Transloading for Growth: Unlocking New Markets and Opportunities

By
Golden State Logistics

At some point during the COVID pandemic, the logistics world had to make a conscious effort to embrace the world of technology, perhaps earlier than many old schoolers wanted.

Yes, it happened more out of need than want because most of the world was at a near standstill and resources were scarce. But today, the transloading logistics world is reaping the benefits of lessons learned during the hard times.

Through transloading, supply chain companies are finding it easier and more cost-effective to expand into new markets. They are enjoying lower fuel costs, improved flexibility, and quicker delivery times by combining rail with trucks and other modes of transportation.

Make no mistake: When it comes to tracking every move of every piece of cargo, transloading remains as complex as a Rubik’s Cube. That is why logistics companies specializing in transloading have become even more vital. Nearly half of the cargo that stops in Southern California is being transloaded. Whether it’s for the first mile or last or to split up for more efficient delivery, each transload has to be planned, tracked and accounted for.

If there is a buzzword for the supply chain in 2024, transloading may be it.

Understanding Transloading: The Basics

Almost any freight that can be relocated by forklift, crane, or other methods can be transloaded, and that not only saves companies big money, it also opens up new markets previously unavailable because of transportation costs.

The major difference between transloading and intermodal shipping is this: Transloading cargo can be separated and dispersed quicker. Other benefits include:

  • Instead of using three trucks to transport a large order from San Diego to Denver, for example, trains can be used for the long-haul portion of the shipment, and the cargo can be transloaded to trucks for the final mile. This allows for quicker delivery directly to multiple customers or to distribution and storage locations.
  • Transloading makes rail a viable option. One railcar can hold three to four truckloads of cargo. For companies with an emphasis on going green, it reduces emissions as well as saves on fuel costs. It also reduces dependence on long-haul truck and driver resources.
  • Transloading also expedites delivery time, particularly in cross-docking, where cargo from inbound trucks can be directly loaded onto outbound trucks and taken to brick-and-mortar stores and other customers.

The Strategic Advantage of Transloading

There are numerous ways that transloading can help a business grow. One major benefit is it gives logistics companies more flexibility to weigh the costs of different modes of transport and the ability to break the shipment into multiple legs to save both time and money for clients.

Some other benefits are:

  • Transloading eliminates the need for tracks to a company’s door. With transloading, freight can be moved to trucks for first- or last-mile delivery and on rail for the long-haul portion of shipments. This also eliminates the need for companies to rent or invest in transloading equipment and warehouses for site storage, saving money.
  • When transloading solutions are in place, new markets can be reached more affordably through rail.
  • Transloading today can be easy or it can remain a nightmare, depending on a shipper’s expertise. Logistics companies with networks of transloading providers have solutions already in place and the ability to make real-time changes. You don’t have to be a shipping expert to transload, but you need one.

Transloading in Action

Think of transloading as the great connector of services and expanding reach. Done right, it offers the best available shipping options for every load. Done wrong, freight that is split can easily get lost or misplaced.

But there is no denying the practice is gaining popularity. In Chicago, for example, about 50% of containers off-loaded at West Coast ports travel to or through the Windy City. Chicago also is an agricultural hub that is home to the first railroad-owned Global 4 grain transload facility. It can process 60,000 containers of soybeans and dried distiller grains annually.

Transload facilities like Chicago’s, strategically located to take advantage of rail, reduce transportation costs for producers and enhance supply chain efficiencies. They give companies ready access to empty containers already headed back to the West Coast and overseas markets.

For a list of products that are best suited for transloading, click here.

Golden State Logistics: Facilitating Growth Through Transloading

With more than 20 steamship lines, over a dozen terminals and several chassis providers to deal with, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate.

That’s where Golden State Logistics comes in to relieve headaches and take out the guessing game of doing it right.

GSL specializes in transloading services and strives to make every shipment as seamless and cost-effective as possible. Our systems leverage technology and have been designed to streamline each customer’s supply chain needs.

We provide a seamless transfer of goods between rail, truck, and ship. We give our customers real-time communication through electronic status reports, email, and phone calls. We are staffed 24/7 to ensure communication, solve problems for our fleet, and give progress reports as needed.

Some of our services are:

  • Transloading.
  • Drayage.
  • Inland transport.

We utilize and keep on top of the industry’s best technology to maximize the benefits for our customers. To get in touch with GSL, click here.

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