When it comes to international shipping and moving goods overseas, container transport becomes a crucial part of the process. Container haulage involves transporting containers by road to their desired ports. Then they can be transferred onto ships so they can be transported to the desired destination. A container haulage company will take care of the process, ensuring all goods are transported using their freight services.
The containers are loaded before they are transported to the ports but the advantage is that the containers do not need to be opened and all items inside are secure and safe. Shipping is one of the most common types of transport used in the movement of goods and so, containers are constantly moving around the world via some of the busiest shipping lanes.
The containers come in standard sizes and are transported over longer distances which is ideal for the shipping of large volumes of items. It is a solution that has helped to aid efficiency and economies of trade, especially when you consider the value of the items that move through the transport system each year.
How Does Container Haulage Work?
A container haulage service will be taken care of by a company that handles container transport. They will offer a variety of container haulage services to suit your needs. In order to transport containers, you need a specialist company that can take them by road to the required port. The delivery is taken care of as the vehicles involved are designed to support and secure containers, ensuring they remain safe throughout the journey.
The containers come in two sizes known as a twenty-foot equivalent unit and a forty-foot equivalent unit. The latter is the most widely used but any haulage company will need to FORS registered operators. This means that they are legally allowed to transfer large containers safely. Furthermore, when they are FORS registered, it means that the company will offer a first-class service and will follow all best practises when it comes to efficiency, safety, and the environment.
There are a number of different types of containers available:
Flat Rack Containers – These come with collapsible sides and are usually used in the transport of boats and cars.
Open Side Containers – These can be opened on the side and make it easier to load wider materials.
Open Top Containers – These have no roof which means that they can ship large items such as logs or machinery
Refrigerated Containers – These are used for the shipping of perishable items or pharmaceutical goods.
There are also several types of container shipments:
FCL (Full Container Load) – This involves the shipment of items whereby the container and all of the goods it contains will only be shipped to a single recipient.
LCL (Less than Container Load) – This is when the container is not full and is not being sent to one recipient. This means that it can be loaded with goods for several recipients.
Types of Container Haulage
Standard haulage is known to be the most cost-effective option when it comes to transporting shipping containers. This will involve the shipping of standard containers.
Sidelifter ‘Wait and Load’ Haulage
It is a popular choice to deliver containers to the ground so they can be unloaded and this is done by using two lifting cranes that are located on the vehicle. The container is then lifted onto the ground so it can be loaded and unloaded. This is often used by businesses that have no loading bay and it is suitable for a wide range of cargo.
Drop and Collect Haulage
Drop and collect haulage is the process of delivering an empty container and taking a full one away. This is ideal for those situations where a container cannot be unloaded quickly which helps to reduce the costs but also offers flexibility and convenience.
Container Haulage Services Costs
Costs will vary according to your requirements. If you need your container urgently shipped, then it will be more expensive than if you have the flexibility to wait for a cheaper slot. Transporters like to be able to collect a load on the return journey, as this optimises their time. If you are prepared to be flexible, then it will reduce the cost of your container haulage. Cost is also reflected in the distance travelled and the size and weight of the load. Whilst the longer the distance, the greater the cost, the cost per mile will reduce with longer trips.
Which Option is Best for Your Business?
When it comes to container shipping and transportation, the best option comes down to a number of reasons. If you are looking for a flexible solution then drop and collect might be better as this will give you access to a container when you need it. However, standard haulage with both full container load or less than container load will also enable you to get exactly what you are looking for.
What you need does depend on the items you are shipping and what your business offers. If you are shipping perishable items then you will need refrigerated containers although larger items might need the 40ft container or a container that has collapsible sides.
Benefits of Container Haulage
Flexibility and Versatility – One of the main advantages is the way in which a container can hold many different products and materials. This makes it possible to transport a wide range of items with one service. The versatility is also clear to see as the containers can be transported by vehicle and moved onto ships with ease, making it easier to move goods around the world.
Safety and Security – This is also one of the most secure methods available when it comes to shipping goods. The containers are stored securely and they are made out of steel which makes them extremely secure and durable. They are also safe as they can be locked which stops items from spilling out and it can also reduce theft.
Quick Deliveries – Container shipment offers convenience and there are many types of transportation involved that can speed up the process. Cargo ships are constantly moving around the world, docking, unloading, and loading again. This means that you can send items over long distances.
Cost-effective – You have the ability to use a freight business to transport a large volume of goods over long distances, which can help to save money.
How to Prepare Cargo for Container Transport
The main criteria for container transport is that the cargo is packed into the container before collection. The haulage company simply comes and collects the container. This makes it a very cost-efficient way to transport cargo but does mean your container needs to be properly packed before collection. Cargo needs to be securely packed so that it won’t be damaged during transport. Containers, especially on international journeys, will be moved on and off different forms of transport, and the cargo inside needs to be secure. Packing a container to capacity will help this. If there is any space, your cargo could potentially slide around, and possibly break. Conversely, don’t overfill your container, or spread the weight unevenly.
How to Choose a Haulage Company to Support Your Needs?
When it comes to choosing your haulage company, you will need to make a number of considerations. You will need to understand your requirements and whether you need to have containers shipped to you or whether you need to ship containers. The company should have a clear understanding of what is required to provide first-class service while they should also have qualified drivers and the correct vehicles to handle your containers and take care of the goods that you are shipping.
As an established haulage company, JMD Haulage has the experience to provide a leading container haulage service throughout UK including Felixstowe.
Container Haulage FAQs
1. How long does it typically take for a container to be delivered in the UK?
The only limit for delivery within the UK is the time limit on drivers. Drivers are only allowed to drive for 9 hours per day, which includes breaks.
2. What safety regulations do container haulage companies have to follow?
Drivers are strictly regulated and assessed to ensure that they are safe to drive. Moving containers around can be dangerous, companies must be FORS registered to ensure that all containers are moved safely. If haulage companies move dangerous goods, firearms, or specialist goods, then they will need to have the relevant licences in place to do so.
3. Do you provide international transport services?
We only transport across the UK. However, we work with many freight forwarders and work in and out of the docks, so offer a reliable and crucial link in many overseas transport services.
4. How do I track the progress of my container during transport?
Our experienced drivers will ensure that they are on schedule as agreed. If they are delayed for any reason, then they will report in. This ensures that all our customers can be kept updated about their containers.
5. What is the maximum weight limit for containers?
The total vehicle weight including the vehicle, chassis, container, genset, and cargo combined, for road haulage must not exceed 44,000 kg (97,000 lb). You will need to know the available weight, to ensure that you don’t overfill your container.
6. How do you handle customs clearance and paperwork?
As we only transport within the UK, your customs clearance and paperwork will be dealt with by your freight forwarder.
7. What measures do you take to prevent theft or damage to cargo?
We are extremely experienced, and our drivers are trained to be aware of the risk to their cargo. We have a secure site where our fleet is stored and maintained.
8. What are the insurance options for container haulage services in the UK?
Insurance is available for container haulage in the UK. The cost will depend on the value of the shipment and the risk factors as assessed by the insurance brokers.
9. How do you handle unexpected delays or issues during transport?
We always communicate any issues or delays to our customers. Our drivers are in constant communication with our fleet management team, so we always know of any problems on the roads.