of the cargo. There is a very big difference in an environment with just a 2-degree difference in temperature. This is especially critical when there is any kind of shipping delay, as businesses need to have assurances that their cargo will remain viable at the proper temperature.

Customized Shipping

No matter what you need to have transported, shipping it in a refrigerated truck not only keeps it at the right temperature for the cargo, but each shipment can be customized to fit the needs of that cargo. Through different vehicles, refrigeration equipment, and personnel, a business can rely on just one trusted trucking company to ensure different measures according to what is being shipped.

Stay Fresh

In today’s world of healthier lifestyles and sourcing local products, providing the freshest possible items to customers is very important. With refrigerated trucking, any business can deliver top-quality, fresh foods to customers and stores, and restaurants. It’s a way to give people what they want quickly and reliably.

There is incredible value in utilizing the services of refrigerated trucking companies for all sorts of products. It’s just a matter of getting it delivered at the right temperature.

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What Training is Required to Become a Truck Driver in Alberta?

There is no better job than the one you love doing every day. So if you enjoy driving, becoming a truck driver in Alberta may be for you. There are some things you need to know to make sure you achieve your goal of becoming a truck driver the right way, giving you the freedom to work while enjoying the open road.

You Need a Class-1 License

To obtain the proper license to drive a truck in Alberta, you will need to go through mandatory training, along with a road test as undertaken by the provincial government. This will provide you with the Class-1 license that you need to drive commercially and work for a trucking company in Red Deer or anywhere in the province.

How to Obtain your Class-1 License in Alberta

There are several hoops to jump through before you can say you have your Class-1 license and are ready to start driving commercially in the province of Alberta.

First, you must ensure that you meet the following qualifications:

  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • To take the Class-1 training course, you must first have a Class-5 or a Class-5 GDL operator’s license
  • A Class-5 issued by the province of Alberta is essential, so if you are from out-of-province, you will need to update your certification
  • Ensure that you can pass the medical prerequisites before applying, including a vision test for a minimum of 20/30 vision

Second, enroll in a training program that is officially licensed by the Alberta government.

This means you will need to attend classes for both Class-1 licensing and air brake endorsement (Q) training. Once these courses are passed, you will be issued a form that permits you to take the next step.

Third, the next step is the knowledge test. This is based on your knowledge of air brakes as well as the Alberta Commercial Driver’s Guide. You will need to answer correctly on at least 25 of the 30 multiple-choice questions for each of the two tests.

Fourth, is the medical exam that is required.

You will need to get a report for the attending doctor, which will then be submitted to the local registry agent. These medical reports are valid for up to 6-months.

The final step in the process is the road test.

This can only be done after the first four steps are completed successfully. Apply for a test permit and schedule an appointment at an approved testing location. You will need to supply your own tractor-trailer combination with a minimum of three axels and an air brake system.

Your test begins with an inspection of the vehicle, so it’s important to know the inspection processes. You can ten expect the driving portion of the test to last about 1.5 hours but when you pass, you can pick up your Class-1 license and begin driving commercial trucks in Alberta.

For a small investment of time and money in yourself, you can do what you love as a truck driver.

 

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