Supply Chain Performance
Supply Chain Performance

Land freight transport: What is it? Types and advantages

In an increasingly globalized and fast-moving world, freight transportation has become an essential component of the supply chain. Companies of all sectors and sizes depend…

On May 24, 2023

In an increasingly globalized and fast-moving world, freight transportation has become an essential component of the supply chain. Companies of all sectors and sizes depend on an efficient and sustainable system to move their products from production sites to points of sale or directly to customers. With this in mind, FM Logistic, a global logistics operator, explores in this new blog post what freight forwarding is, the different types that exist and the advantages it offers companies.

What is land freight transport?

Freight forwarding refers to the physical movement of goods and products from a place of origin to a specific destination. It is a vital component of the supply chain and plays a key role in international trade and the distribution of products domestically. The transportation of goods can be carried out through different modes, with overland transportation being one of the most commonly used. This method involves the movement of goods by road or rail, using trucks, trains or other specialized vehicles. It offers a wide range of options, from small local deliveries to large-scale national or international loads. Freight transport plays a crucial role in the global economy, facilitating the exchange of goods and contributing to the growth and development of companies and countries.

Types of land freight transport

As an essential part of the supply chain, road freight services are diversified into different modes to adapt to the needs of the goods and the distances to be traveled.

  • Trucking: uses trucks and freight vehicles to efficiently deliver goods locally, regionally and nationally. It is flexible, affordable and allows door-to-door delivery with fast transit times.
  • Rail transport: characterized by its capacity to transport large volumes of goods over long distances. It is especially efficient for transporting bulk products, such as minerals, petroleum, agricultural products and industrial materials.
  • Intermodal transport: combines the use of road and rail, taking advantage of the benefits of both modes to optimize efficiency and reduce costs.

Road freight

Essential trucking is a widely used mode of transport that offers flexibility and efficiency in the delivery of goods. Trucks and freight vehicles are capable of transporting a wide variety of products, from food and manufactured goods to raw materials and perishables. This transportation option is particularly suitable for short to medium distances, as it allows for door-to-door delivery and provides fast transit times. In addition, the extensive network of roads and highways allows for wide geographic coverage, facilitating connections between different trade areas.

Special loads

Special cargoes are those goods that, due to their size, weight or fragility, require specialized handling and transportation. These cargoes may include heavy machinery, industrial equipment, modular structures, construction elements and other large products. The transportation of special cargo involves the use of special vehicles, such as low-bed trucks or cranes, to ensure safe and efficient handling of the goods. This type of transport requires detailed planning, special permits and the expertise of logistics operators specialized in heavy and bulky cargo.

Dangerous goods (ADR)

The transport of dangerous goods, regulated by the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), refers to the transport of substances that pose risks to health, safety and the environment. These goods include chemicals, flammable gases, toxic materials, explosives and radioactive substances, among others. The transportation of dangerous goods requires rigorous management and compliance with strict safety regulations. Vehicles used for ADR transport must meet special equipment requirements and drivers must have the appropriate training and certifications to handle and transport these goods safely.

Domestic and international transport

Land transportation of goods can be classified into domestic and international transportation. Domestic freight transport refers to the movement of goods within the borders of a specific country. It is essential for the distribution of goods locally and regionally, and is adapted to the regulations and standards of the country in question. On the other hand, international transport involves the movement of goods between different countries, either in transit by road or using intermodal services. This type of transportation requires compliance with customs regulations, specific documentation and logistical coordination to overcome geographical and administrative barriers.

Rail transport

Rail transport is an efficient and sustainable option for moving goods over long distances. Freight trains are capable of transporting large volumes of goods, including bulk products, containers and palletized goods. Rail transport offers advantages such as the ability to transport heavy loads, lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to other modes of transport, and greater safety in the movement of goods. In addition, rail transport can be complemented by intermodal services, allowing the combination of different modes of transport, such as the use of trucks for local distribution from train stations. Rail transport is particularly suitable for long-distance routes, contributing to the optimization of the supply chain and the development of integrated logistics solutions.

