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Transloading Agricultural Products: Beat the Expiration Date

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Transloading Agricultural Products: Beat the Expiration Date
Transloading agricultural products is a service that will come in handy when you need to haul your produce or livestock shipment to a faraway destination. Farms require enough space for crops to be grown and for animals to be raised. As a result, they’re often located in remote areas, which makes
By Jacob Lee
 | September 12, 2022
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Last Modified: December 12, 2023

Transloading agricultural products is a service that will come in handy when you need to haul your produce or livestock shipment to a faraway destination. Farms require enough space for crops to be grown and for animals to be raised. As a result, they’re often located in remote areas, which makes shipping expensive, long, and filled with opportunities for something to go wrong. 

Transloading agricultural products is a necessity since many of the goods involved are perishable. Transloading allows shippers to bypass the storage process and use multiple methods of transport to navigate the distribution supply chain and complete their shipment well before their products’ expiration date.

In this article, we’ll explain why transloading services are important and useful to the agricultural industry. 

A dry bulk barge going down a river

How Are Agricultural Products Transported?

Agricultural goods are transported using different methods. Certain methods are used for practical reasons while others are used for cost-efficiency reasons. Therefore, it’s important to understand the benefits of each method so you’ll know when to transload your shipment to another form of transportation.  

Barge

Transporting agricultural products using ships, specifically barges, is a common practice. The reason for this is both practical and economical. For practical reasons, barge transportation allows farmers to get certain agricultural commodities to transload facilities in coastal regions via rivers and canals. At these facilities, products can move from the barge to an ocean carrier that will transport the goods to export customers. 

Economically, barge shipping is cheaper and more energy-efficient. To show this, the table below shows how much one ton of freight can be transported per gallon of fuel.

Miles Traveled Per Gallon While Carrying One Ton Of Freight

Mode Of TransportMiles Traveled 
Truck59
Rail202
Barge514

Provided by the Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals

The barges that transport agricultural products are often dry bulk barges. They’re the same type that are used for sand transloading services, among other types of products that can’t fit in a box.

Truck

Like every other type of product that needs to be transported, agricultural products can also travel by truck. Trucks have the flexibility of reaching destinations that trains, ships and barges can’t reach. If your shipment of agricultural products starts on a rail or boat, chances are you’ll use transload services to get it onto a truck and on its way to the final destination.

Another benefit of using trucks to transport agricultural products is the trailers that they can be outfitted with. Some of the trailers that are used to transport agricultural products are:

  • Grain Hopper Trailers
  • Reefer Trailers
  • Pneumatic Trailers
  • Tanker Trailers
  • Livestock Trailers

Regardless of what agricultural products you’re transloading, you can trust that a truck will be able to transport your agricultural commodity to its destination. 

Rail

Rail transport is a great option for two reasons. One, rail cars can carry an extremely large amount of product within them. While livestock isn’t typically transported by rail, the service is commonly used to transport some of the following commodities: 

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans   
  • Grain
  • Fertilizer
  • Sand
  • Salt

These products are transported by rail inside the standard covered hopper and cylindrical covered hopper railcars. Each of these rail cars is capable of holding extremely large amounts of product. 

Our article on rail transload services can provide you with more details. If you need help transloading agricultural products, contact Transload Services USA and we can help get your shipment on another mode of transport and back out on the road. 

Looking to ship and store items seamlessly?
Let Transload Services USA be your partner.
Get a quote
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A dry bulk barge docking at a dry bulk facility where transloading agricultural product occurs

Some Benefits Of Transloading Agricultural Products

Transloading agricultural products is a useful and sometimes essential tool that you’ll need. We’ll explain a few common reasons that this service is used by so many shippers and carriers alike. 

Multiple Modes Of Transport Are A Necessity

Multiple modes of transport are necessary for importing agricultural products into the country and getting them to their destination. Once arriving at a cargo port, agricultural products can be transloaded from the ship onto a rail. 

If this mode of transport is used, the shipment will travel by rail until it reaches another transload facility. From there, the products are transloaded from rail to truck, which will be the mode of transport for the remainder of the journey. Sometimes agricultural products on cargo ships are transloaded from the ship and straight to a truck that completes the shipment. 

Regardless of how many times an agricultural shipment is transloaded, imported agricultural products will require transloading for the shipment to be completed.     

Cost Efficiency

Transloading can make shipping products cheaper than they would normally be. For example, transloading a shipment from a train onto a truck is a much cheaper alternative than shipping goods exclusively by truck. 

As we have already established, rail shipping is great when you need to transport extremely large shipments of products. Not only can rail cars carry more than trucks, rail shipping is also more fuel-efficient than truckload shipping. 

The price of fuel affects shipping costs. Since rail transport has better fuel efficiency and only constitutes part of your journey, you won’t be paying the same amount of fuel costs as you would for a full truckload shipment. 

Another thing to consider is that rail cars can carry around four truckloads worth of freight. Rather than utilizing four trucks for entire shipments, it’ll be cheaper to utilize one rail car for part of the journey. 

A barge transporting goods in a large lake

Correcting Shifted and Rejected Loads

Different supermarkets have different standards as to how products should arrive at their destination. One thing they all have in common, however, is that they will reject loads that don’t meet their specifications. A rejected load is a carrier’s worst nightmare.

Something as simple as pallets falling over within a trailer can result in a shipment being rejected. Fortunately, many third-party logistics providers (3PLs) have facilities in strategic locations where carriers can get their rejected loads fixed. 

This typically involves the trailer being unloaded and reloaded into the trailer correctly. Better yet, many 3PLs allow carriers to leave shipments at their facility for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, the driver working for the carrier to pick up another load. If need be, a different driver can come back to the facility and pick up the trailer once it’s fixed.

Grains being loading=

Consolidation Of Shipments

Another reason you might need transloading services as a shipper is to consolidate shipments being carried in multiple trucks. If your shipment of agricultural products is being delivered in two less than truckload shipments (LTL), then consolidating them into one trailer is an option that will be available to you. 

Consolidating a shipment is both useful for shippers and carriers alike. Regarding shippers, paying for the services of two trucks costs more than consolidating them into one. From a carrier’s perspective, consolidating a load into one trailer allows the empty truck to go pick up another load. 

Our article on the advantages of transloading will give you more details on this beneficial service.

Transload Service USA Can Help You With Transloading Agricultural Products

If you have a load that you need to consolidate or a rejected shipment that you need to correct, look no further than Transload Services USA. At our designated facilities, we have warehouse workers that can correct shipments and consolidate multiple loads into one trailer

Not only are we capable of performing these services, but we can also perform them quickly so you can get back out on the road and complete your shipments. Another benefit to using us for your transload services is that we’ll let you park your trailer there for a prolonged period at an affordable rate. 

Our full suite of services includes:

Whether you’re transloading agricultural products or transloading other types of products, we’ve got you covered. Don’t wait any longer. Contact us today or call us at (352) 282-4588 so you can experience the benefits of transloading services.

Looking to ship and store items seamlessly?
Let Transload Services USA be your partner.

Get a quote
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