The Right Method of Transport For Your Business

Warehouse industrial building interior with people and forklifts handling goods in storage area.

To get your product from one place to another, you need a method of transport. Logistics is about the management and distribution of goods — vast quantities. Without using a mode of transportation, even the smallest businesses would struggle to get their products from A to B. When choosing the proper method to transport goods in Singapore, business owners have four main options: road, maritime, rail, and air shipments.

When shipping temperature-controlled cargo, your products must remain in a specific range. Therefore, hiring the wrong method of transportation can have detrimental effects. There are several factors — from volume to weight and even time — that you should consider when choosing which mode of transportation is suitable for you.

To help you get started, here are some essential tips on how to choose the proper method of transport for your cold chain logistics solution:

Road Shipments can be Considered the Most Flexible Mode of Transportation.

Trucking is smart for companies with domestic strategies and those who need full container load (FCL) shipments or greater supply chain visibility. Freight trucking can be a more economical option for domestic delivery when you need a quick turnaround time. They are ideal for short distances and small shipments that do not need to be rushed. They work well with a ‘just in time’ delivery approach.

Another critical factor is that road transport companies have direct access and control over the refrigeration units, which allows them to monitor temperatures closely and react quickly to any deviation from the required parameters. This makes road transport the ideal mode of transportation for short journeys.

However, road transports also come with their own set of limitations. Firstly, they are only suitable for short journeys, as long trips may cause excessive wear and tear on the vehicle and leave insufficient time for temperature monitoring in case of temperature fluctuations.

Road shipments also tend to be significantly more expensive than train or ship transport, especially if you plan to deliver large quantities of goods across long distances. However, road shipments can be an extremely cost-effective option if you want your goods delivered urgently, as they allow you to reach your destination much faster than ship or train transport.

Maritime Shipments are Great for Long-Distance Shipping.

The most widely used method of temperature-controlled transport operation is marine shipping. It’s highly reliable and cost-effective — provided that you’re not in a hurry to receive your goods at their destination. If time isn’t that important for your Business, maritime shipments are ideal for moving your goods over long distances.

Ships can carry hundreds of containers at once, and there are plenty of options for refrigerated compartments to keep your perishable goods safe. The downside is that this process takes weeks instead of days, so you need to plan. Choosing the correct port and harbor when booking your shipment is also essential.

This can be very frustrating if you have time-sensitive cargo, as it could mean that your shipment could arrive long after you require them. In addition, if ocean activity is evil, your shipment could be delayed by weeks or even months due to rough seas and bad weather conditions. For example, if there is a hurricane in the middle of your shipment’s path, it may be diverted to avoid the storm, adding days or weeks to its journey time.

Air Freight is Generally the Most Expensive Option, but it's also the Fastest.

Air transport dominates the cargo industry, making up 40% of all freight transported worldwide — but from a cold-chain perspective, it has two significant drawbacks: fragility and cost. Airfreight is prohibitively expensive for many companies, particularly those that don’t have an extensive portfolio of high-value goods or can’t afford to get products to the market quickly. 

Moreover, air freight is highly susceptible to temperature fluctuations during transit — which could be disastrous for a shipment of frozen food. In addition to being fragile, air freight also poses a security risk. Airports often lack the space and personnel needed to properly secure shipments while they wait to be loaded into planes. This makes them vulnerable to theft or tampering.

Airfreight is perfect for shipping goods over short distances where speed takes precedence over cost-efficiency. Air freight has become the de facto method for delivering these goods by e-commerce giants like Amazon. It offers consumers same-day delivery without being prohibitively expensive.

Rail Shipment is Efficient for Both LTL and FTL Shipping.

Rail shipments are often used as an alternative to shipping by road when less than truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL) cargo must travel long distances. Rail is typically used by large retailers that move large volumes of goods between distribution centers across the country.

Rail transport has become more popular because it’s more fuel-efficient and can result in lower costs for shippers. The shipping cost by rail is typically somewhere in between air and sea shipping, but it usually takes longer.

The biggest drawback to rail transport is that it’s less flexible than other options and usually requires more lead time. Shippers also must deal with several third parties to arrange rail shipments, adding complexity and cost.

Consider what your Business needs Most Carefully when Choosing a Primary Method of Transport.

Despite the best efforts of the people involved in shipping and delivery, there is a genuine possibility that your shipment could be delayed or damaged. This is especially true if you are shipping something that needs to remain at a specific temperature or if your shipment needs to arrive at its destination quickly. A great way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to hire a company that specialises in cold-chain transportation.

To choose the right option for your needs, it’s essential to understand what you’re looking for. The options above have their advantages and drawbacks, so it’s important to know what you should be looking for when choosing among them.

You know both you and your clients want food that is fresh and at a fair price. But with tons of logistics companies to choose from, it used to be impossible to find a one-stop shop for all your needed logistics support and cold-chain management. TreeLogs changes that.  Sign up with us so we can work with you to understand your business needs and customise a plan that works best for you while providing unmatched services that help manage your cold-chains with ease.