Advantages of land transportation

Some of the advantages of overland freight transportation are:

  • Flexibility and adaptability: overland freight transportation is very flexible and adapts to a wide variety of products and logistical needs. Freight vehicles can transport anything from small boxes to large special cargo and heavy machinery.
  • Accessibility: ground transportation is accessible virtually anywhere. Roads and highways provide a complete and efficient transportation network, reaching remote or inaccessible areas.
  • Door-to-door deliveries: ground transportation allows for door-to-door delivery, which facilitates the delivery of products to end customers or specific locations.
  • Speed and efficiency: road transport is a fast and efficient option for short and medium distances. Transit times are usually short, allowing for faster and more efficient deliveries.
  • Security: road transport is generally safer than other modes of transport, such as sea or air. Goods transported in trucks or cargo vehicles are better protected against theft and other risks.
  • Low cost: inland transport is generally less expensive than other modes of transport, such as air or ocean freight. In addition, costs are more predictable and easier to calculate, which facilitates planning and budgeting.
  • Sustainability: road transport can be a sustainable option, especially when used for short and medium distances. More modern and efficient vehicles can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the combination of different modes of transport, such as the use of trains for long distances, can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain.

How to choose a transport partner?

Choosing the right transportation partner is crucial to ensure an efficient and reliable supply chain. Here are some key points to consider when selecting a transportation partner:

  • Experience and reputation: look for a transportation partner with proven industry experience. Research their track record, customer references and reputation in the marketplace. A reliable partner will have the experience necessary to handle your logistics needs effectively.
  • Geographic coverage: make sure that the transportation partner can offer adequate geographic coverage for your requirements. Check if they operate in the geographic areas relevant to your operations and if they have the capacity to reach the specific destinations you need.
  • Capacity and resources: evaluate your transportation partner’s capacity and resources to handle your freight volumes. Consider factors such as the size of their fleet of vehicles, the availability of specialized equipment (if you need it) and their ability to accommodate your future growth needs.
  • Quality of service: quality of service is critical. Investigate the timeliness of deliveries, efficiency in tracking cargo, and customer service. Ask about their incident management policies and how they handle transportation problems or mishaps.
  • Safety and compliance: ensure that the transportation partner complies with applicable safety regulations and standards. Check if they have relevant certifications and if they maintain high safety standards in their operations. The safety of your cargo is paramount and should be a priority for your transportation partner.
  • Technology and visibility: consider the technology and tools the transportation partner uses to provide real-time visibility and tracking of your cargo. The ability to track and monitor your shipments can provide peace of mind and facilitate logistics planning.

How does FM Logistic work with port logistics?

At FM Logistic, port logistics is one of the key areas of our integrated logistics approach. We work closely with our customers to provide efficient solutions tailored to their needs in the port environment. Here are some highlights of how we approach port logistics:

  • Operations management: we take care of the integral management of logistics operations in the port environment. This involves coordinating and supervising the flow of goods from receipt at the port to final delivery, ensuring efficiency and punctuality at every stage of the process.
  • Warehousing and distribution: we offer warehousing services in depots or warehouses located close to ports, allowing for efficient management of goods. This includes receiving, secure storage, order picking and distribution of products, whether locally, regionally or internationally.
  • Container handling: we have experience in container handling and management at ports. This involves the loading and unloading of containers from ships, their temporary storage in designated areas and the management of their subsequent inland transportation.
  • Regulatory and customs compliance: we ensure compliance with all customs regulations and regulations specific to international trade in the port environment. We work closely with customs authorities to guarantee the correct documentation and customs clearance of goods, ensuring a smooth and legal flow of products.
  • Technology and visibility: we use advanced technology and tracking tools to provide real-time visibility into logistics operations. This allows our customers to track their goods, monitor their status and obtain accurate information on location and delivery time.
  • Focus on sustainability: we consider sustainability as a key aspect of our port logistics operations. We implement eco-efficient practices and solutions, such as route optimization, emissions reduction and proper waste management, thus contributing to a more sustainable port environment.

What kind of goods can you transport with FM Logistic?

FM Logistic can transport a wide variety of goods in its logistics network. Our experience allows us to handle various types of products, including:

  • Food products: we transport perishable and non-perishable foods, both fresh and frozen. This includes fresh produce, dairy products, meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, packaged products and other processed foods.
  • Consumer products: we transport general consumer products, such as personal care products, household cleaning products, electronics, household goods, textiles, footwear, and other consumer goods such as alcoholic beverages.
  • Fashion and retail products: we handle fashion and retail products, such as apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty products, jewelry and other fashion and retail related items.
  • High-tech products: we have experience in the transportation of high-tech products, such as electronic devices, computer components, telecommunications equipment and other technological products.
  • Dangerous goods: We have the capability and knowledge to transport dangerous goods that comply with the regulations of the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR). This includes hazardous chemicals, flammable gases, toxic substances, explosives and other hazardous materials.

It is important to note that our transportation capacity may vary according to geographic location and local regulations. In each case, we work closely with our customers to ensure the safe and efficient handling of goods, adapting to their specific needs.

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