When transporting heavy cargo such as machinery or equipment parts, choosing the best mode of shipping is crucial to the hauling process. In instances where one has a choice between road and rail transport, it's essential to consider the pros and cons of both shipping modes before settling for one. This piece will address the key factors that should influence your choice between road and rail transport for heavy haulage:
The Speed Factor
Delivering heavy cargo within the scheduled period is crucial to the transportation process. Delays in transportation can affect operations and lead to potential losses. In this case, road transport tends to be faster when used for short-distance haulage. On the other hand, rail transport is a quicker choice for the long-distance transportation of cargo.
Both road and rail can be used for short-distance, long-distance and cross-border transportation. Therefore, when examining speed factors, consider other aspects such as the change of operators. While road transport may be slower over long distances, it can be faster than rail over short distances. Delays when changing operators in rail transport can significantly affect delivery times.
Size and Weight Considerations
Road transport tends to be limiting when it comes to cargo weight. Haulage trucks can only handle a specified amount of weight. On the other hand, cargo trains can carry more weight than trucks. As a result, they are an excellent choice when dealing with weighty cargo such as construction and farm machinery.
However, you should also consider the size factor. While trucks may not carry a lot of weight, they can handle oversized and irregularly shaped machinery. On the other hand, trains make use of containers, which may not always accommodate oversized machinery. Therefore, this can be a limiting factor when choosing between the two modes of transport.
Road transport tends to be cost-effective when hauling cargo over short distances. This form of transportation becomes costly over long distances due to fuel costs and potential delays due to weather changes and truck breakdowns. On the other hand, rail is cheaper over long distances. However, it is not viable for short-distance haulage.
When examining the cost, account for the cost of delivering the cargo to the final destination, as well. With road transport, some haulage companies can include door-to-door deliveries in their quotation. However, with rail, you have to organise for the transportation of the goods from the delivery station to the final destination.
Both road and rail are viable transportation options for heavy haulage under different circumstances. Examine these two options against the above factors so you can settle with the fastest and most efficient and affordable mode of transport.