Did you know that on average, the most expensive mode of shipping (per pound) is heavy haul? You would think that most heavy haul carriers would offer some sort of discount to their clients based on the amount they ship. After all, carriers who specialize in other shipping modes often offer discounted rates for those who ship more weight.
Unfortunately, the opposite is commonplace when it comes to heavy haul carriers. These carriers are not just responsible for loading and offloading freight. In fact, heavy haul carriers, more often than not, must use specialized equipment and follow very specific procedures. Due to this, the client usually foots the bill for all the extra work that goes into a typical heavy haul.
However, that doesn't mean that there aren't ways that you can save a few bucks on your next heavy haul shipment!
Let's take a look at 5 of the most basic, yet effective ways you can do this...
Work with an All-Inclusive Heavy Haul Carrier
An all-inclusive heavy haul carrier is one that handles the whole process. Essentially, the goal of this is to locate someone (a carrier or third-party logistics company) who can assist with the loading and unloading of your heavy hauls.
The problem is that while in theory, this is an awesome concept, most carriers charge extra for this service. This is also what attributes to most of the cost, to be completely honest.
Often this leaves the shipper just a few options. They could hire contractors to do the loading and offloading, pay the carrier extra to use their own equipment, or invest in the tools to do it in-house. The latter is not feasible for most small-mid-sized businesses. And the other options, while not as expensive, still cost a sizeable amount of money.
However, by working with an all-inclusive shipping company you could potentially save a large chunk of money. Why hire two contractors and a carrier when you can work with a 3PL that has the available resources to handle all the technicalities?
Complete Research on Permits & Special Handling
Knowledge is power!
The more you know about the regulations, permits, and special handling paperwork needed for a heavy haul shipment, the better prepared you will be to determine whether you’re getting a good deal.
It’s important to find a heavy hauler that complies with and is educated on all permits needed for transportation. These include all local, state, and federal standards. If they are certified in a specific area, or your shipment requires that they be, ask to see accreditation. It is also important for you to understand these standards for yourself!
Hazardous materials, temperature-controlled (these also typically require reefer trucks), and other special requirements can require special tracking procedures – but almost always – require special permits. It's important to work with someone who can comply with these things and know how to properly maintain these standards.
This seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, you would be surprised at how often it poses an issue for shippers.
Be Proactive – Not Reactive
Many heavy haul shipments are of equipment that is too big for standard carriers. Most of the time these shipments must be planned out well in advance to ensure the correct procedures are implemented for the safe delivery of these items. Yes, heavy haul shipments take time to set-up and complete.
Because of the level of detail that must go into these shipments, it is always a wise idea to think ahead a bit.
Is the freight ready to be moved?
If not, when will it be ready?
Does your customer have someone to offload the freight?
If not, is this something you will handle?
These are all valid questions to ask yourself before going any further.
Also, for any heavy haul shipment, make sure you know the size, weight, and proportions of your freight for a better estimate. Speaking of estimates, shop around first. Get estimates from a few different heavy haul carriers before making a final decision.
Moreover, when you’re estimating a heavy haul shipment, don’t always assume that the cheapest deal is the best value. Sometimes it pays to spend a little extra to ensure you don’t lose money in the long-run.
As we’ve indicated above, working with a 3PL for your heavy haul shipping needs tends to be the most practical and affordable option. An experienced 3PL like Redwood Logistics can work with you to handle the entire movement, obtain all permits, and ensure timely and safe delivery.