Full load transport is one of the main types of road transport. Flexible, reliable, fast and efficient, it has always been highly sought after by shippers and logisticians, since both can take advantage of its characteristics and create stable relationships in which both benefit. We have prepared this article so that you can find out if full charging is the right solution for your needs.
What is full load transportation
We are talking about full load transportation when a vehicle exclusively carries the merchandise of a single client from point A to point B (although there are mixed possibilities, such as transporting only merchandise from one client, but having two or more delivery points) and, in general, it occupies all the space of the vehicle -or the maximum possible-.
This type of transport thus differs from those that need to unite and consolidate the merchandise of several clients in order to fill the vehicles and make transits profitable. The latter is what is known as part load, which with its evolution has given rise to models that sought to serve increasingly smaller loads. In other words, instead of uniting two, three or four shipments in a trailer, the leap is made to join more shipments, many of them from a single pallet, thus giving birth to express pallets.
In recent years, the trend towards reducing the size of shipments, driven by the use of Just in Time formulas, the reduction of stocks and the reduction in delivery times -with margins increasingly similar to parcels- has made that this type of groupage gain in popularity. While the consolidation of large groupage is sometimes slower as we have to wait for the loads that allow us to complete those trips to arrive.
However, there are reasons that continue to make full load transport a solution to take into account. The key lies in knowing in which cases using this type of service will benefit us, what challenges they face and what difficulties must be overcome.
Why choose full load transportation
Among the most sought after qualities in full load transportation are:
Once we have managed to fill a truck with our merchandise, we will surely achieve a better cost per transported ton than in other models (such as groupage and express pallets). The explanation for this is logical: the carrier or logistics operator will have a single place of loading, a single place of delivery and will save on other processes: consolidation, documentation processes and recording of shipments, a greater number of loads and unloads of merchandise, etc
In the previous section we mentioned that cargo transportation processes are simpler and that this does not only have benefits for cost. Another impact is the increased safety and reliability of the full load. Loading and unloading the merchandise, having to route it, having it go through removal and distribution centers and passing through more hands increases the possibility of incidents, errors, incorrect routing, breakages…
All these factors are minimized and even eliminated when we resort to full load transport and represent a differential value highly appreciated by customers.
Traceability is a section that continues to gain importance. Customers have a growing need to be able to know exactly where their shipments are at all times. For this, all the different types of transport are doing their homework to improve their traceability. But, by its very nature, for some it will always be easier. It is easier to trace the status of a truck than that of the dozens of packages from a last-mile delivery person and which have previously passed through many points where they should have been read – being able to include different transport companies during the journey.
Added to this better traceability is greater precision when predicting delivery times. Although express parcel and pallet delivery deliveries are improving every day in this regard and offer tighter time slots, delivery notices and other modalities, they are always exposed to delivery difficulties. And incidents or delays, or the very need to create the delivery route for each day, make it difficult to give exact delivery times. By contrast, a full load eliminates all those intermediate deliveries and can predict with more time what time a delivery might be made.
The shortest path between two points is a straight line, and in land transport that is synonymous with a full load. Cargo transport can go from the place of collection to the place of unloading, omitting the steps that groupage and express pallets have to take. With this, not only does it reduce kilometers traveled, but it also eliminates the time involved in the processes -routing, labeling, consolidation-, and the moments in which the merchandise is stopped at the removal points or in the delegations waiting for a new link or to be uploaded for final delivery.
However, it is important to keep one thing in mind. For the express pallet store, it is easier to include one more pallet through its processes, without this creating the need for more resources or procedures. However, full load transport means having to hire a vehicle in its entirety -often a trailer-, so it is possible that our supplier does not always have a vehicle immediately available for our last minute needs.
Simplicity is one of the strengths of full load transport
The challenges of full load transportation
The first difficulty that most companies face when thinking about the use of freight transport is whether they will be able to have enough merchandise -or enough orders- to fill an entire truck. In this section there are many things that are beyond the control of the loader: the size of the customer’s order may be difficult to change and it may be unfeasible to wait until several of his orders accumulate to fill that hypothetical truck.
As we explained at the beginning, there are logistical trends that play against it. Many companies have decided to reduce the size of their stocks, which is accompanied by a reduction in the space to store merchandise, which sometimes makes it impossible for their suppliers to supply them with large shipments, but rather they have to limit themselves to small batches delivered more frequent (this is where a service like the express paleteria gain prominence).
In these cases, the client must study whether he has greater savings by reducing stocks or by lowering the cost of transport by being able to receive shipments in large quantities.
forecast and information
Facilitating the work of our logistics operator will always have an impact on our own benefit. If we do not have a sufficient load, the next step is to see to what extent we can carry out a work of forecasting and information on the number, place and dates in which we will need them.
Being able to give a cargo schedule to our transport provider will be a great help, and the more detailed it is, the better. Knowing each day of the year in which we will have to load allows logistics operators to create better processes, routes and synergies, which ultimately translates into better service and better cost.
Obtaining information and forecasts can be expensive and complex for companies, but the results of sharing that information can be highly beneficial.
To manage the transport of full cargo, there are many shippers who choose to use the services of freelancers. This solution allows them not to have to make a large investment in vehicles and drivers and have that part of expenses as variables. However, this also creates its own difficulties: managing a large number of freelancers can be a very complicated task and depending on various factors, such as volumes, it can be difficult for us to “loyalty” these freelancers and ensure enough trips for them to be able to count on them in a safe and recurring way, even more so when an emergency may arise.
For this reason, outsourcing the management and execution of our full load transport can make our day-to-day life much easier, eliminate procedures and give us peace of mind when it comes to knowing that our needs are covered.
Full load transport, therefore, is one of the types of transport that can give the most benefits to customers who fit their profile. If you have the right volumes, periodicity and customers, it can mean a great leap in quality and efficiency for your supply chain.