The haulage industry is responsible for moving all manner of different items safely and securely across the country throughout the day and night. For urgent supplies, to regular orders, haulage is a vital cog in many businesses that often have complex supply chains. The most common type of haulage is road haulage, which has many advantages over other types of haulage, such as rail. Road haulage has great flexibility as it can offer a door-to-door service that is not reliant on schedules. Rail haulage is a useful form of transport for certain items, where the location is compatible with the railway network, but it can lead to having to load and reload goods, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Many items can be transported by road haulage, and here we have a look at the different types of haulage.

Introduction to Haulage

Haulage is the skill of delivering goods to the right place at the right time and, unsurprisingly, also using the cheapest method. We have been transporting goods since before the combustion engine, so haulage is an age-old industry. Our modern road network, despite its occasional issues, gives us impressive connectivity, enabling us to deliver goods efficiently and economically across the country, without being confined by schedules. Haulage is a 24-hour industry and provides essential services throughout the country.

Categories of Haulage Services

There are many variations of haulage, all of which need professional and skilled drivers who can safely and securely transport their cargo. Some types of haulage of certain goods require special licences, permits, or training, to ensure that those goods are transported in the best possible way. Almost anything can be transported by road, using fleets of lorries of varying size and capacity, as well as a range of specialised transport equipment.

General Haulage

As the name would suggest, general haulage refers to normal, everyday items that are regularly transported up and down the country each day. These are safe, and standard items. The majority of haulage is general haulage, with sectors such as retail, agriculture, and healthcare relying on the transport system to maintain the smooth running of their supply chains. Many of the essentials of our daily life rely on the haulage network to ensure that goods are available as and when they are needed.

Heavy Duty Haulage

Heavy-duty haulage refers to anything that is exceptionally heavy. Each type of lorry has a maximum load capacity, and a heavy load will require a specific vehicle to transport it safely. The speed limit for heavy-load vehicles may be reduced, for safety reasons. This is a more specialist transport service and not all haulage companies may offer this service.

Container Haulage

Container haulage is when goods are transported inside a container. This may mean that a complete, pre-packed container is collected by a tractor unit, and delivered, or that the haulage company provides the container, ready to be packed by the company. Containers are a popular and easy way to transport goods.

Cold Haulage

Cold haulage is used to transport goods that need to be kept at specific temperatures. These goods are carried in specifically designed refrigeration containers and are regularly used to transport food and medication. Cold haulage is a vital part of the food industry, as it allows food to be safely bought from overseas, as well as moved around the UK.

Livestock Haulage

Livestock needs to be humanely transported. There are detailed regulations around the transport of livestock, to ensure that the welfare of the animals is maintained at all times. Livestock haulage is a specialist transport service, that not all haulage companies can offer.

Hazardous Haulage

The transport of dangerous goods needs to be carried out by specialist hauliers who have the requisite training and certification to ensure that the items are transported safely and legally across the country. These may be items such as chemicals, gases, or explosives that could be dangerous if mishandled.

Specialist Types of Haulage

Any haulage that is different or specialist will normally be subject to additional regulation. If you need specialist haulage, it is always advisable to discuss your unique requirements with the haulage company to ensure that all the necessary legislation is handled correctly.

Abnormal Load Haulage

Moving extremely large loads can be difficult. Our road networks are designed for vehicles up to maximum dimensions, and it can be complicated to move objects that exceed this. If it is necessary to move objects such as these, for example, static caravans, then it can be done with escort vehicles to ensure safe passage of the cargo.

Parcel Delivery Haulage

Parcel delivery haulage differs from single parcel delivery, which is carried out by courier companies. Parcel delivery haulage transports large quantities of parcels to or from a single destination, and is an important service for the e-commerce industry, such as Amazon.

Fragile Load Haulage

Fragile goods, such as screens or glass, need careful packing, handling, and transporting, to ensure that they retain their pristine condition throughout their transport. Professional haulage companies, such as ourselves, have bespoke equipment to help with fragile load haulage, as well as specifically trained drivers, to ensure the safe delivery of fragile goods.

Vehicle Haulage

Vehicles often need to be moved across the country. Specialist vehicle transporters are used to safely carry large quantities of vehicles between locations.

Comparison Between Haulage and Freight

Haulage refers to the movement of goods by road or rail. As a leading road haulage company, we believe that the road is one of the best ways to move goods around the country. Freight covers road, rail, air, and sea, and is commonly used to refer to cross-border transportation. Whilst the two work together, they are different and serve different needs. A freight company may use a haulage company for the road section of their international logistics planning, with the haulage company collecting goods from the docks and delivering them to an endpoint.

Different Road Haulage Vehicles

The backbone of the haulage industry is the artic, short for an articulated lorry. The artic is the tractor unit that drives the load, onto which all different types of trailers can be connected depending on what needs to be moved.

  • Flatbed – extremely versatile as anything can be loaded onto them, but they need to be secured and protected from weather and theft.
  • Tilt trailers – similar to flatbeds, but with a canopy cover.
  • Curtain-sider – the most commonly seen type of trailer. These have a rigid frame, with secure back doors, and curtains along the side which can be pulled back for ease of loading.
  • Box trailer – similar to the curtain-sider but with rigid sides, a better solution for more valuable goods.
  • Low loaders – as the name would suggest, trailers that are lower to the ground, often used to transport heavy, or abnormal cargo that would be harder to load onto higher trailers.

Each specialist type of haulage will have a specific vehicle that is used. So, a vehicle transporter is used to transport cars, whilst an escort vehicle is used to support abnormal loads. Whatever needs to be moved, a professional haulage company will be able to recommend the best way and equipment to transport your goods securely and safely.

Choose a Reliable and Professional Haulage Company

A professional haulage company will advise you on the best solution for your transport needs. Extra regulations apply to the movement of certain goods, and it is important to ensure that your goods are being moved safely and legally. When you come to the team at JMD Haulage, we will advise on the best solution for your haulage needs, and ensure that you will always receive a professional and reliable service from our experienced haulage team. To discuss the different types of haulage and how we can help you, simply contact us today on 0151 547 6740


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