36. Over the Road Freight

[MUSIC] Welcome back to our lesson on Over the Road Freight.
Upon completion of this lesson, learners should be able to discuss the fit for over-the-road transportation in the supply chain. Describe the two main categories of trucking operations. Describe the different types of carriers.
Discuss trailer capacities and describe the difference between Truckload and Less-than-Truckload carriers.
Road transport is the most widely used mode of transportation in the United States. it provides door-to-door service. There are roads pretty much everywhere. Equipment is cost effective and utilitarian and the mode is favorable mode for high value, time sensitive goods. The two main categories of trucking operations are for-hire motor carriers and private fleet motor carriers.
Motor carriers are in a highly competitive industry due to low barriers of entry. Owner-operator companies operate by the thousands across the country, and they provide tractor, trailer, and driver all in one. And with the ability to advertise services via the Internet, these small, low cost operations are able to compete with the larger, established, national carriers. So there’s a lot of both small operator competition and capacity from large national corporations for companies to choose from. Some of the challenges that motor carriers face include rising costs, including the cost of fuel. Driver shortages, a lot of people don’t like to be away from home for a long time on cross-country halls. So the drivers while being the most popular job in the country, the driving population workforce is rapidly aging. And then as we mentioned, competition is another challenge to motor carriers. Additionally, considerations such as autonomous vehicles, vehicle platooning, and concepts of the physical internet, as they take hold, promise to change the nature of the motor carrier industry.
There are a number of different operating models and types of transportation carriers, including private carrier, which typically transports goods for the company owning the carrier. Not subject to economic regulation, if it’s a private carrier, and the company shipping the goods incurs the various cost to move those goods. Common carriers provide services to all shippers at published rates between designated locations without discrimination across the shippers.
One thought of a common carrier you may use is UPS, where you have a standard rate table letting you know the cost to ship a given parcel based on its size and dimensions and shipment and destination locations. Contract carriers. Contract carriers are not bound to serve the general public. Contract carriers provide specific customers under specific defined contractual agreements with service. The trucking company may dedicate its resources or part of its resources on either a full-time, or on an as-needed basis to move goods for its customers on specific lanes or territories.
Specialized carriers transport special goods, perhaps, like liquid petroleums, household goods, building materials and other specialized items. They’re not run of the mill, easily handled goods where trucking capacity is overly abundant. Perhaps the nature of the equipment is specialized, and the nature of the product is such that it puts undue wear and tear and dirt on the carrier’s equipment, making it not suitable for general hauling. Exempt carriers. These are carriers that are exempt by law from certain regulations and rate structures if they’re engaged in the transport of commodities that are exempt from regulation by the Interstate Commerce Act. There are several different types of truck trailers, but for long distance moves, the most common are the 48 foot and 53 foot trailers. The majority of the trailers on the interstates are 53 foot trailers. The standard pallet rack measures 4 foot by 3.75 feet, length by
width and a typical 53 foot trailer is able to carry two rows of 13 pallets.
Depending on the nature of the freight, double stacking the pallets may be possible, which will double the trailer capacity from 26 to 52 pallets. Forty-eight foot trailers can accommodate 2 rows of 12 pallets, which would make the trailer capacity 24 pallets single stacked, or 48 pallets double stacked.
Under United States federal guidelines, a commercial vehicle size and weight program permits truck trailer combinations, to weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
The truck and empty trailer can weigh up to 36,000 pounds which leaves approximately 44,000 pounds available for freight.
Selecting the right trailer for the specific freight load is important as the heavier the freight load is, the maximum allowable weight may be reached before the stack limit of 52 pallets is achieved. For example, with a 53 foot trailer. In such cases, the extra space in the 53 foot trailer would be unnecessary and could potentially create situations which could damage the cargo by having it move around if it’s not tied down within the trailer. For this reason, smaller vehicles such as box trucks and vans are preferable for smaller loads or city deliveries. These vehicles are easier to manage in terms of maneuverability, parking, and fuel efficiency.
Truck load carriers specialize in moving large shipments for their customers. These carriers typically target shipments weighing between 15,000 to 50,000 pounds. Truckload carriers specialize in door-to-door service, which includes collecting freight at a point of origin and delivering directly to the destination without any intermediate stops. This service is attractive to shippers because it reduces the transit time, likelihood of delays and likelihood of shipments being damaged since the cargo is loaded and unloaded fewer times. Less-than-truckload carriers typically specialize in smaller loads compared to truckload carriers.
LTL cargo is typically 150 to 20,000 pounds.
LTL carriers operate by sharing trailer capacity among multiple shippers. A typical LTL carrier collects freight from several shippers and brings it to a local terminal. The freight is sorted based on geographic destinations and then loaded into trucks a second time. Depending on the geographic region being serviced, the freight may be unloaded and reloaded several more times before final delivery. This handling increases time and potential for damage.
We have a question for your consideration, if you are a manufacturer that typically ships fragile products in shipment weights in excess of 20,000 pounds,
which approach would likely be most effective?
Shipping via Truckload or Less-Than-Truckload carrier? Why? In this lesson, we discussed the fit for over the road transportation in the supply chain. Described the two main categories of trucking operations. Described the different types of carriers. Discussed trailer capacities, and described the difference between Truckload and Less-than-Truckload carriers. Thank you for watching, and we’ll see you on the next lesson. [SOUND]

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