Category: Transportation

How Much of America’s Shipping Goes by Ground Transportation?

In the United States, ground transportation is an essential part of the supply chain. It accounts for a large percentage of shipping and is used by many industries to move goods from one place to another. This article explores why ground transportation is so popular among businesses and what aspects make it such an attractive option.

America’s Shipping Landscape

The United States has depended on its ground transportation network of roads and highways for domestic shipping since the early days of the country. As of 2021, more than 59.2 million tons of goods were being shipped daily, with most of this transported by truck and railroads. To better understand how much goods travel by road in America each day, let us examine different modes of transport and their utilization rates:

  • Trucks. Trucks dominate the American shipping landscape, accounting for approximately 74% of the freight value. This ground transportation mode is preferred for its flexible and convenient door-to-door delivery service.
  • Railroads. Railways are responsible for the shipment of nearly 25% of America’s goods, providing cost-effective and environment-friendly transportation, especially for bulky cargo and long distances.

Combining these numbers, we can estimate that around 99% of America’s shipping is facilitated through ground transportation, including both trucks and railways.

Why Ground Transportation Dominates Freight Shipping in America?

Here are the major factors that contribute to the dominance of ground transportation for shipping in the United States:

  • Accessibility and Flexibility. The nation’s road system provides comprehensive coverage and door-to-door delivery options, making it possible to ship goods anywhere across the country. Because America’s highways can access even remote corners of this vast continent, trucking companies have a versatile network for moving freight from Point A to Point B.
  • Speed and Time. While air freight may technically be faster, its limited reach means that ground transportation must be used to get the goods from airports to their destinations.
  • Cost-Effectiveness. To ship goods, businesses and industries can choose from a variety of transportation options. For small packages or shipments, ground transportation like trucks are often more cost-effective than rail. Rail transportation is especially beneficial for moving large volumes, offering lower costs per unit than trucks and considerably less emission.
  • Infrastructure. The United States has a highly developed highway and railroad infrastructure, making ground transportation the most accessible option for businesses throughout the country.

Freight transportation, which is carried out by both trucks and railways, plays a crucial role in America’s shipping industry. Freight has 99% of the total volume and dominates because it offers accessibility, flexibility (or speed), time-saving capacity/time as well cost effectiveness over other forms of ground transport.

While other transportation modes certainly exist, and facilitate trade – notably maritime and air transport – ground transportation remains the beating heart of America’s shipping landscape.

Only The Very Best Transport Companies Can Handle Oversized Loads

Transportation plays a significant role in the success and profit margins of various businesses around the world. The ability to transport oversized loads is an important part of transportation services for companies that regularly deal with large shipments. Only the very best companies have the expertise, safety specs, and necessary equipment to carry oversized loads efficiently and professionally.

  • Understanding Oversized Loads. When transporting large or heavy items like industrial equipment, construction machinery, prefabricated homes and wind turbine components, among others, it is vital to understand what constitutes an oversized load. The precise definition of an “oversized load” can vary depending upon local laws; however, personalized items exceeding the standard vehicle’s width, height or length generally categorize as oversized loads.
  • Expertise Matters. The transportation of oversized loads requires an exceptional level of expertise and advanced logistics skills. The transporters should be aware of and adhere to various federal, state and local regulations with a deep understanding of complex route planning. Besides, familiarity with permits and how to obtain them is another necessity. These tasks can’t be adequately fulfilled by just any transportation company, but only by those with years of experience and required competency levels.
  • Safety Considerations. Specialized transport vehicles are used for the transportation of oversized loads, which presents a higher risk factor than standard loads, both for the transported goods and public safety on the roads. Top-tier transport companies invest heavily in safety measures and practices, including the use of specialized transport vehicles equipped with the best safety features. Additionally, they provide strict safety protocol training programs to their staff to ensure that precautions are taken seriously across the entire company.
  • Necessary Equipment. Handling oversized loads requires companies to have a diverse fleet of vehicles, including cranes and trailers, to facilitate transport requests. The best companies have access to all of the necessary tools and equipment to complete these difficult transports.
  • On-Time Delivery. Oversized transport goods are more than just the safe and compliant transportation of items from point A to B; it’s about delivering them in a timely manner. Delayed deliveries can cost clients profitable business opportunities, which is detrimental to the client-transporter relationship. The very best transport companies not only assure safe and compliant transportation but also guarantee timely deliveries.

Transport companies that handle oversized transport loads must have the expertise, high safety standards, specialized equipment, and prompt services to do so. Partnering with a firm that can provide this level of service can bring peace of mind when moving an oversized load.