Did you know that most of the items or products found at home, in the office, and at work or anywhere else have passed through what is known as freight transport service? Freight is the term usually used when referring to the crates or boxes of items being moved from the manufacturer’s site to the user’s location.
What is Freight Transport?
The movement of goods is called freight transport services. This is facilitated by freight companies or freight forwarders for a certain fee. Being a product user, you only know how good or bad a product is through your usage. Nothing is said or expressed as to the process or procedure that this product goes through before it reaches your hands.
Freight transport companies, like any other business venture, have problems of their own as well. This is true even in the core service they are providing. This article highlights some of the major challenges that freight companies go through in delivering the goods right to the user’s end. Discussed also in this article are the strategies they employ to keep their operation and their services afloat.
Most Common Mode of Transport
Goods are manufactured for human consumption. As the population grows, so does the volume of goods in proportional degree. In relation to freight forwarding companies, this means that more cargo will be transported to consumers. There are various methods of transport services such as via air, water, and land. Among this wide range of transport mode, the land is recognised as the most frequently used method. This is for the very reason that most consumers are located on land.
Land freight or road freight is, therefore, the more frequent cargo movement mode. In fact, road freight is commonly referred to as “the last mile”. This is because it is the mode that delivers the products into the customer’s hands. Since road transport plays a major role in getting the products to their users, much of the problems of freight transport pertain to this transport mode.
Problems on Road Freight Transport
With the increase in the volume of goods to be transported, freight companies such as National Freight Management are in the thick of battle to overcome various challenges in their operation. This includes the following:
Roads are only as use-worthy and of much help when well-paved. The moment they begin to deteriorate, the first sufferers are the transport vehicles and their crew members who have to suit up to the worsened road conditions. Needless to say, these problems are borne by the freight companies. Since they cannot do anything about the roads, they have no choice but to address the issues they have some control over. This includes shouldering the added costs of vehicle maintenance such as:
- Tire replacement;
- Suspension repair;
- Fuel wastage; and
- Truck unit replacement
Freight services companies are also obliged to give additional benefits and incentives for crew members.
When roads are good, there is minor breakage or freight damage which is mostly due to handling. This can be controlled by risk mitigation procedures. But with poor roads, breakages or damages can be very inevitable. These can be caused by vibrations due to the unworthy road as the goods are transported to their destinations. Such damages can be lessened by slowing down in speed but this can cause delays in delivery. The usual remedy to this situation is insurance but premiums will increase the cost of the service. Moreover, under bad road conditions, accidents are more likely to happen.
When goods are contracted for freight transport, these are usually covered by place and time commitments. If road conditions are good and there is no traffic congestion on the route, the commitment to deliver on time can be fulfilled. Otherwise, there is a delay in delivery. Most delivery contracts require the physical presence of identified recipients. If delivery is delayed, it causes untold repercussions on the outcome of the freight.
Of course, traffic conditions will dictate the fuel consumption of every freight transport vehicle. Being aware of the relative value of this energy item, National Freight Management makes sure that its service vehicles are either newly acquired or well-maintained to keep the fuel consumption at the lowest minimum.
Vehicle emissions are the second largest emissions in the US, next only to electricity. 18% of the total emissions recorded come from freight transport vehicles, mostly heavy trucks. National Freight Management’s strategy on this issue involves system optimisation. This improves operational efficiency, lesser trips and advanced vehicle technology.
These are just some of the challenges faced by various road freight companies. How the freight forwarding companies respond to these problems remain a matter of individual operational strategy for most of them. The reality is that there will be continuing challenges along the way. Some of which may not have been mentioned such as increasing labour cost or its opposite labour shortage.
Certainly, these will be issues of massive significance for the companies’ thriving success. While the freight companies are fighting their own battle, it is hoped that the issues outside of the transport companies’ control, such as keeping roads use-worthy, will be immediately addressed by the government for the benefit of all.