In logistics, transloading is a crucial stage of the moving goods process. It’s important that this goes smoothly and planning for this part of the cargo’s journey can require some forethought.
What is transloading?
Transloading refers to the process of transferring goods from one mode of transportation to another. It often occurs at an intermediary point, such as a distribution centre or a transportation hub. It can also take place at a seaport, railyard or airport.
How transloading works
The process involves unloading goods from one mode of transport, such as a ship or a train, and reloading them onto another, like a truck or a different train, to reach their final destination.
This dynamic process requires meticulous coordination, advanced material handling equipment, and a well-organised workflow.
Transloading facilities are strategically located in order to make the transfer as seamless as possible. A common example of transloading is where a container is moved from a port to a transportation hub and unloaded.
From there, it’s loaded up onto a truck and secured in place using harnesses or bungee cords. The goods will then be driven to their delivery points.
Benefits for the supply chain
Transloading offers a range of benefits that contribute to the overall efficiency of the supply chain:
- Cost savings: By using transloading, supply chain managers can take advantage of the cost savings that come with different transportation modes. For instance, it might be cheaper to transport bulk goods by rail before completing the final leg of the journey by truck for timely delivery to end customers.
- Faster transit times: Transloading eliminates the need for direct long-haul transportation, which can lead to faster transit times. Goods can be rerouted and dispatched promptly to their final destinations, reducing lead times, and improving customer satisfaction.
- Green route planning: The flexibility of transloading means supply chain managers can strategically plan routes and select the most efficient combinations of transportation modes. This can lead to reduced fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Reduced infrastructure congestion: By alleviating the pressure on specific transportation methods, transloading helps reduce congestion at critical points in the supply chain. This, in turn, makes the logistics network run more smoothly.
- Inventory management: Transloading can make it easier to assess how much stock is needed to be shipped where and when. This helps to keep track of where goods could be running low or prevent overordering.
The benefits of tech
In addition to these advantages laid out above, there’s also the pros that come with advancements in tech. It’s possible to track the cargo’s journey from beginning to end, thanks to GPS.
Likewise, it’s easy to adjust stock levels using online databases, making it easier to manage the transloading process.
For those who are overseeing logistics, transloading is a key part of a delivery setup.