How Transloading Reduces Headaches Between Modalities

Posted by Port City Logistics on Feb 10, 2023 8:26:12 AM

Shipping managers are always looking for means to improve their supply chains. They often consider logistical factors like how to improve route optimization, expedite shipping times and reduce potential supply chain disruptions, and lower their overall transportation costs. Some shippers partner with a fully-integrated, single-source logistics provider to simplify their operations, relying on experienced 3PLs with value-added services to help streamline their supply chain.

When it comes to companies that rely on drayage shipping, though, the main question they oftentimes consider is: Should I transload my containers? Transloading offers certain advantages over intermodal, as it helps shippers expedite their freight, improves efficiencies, and can even be a more cost-effective solution. This article will look at how transloading is helping shippers alleviate stress, and how the right transloading partner can optimize their supply chains and get shipments delivered faster to customers.

What is Transloading?

Transloading is transferring freight from one location and mode of transportation to another before the shipment is sent to its final delivery destination. This logistics option is utilized by shippers, large and small, to ready their products for the next stage in their journey. For example, a typical example of transloading involves port drayage, where a company collects a container at a port and hauls it to a facility. Workers will then transfer the goods from the container to a waiting truck that carries the load for the final-mile delivery. Transloading can also involve the movement of containers coming from railyards.

Transloading facilities serve as crucial spaces that shippers use to process their shipments as quickly as possible. Some transloading facilities are state-of-the-art, providing shippers with temperature-controlled warehouse space, cross-docks, and warehouse inventory management software. These value-added services provide shippers with options to store their products in anticipation of supply chain disruptions or when readying themselves for seasonal upticks in purchasing orders.

What is the Difference Between Transloading and Intermodal?

Intermodal is very similar to transloading -- only a shipper utilizes a train as the primary mode of transportation. With intermodal, shippers load their product onto a container that is transported via truck to an intermodal ramp. Once the load reaches the railyard, the container is lifted onto a waiting railcar with a crane and transported via the rail network. 

The major difference between transloading and intermodal is that the products stay inside the same container throughout the entire journey of the shipment. Further, shipping via intermodal takes much longer for shippers to get their containers delivered. Railcars may sit for several days in a railyard before eventually getting coupled and lugged over the rails. For shippers that depend on expedited delivery, transloading is the fastest option, as trucks can deliver the loads directly to the receiver.

How Does Transloading Help Optimize Shipping Operations?

Transloading is arguably the best option for a number of reasons when it comes to shipping oceanized container freight. Shippers that partner with a fully integrated, single-source logistics provider can streamline their operations and ensure that time-sensitive freight is delivered as quickly as possible. Look for a transportation provider that owns and operates their transloading facilities. This will ensure that all cargo will be prioritized and processed faster. Shippers benefit from having all communication streamlined into a single provider who can provide shippers with real-time visibility on every touch point along the cargo’s journey. Some of the ways that transloading helps shippers optimize their supply chain operations include:

Expedited Transit Times

Once your container arrives at port or the railyard, your drayage provider can haul your shipment immediately to a transloading facility where your products can be loaded onto another truck and ready for the next step in the journey. This process is way faster than shipping intermodal and can deliver right to the receiver’s door.

Product Forwarding

If you partner with a transportation service provider with its own brick-and-mortar transload and warehouse facilities, you can use those spaces to stage your product for when you need it most. Port City Logistics has over 4 million square feet of available storage space across 12 facilities, allowing shippers to consolidate their freight and position it when the product needs transportation.

Save on Transportation Costs

In the long run, transloading has certain advantages that help shippers deliver their products faster to customers. This can help lower transportation costs as cargo will get delivered faster than intermodal. When products get delivered on time and in full, shippers get paid. Transloading streamlines the time needed to get freight to its final destination. Whether you need a single pallet pulled from a container or want the entire load delivered immediately to a receiver, transloading can help shippers in the long run.

Shippers Depend on Port City Logistics for Transloading their Freight

Port City Logistics helps shippers optimize their supply chains. Their transloading facilities have helped thousands of customers get their containerized ocean and intermodal freight delivered. As a single-source logistics provider that specializes in drayage, transloading, and final-mile logistics, Port City Logistics has you covered with every touch point in your cargo’s journey. Learn more about how Port City Logistics is helping global shippers streamline their supply chain by contacting an expert today!

Topics: Transloading