What Is Transloading?

Transloading refers to when inbound freight is unloaded, unpacked, sorted through, and organized into different pallets for outbound shipping.

Transloading is not to be confused with cross-docking, which is just the unloading of inbound freight, storing it in a warehouse or terminal for a brief period of time, then loading it back onto trucks for outbound shipping. The pallets do not get broken down and re-palletized in cross-docking.

What Products Are Accepted for Transloading Services?

As long as the trucks are qualified and fully equipped with proper safety measures, a multitude of products can be transloaded, including but not limited to:

  • Dry bulk transloading: coal, pellets, sand, paper, farm feed, grains, flour, sugar

  • Other consumable goods: canned foods, frozen food, fresh produce

  • Construction materials: lumber, metal, bricks, tiles, paper

  • Oversized transloading: auto-parts, solar panels, machinery, military vehicles

  • Liquids: ethanol, diesel fuel, and other flammable or hazardous chemicals

How Are Transloading Services Performed?

Transloading services are typically performed in the same way. The cargo arrives at the transloading facility, gets sorted by workers, then gets re-palletized and placed on different trucks for either the next leg of its journey, or placed into storage facilities. But depending on the type of cargo, different types of equipment are used in this process.

  • Forklifts: transfer pallets from a truck to a rail cart

  • Cranes: used when moving heavy products like steel cargo onto flatbed trucks

  • Conveyor belts: for bulk products like rice and sand

  • Pumps: for plastic pellets and liquids

What Are Potential Transloading Costs?

Similar to receiving an accurate freight quote, companies should provide detailed information and specific requirements regarding their freight when searching for transloading services. By listing out every element that needs to be taken into consideration, companies are more likely to receive an accurate transload rate.

  • Transloading costs are for: labour costs, deconstruction of pallets at a warehouse, repalletizing, loading the cargo back on trucks for final delivery, fuel costs, supply and demand, and potential taxes or tariffs

What Are Some Benefits of Transloading Services?

  1. Cost-Effective 

One of the biggest advantages that come with using transloading is that it is incredibly cost-effective. Transloading services allow shippers the benefit of being flexible in choosing a transportation method, like rail or truck. A lot of shippers and carriers don’t have rail tracks near their facilities, but with transloading, they can still reap the benefits of rail affordability by utilizing transloading to transport cargo from warehouses to rail cars. And with rail freight costing less for long journeys, the transportation process is also fuel-efficient, contributing to lower transloading costs.

  1. Increases Shipping Destinations  

With the increased freedom and flexibility to choose different modes of transportation during a shipment also comes the chance to diversify and expand a business’s customer base. Transloading offers multiple transportation routes to ship cargo safely and securely via a combination of rail and trucks, which means customers can be in remote or international locations.

  1. Time-Efficient 

Proper planning and management done by transloading companies simplify the entire process. With the help of a transloading professional, shipping routes and transloading methods get planned out in advance, which allows shipments to move through the entire operation smoothly and efficiently.

  1. Offers Storage Options 

Cargo can be transloaded for ground storage, and then transloaded again back onto trucks and trains when it’s time for the final delivery. This is especially useful for on-demand shipping, since products can be prepared in advance, and just be stored in warehouses or distribution centres prior to being ordered.

Let Us Know if You Need Help!

If you need any assistance regarding freight forwarding, contact SFI today, and we’ll take care of your shipping needs. Email us at info@sfi.com or call us at (909) 594-3400.