Not only is the United States a world leader in manufacturing and technology, but that nation is also home to a robust industry for transportation and freight delivery. Industrial machinery transport services, less than truckload freight (LTL freight services), trade show freight, and more can be delivered by truck, or sometimes by ship or train if needed. Today, the United States is home to many different carrier companies, most of them being smaller companies that have a modest but hard-working fleet of trucks for trade show freight and more. Some trucks are built for specialized roles, while others are generalists. What is there to know about today’s expedited freight companies, such as for trade show freight to deliver kiosks or display stands?
Freight Delivery Today
Just how large is this industry today? Trucking alone makes up a large share of all goods transported within, and to and from, the United States. Canada, too, has a robust system of trucking transport, and a lot of land-based trade between the United States and Canada is done by truck along the expansive land border. Meanwhile, in the United States, trucking delivered some 13 billion tons of cargo in 2013. This is set to change; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by the year 2040, that number may grow to an impressive 18.79 billion tons of cargo. Around 5.9 million commercial motor vehicle drivers are employed in the United States today, and they are often working for many of these numerous, smaller carrier companies. The U.S. Department of Transportation has released some estimates about the total value of all freight being delivered, which may rise from $882 per ton in 2007 all the way to $1,337 per ton in the year 2040. The LTL market alone transports $35 billion tons of cargo, which may range from delivering trade show freight to cars to furniture to groceries.
There is more than one way to deliver groceries or trade show freight by truck, but there are some general industry trends to consider. Freight brokering companies, for example, are third parties who can arrange deals between carriers who seek work and shippers who need someone to deliver their cargo on time. Once a freight broker helps negotiate a deal between a shipper and carrier, geospatial data may be used with the truck’s GPS to track where it is going and estimate when it may reach certain destinations. The field of geospatial data analysis is already large, and is aggressively growing. This is relevant to the interests of freight brokers, shippers, and carriers alike, making it easier to predict arrival times and react to unexpected delays or difficulties.
Trucks may make a trip for more than one client at a time. Some shippers need only a fraction of the truck’s trailer space, but it would be a waste of money to pay for all of that volume. The solution is to use less than truckload, or LTL, shipping. Multiple shippers with small loads all share one truck’s space, and each one only pays for the volume that their cargo takes up. This ensures a fair deal for the shippers, and it also ensures that the carrier is not losing money by making a delivery for only a tiny amount of cargo. Wooden pallets, straps, padding, and more can be used to secure items in a truck bay and prevent anything from falling over or damaging each other.
Some trucks are meant to deliver specialized cargo, and their crews may have special training or equipment for the job. While trade show freight or furniture may only call for pallets or straps, cold groceries call for a reefer truck. A reefer truck’s trailer has a refrigeration unit built into it to keep all contents cool, vital for frozen foods, dairy, meats, wine, and the like. Most often, grocery stores make use of these reefer trucks. Some trucks even carry hazardous cargo such as liquid nitrogen, dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide), nuclear fuel rods, or natural gas or oil canisters. Workers who transport or load or unload such cargo typically have OSHA training and certification, and they may have specialized gear such as breathing apparatuses, thick gloves, or full body suits to handle such cargo.