Truck freight loading may seem just a transition process in transporting and shipping goods, but it is an important part of the supply chain. This is why you must carry out the process efficiently.
The speed and efficiency of loading freight trucks help deliver goods on time, preventing potential profit losses that may arise from a delayed shipment. Efficient truck freight loading also helps secure the cargo, preventing damage to the products in case the truck has to stop abruptly or when the cargo is transported in inclement weather.
Finally, proper truck freight loading keeps the driver and other shipping/transport personnel safe. Imagine if your cargo wasn’t tied well. You open the back of your trailer to an avalanche of containers that could injure you severely.
Before you implement your freight loading strategy, here are two things you must consider:
- Container: Whether you are loading or unloading a container, you need special lifting equipment for the job. To determine the best equipment, know the container’s dimensions and weight, and find the package that suits your product.
- Truck size: To save time, calculate the truck size against the size of the containers and their collective weight. It helps you determine the capacity of your truck and how many trailers you need for your shipment. For reference, here’s a resource on calculating truck trailer volume capacity.
Efficient Truck Loading Practices
When you’ve calculated the truck volume against the weight and dimension of containers, employing loading methods that save time and protect cargo should be easier. Here are a few methods:
1. Make sure the weight is distributed equally
Everyone’s familiar with a see-saw, right? When there’s too much pressure on one side, the other rises. It’s the same for trucks. When the weight is not equally distributed throughout the trailer, the truck (and its tires) tends to become unbalanced, risking container movement. The uneven weight may cause the load to roll over, especially along sharp turns.
2. Protect the cargo during transportation.
Efficient practices don’t only mean time-saving methods but cargo protection, as well. Damaged products cost a lot more than you think. On the part of your client, damaged goods can result in profit losses due to order cancellations. To protect freight during truck transport, consider doing the following:
- Stack boxes in an interlocking pattern for minimal movement.
- Address gaps with dunnage and fillers, where applicable, for cargo stability.
- Keep adjacent pallets at the same height, or at least minimize the height differential between boxes.
3. Keep the same family of products together
When loading the freight, you should also consider the best way to unload it. It starts at the warehouse. Minimize warehouse travel time by transferring the same families of products at the same time. Then, load these multiple pallets of similar products in one truck in one go. This way, you, other shipping personnel, or the receiver can easily retrieve the products during a stop, thus, saving you time from searching.
In itself, loading a truck is a challenging task: you’re set on a deadline, but you aren’t supposed to rush the process. Otherwise, you risk product damage or improper loading. The best way to prevent such circumstances is to strategize, considering the laws of physics.