20 Mar

What’s Involved in Flatbed Truck Logistics?

Shipping heavy machinery or large quantities of building materials is not easy. That’s why companies that produce them don’t typically handle the flatbed truck logistics themselves, but hire a shipping company with a flatbed truck fleet to handle them. Nevertheless, here are some factors that you should be aware of so you can understand your freight shipping quote.


1. Incoterms

One of the easiest ways to simplify things and avoid problems is to familiarize yourself with Incoterms (INternational COmmerce Terminology) and use them in your dealings with your clients. Incoterms are 3 letter acronyms that indicate who is responsible for loading and unloading the cargo, and the point at which the cargo is considered delivered and thus at which point you’ve fulfilled your responsibility to your client. You will need to learn more about their precise meanings since there are legal implications and obligations involved in using them.


2. Loading and Unloading Equipment

If you are hiring a flatbed truck logistics company, you probably can’t load your products in a conventional way. Heavy machinery may or may not be loaded with loading boards, but don’t count on it. Loading and unloading typically requires equipment such as cranes. Shipping companies don’t normally have such equipment and it’s up to you to obtain the equipment you need.


3. Routes

The dimensions and nature of your cargo influence more than the loading and unloading. They also affect the route. Some roads won’t take cargo that exceeds a certain weight or height. In some cases, roads won’t allow the transportation of certain materials. That means that the flatbed truck won’t necessarily be able to take the shortest route, but will have to take an alternate route. Fortunately, you won’t have to find out what roads will allow your cargo to pass through. Shipping companies have software that allows them to plan the route before hand.


4. Securing and Protecting the Cargo

Cargo that goes on a flatbed truck doesn’t usually need protection from the weather like an intermodal container. However, in a few cases it does, and a tarpaulin is used in those cases. However, almost all cargo requires fastening. The shipping company usually takes care of fastening your cargo to the flatbed, but you have to inform them before hand of the size, weight, and nature of your cargo, as well as any special characteristics that you think might be relevant.


5. Insurance

Cargo that goes on a flatbed typically has a high value and has to be insured. Because of the nature of the cargo, it usually can’t be insured by the shipping company and you’ll have to obtain insurance from a third party. However, the shipping company might be able to assist you in finding insurance if for whatever reason you don’t already have an insurance company to work with.


There are many important factors and considerations when shipping via flatbed trucks. Working with the seasoned professionals at Nationwide Transportation is a smart first step toward a successful shipping experience.

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