Which Transportation Mode Is Best for You?

Choosing the right mode of transportation is paramount to the safe and timely delivery of your shipments. Here’s how to find the right mode for your needs.

Full truckload, box trucks, reefers vans – when it comes to freight transportation, the options are seemingly endless. The right transportation for your freight impacts its safety, on-time delivery, and quality of the shipment.

Avoid overspending on freight by strategically choosing the right mode for your needs.

How to Choose the Best Mode

When you’re evaluating different modes of transportation, here are some key questions:

  • How quickly does the product need to reach its destination?
  • Do you need to ship it in an hour?
  • Can you book freight in advance?
  • What’s your budget for the speed of delivery?
  • Is the product time or temperature-sensitive?
  • How valuable is the product?
  • How many pallets are you transporting?
  • How heavy is the shipment?
  • Does the product require special equipment to move?

The more you can plan ahead, the more you can save on shipping costs. The faster you need something shipped, the more competitive pricing can become. Not only that, longer lead-times help combat today’s supply chain issues, helping to ensure that your product is delivered on time.

Popular Transportation Modes

Here’s a breakdown of mode types and applications:

Dry Vans
Good for up to 52 pallets and 45,000 lbs. (dock high).
For refrigerated, temperature-controlled freight (dock high).
Sprinter Vans
Good for 4-8 pallets and up to 3,500 lbs. (not dock high).
Box Trucks
Good for 8-12 pallets and up to 10,000 lbs. with fewer requirements (28 ft long, dock high).
Ideal for heavy shipments up to 48,000 lbs. to destinations without shipping docks.

Competitive Pricing During a Disrupted Supply Chain

Coordinating your freight in advance is more important than ever as the current disruptions in the supply chain continue to strain the transportation industry. From ships unable to unload due to bottlenecks at ports to an existing – and growing – shortage of truck drivers, the transportation market remains competitive.

Other modes of transportation, such as rail or air, are also available depending on your needs. For some high-value items and products that require the fastest deliveries, air transportation can swiftly move product but can be significantly more costly.

For shipments scheduled well in advance, train transportation can offer great flexibility and cost-efficiency. Intermodal, or more than one mode of transportation, is also available.

Employing team drivers is often the quickest and most cost-efficient mode of transportation for valuable shipments, especially electronics. For smaller shipments, sprinter vans offer an easy and economical mode.

Specialized Modes & Options

Additional freight options include:

  • Conestoga: flatbed trailers with a rolling tarp system to protect cargo
  • Removable Gooseneck (RGN): flatbeds with easier loading for heavy cargo (also called double drop lowboy trailers)
  • Step Deck: include an upper and lower deck, the latter being used for hauling taller loads with a ramp for loading and unloading
  • Rail Yard Drayage: long-term or project work and transloading options for loading/unloading containers
  • Rail Intermodal: coast-to-coast rail coverage throughout North America.
  • Tankers: LiVe offers food-based tanker options
  • Less-than-Truckload (LTL): good for 1-6 pallets, this is often the cheapest mode of transport because of its traditional hub-and-spoke network delivery
  • Shared Truckload (STL): combines different customer shipments into the same retailer
  • Multi-Stop Delivery: combines the same customer shipments to various destinations

Talk to a Logistics Expert

Not sure where to start? LiVe’s team of industry veterans can help you determine the right mode of transportation. With extensive partnerships, decades of experience, and best-of-breed technology, we can help you save on transportation costs while ensuring your freight is delivered on time.

We believe in end-to-end supply chain visibility and are passionate about finding strategic solutions that fit our clients’ needs – and budgets. Talk to one of our transportation experts to learn more about finding the right mode.

Contact us to learn more about transportation modes