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Dry Van Shipping: What You Need to Know

by John Rediehs on July 28, 2015 No comments


Whether you’re learning about the logistics industry, or you work in it already, you’re probably inundated with mentions of the phrase “dry van trucking.” Turns out, it’s for a good reason – dry vans are the most commonly found trailer for shipping jobs, and therefore, the most commonly used. Dry vans refer to a big, empty box, essentially, which makes them useful for a range of different shipping jobs.

Dry van trucking companies offer services that meet a variety of needs, making them a versatile choice for several different industries, as well as an ideal job situation for many drivers. Learning more about dry van shipping, as well as flatbed and refrigerated options, will make it easier for you to decide which is the best option for shipping your freight. Of course, if you have any questions about anything, feel free to contact Red Dog Logistics any time.

The Differences Between Dry Van Shipping, Flatbed Trucks, and Refrigerated Freight

If you’re not yet sure what type of shipping method to use for your freight, learning about three of the common types can help you narrow down the choice. Dry van shipping, flatbed trucks, and refrigerated options are three top choices for shipping freight, and while they are somewhat similar, there are distinct differences between the three.

Dry Van Shipping

Dry van shipping refers to the vehicle or compartment used to haul shipments. In this case, the “dry van” is the trailer you see connected to trucks on the highway every day. They’re big, rectangular containers, essentially. They’re considered the most common type of freight transportation, and they’re designed to haul pallets or boxes of cargo, as well as most any other type of equipment.

There is no temperature control or other climate alterations within the dry van, which means if your freight needs to be refrigerated, this is not the choice for you. However, for items like consumer goods (clothing, some electronics, machinery, packaged foods, etc.) they are great, because they allow for a large amount of freight to be shipped at once in an organized and convenient manner.

Dry van trucking is often chosen for their convenience: In addition to being large and versatile, they protect cargo from bad weather, potential damage, and theft. They’re used for both full-truckload as well as LTL shipments—full truckloads can be scheduled with custom pick-up and delivery specifications, while LTL shipments can benefit from lower pricing thanks to freight consolidation.

No matter what type of products you’re shipping, as long as they aren’t required to be kept cold, dry van shipping can work for your transport needs.

Refrigerated Freight

Refrigerated LTL shipments are some of the most complex modes of transportation due to the limitations of time taken for the delivery and distance traveled. These shipments involve a refrigerated, temperature-controlled trailer that can be kept at temperatures for frozen products (0-10 degrees Fahrenheit) or refrigerated products (32-36 degrees Fahrenheit). Refrigerated LTL shipments ship at a temperature range, not at a specific degree, so if your product needs to be kept at a specific temperature while being shipped, this might not be the best option for your product.

Flatbed Trucks

These three methods of shipping freight are somewhat similar, but flatbeds are quite a bit different, in that they are trailers with no enclosures or doors. They can be loaded and unloaded from either the sides or above, which is ideal for oversized or irregularly shaped freight.

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What Industries Use Dry Van Shipping and Why?

Many industries use dry van trucking, and for a variety of reasons. First, because so many products are shipped via dry van—electronics, some foods, cleaning products, automotive equipment, and so much more. Another reason dry van shipping is so frequently chosen is because it’s very easy to find dry van shipping companies that have availability to ship freight. Many shipping companies and 3PL (third-party logistics) providers focus on dry van shipping because it’s a lucrative service to offer, which means you won’t have much difficulty finding a carrier that can handle your shipment.

As for employment opportunities, jobs with dry van trucking companies offer the most range for workers, because they run regionally, nationally, and locally—making it easier for employees to tailor their jobs to their needs (for instance, whether they want to be at home more or less). Industries that use dry van shipping include:

  • Food and beverage (non-perishable/non-refrigerated products)
  • Automotive
  • Electronics
  • Manufacturing
  • Consumer goods
  • Entertainment
  • Healthy & beauty
  • Cleaning products

Dry van shipping is perfect for any packaged freight that does not need refrigeration or other temperature control, and is standard-van sized or smaller because it’s an extremely versatile logistics service across a wide range of industries.

How to Find the Best Dry Van Freight Rates

If you’ve decided that dry van trucking is the way you want to ship your company’s goods, you’re in luck—there are many, many dry van shipping companies out there ready to accommodate your business’ needs. However, that can mean that finding rates that fit your budget can be relatively overwhelming—who has the time to check with so many dry van trucking companies?

Finding the best current dry van freight rates is easy at Red Dog Logistics. We want to make things easier for our clients, and that’s why we’re proud to offer an online rate quote tool. With our rate quote engine, you can find out rates for dry van shipping in just a few minutes, then book your shipment right from the website.

If you don’t like the initial dry van freight rates given, you also have the option to submit a “name your own price” request. If you choose that option, we’ll get back to you within five minutes either way. If we accept the rate, you can continue with the booking process, but if we reject it, you will still have the option to use the original quote provided for dry van shipping. Our goal is to make things as easy as possible for our customers, while offering them the best rates on the market. See our freight class calculator.

To learn more about dry van shipping, contact Red Dog Logistics today.

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John RediehsDry Van Shipping: What You Need to Know

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