transport truck passing through highway

Factors in Choosing Between Road and Rail Freight Transport

Freight and logistics services have thoroughly expanded their range of services. The goal remains the same: to bring the package in the best condition in the least amount of time.

Even as the distance to be traversed remains the same, the challenges for freight companies have become more daunting due to the increase in demand and the presence of more competition. That said, the race to improve European road freight in the UK and beyond commences.

When you send a package through a freight service provider, you will be given options on how they will transport your package. There are some factors to consider when you make the choice, but the best way to decide is to understand the features of sending through road freight or rail.

Road Freight Offers Flexibility

Sending your package through road transport offers flexibility when it comes to the destination. The freight company can use different modes of transportation, such as trucks, vans, and motorcycles to reach a specific address. Aside from the flexibility of destinations, road transport deliveries can also be flexible with the size of the package or parcel to be sent.

Another point of flexibility for land vehicles is their availability. Most freight and logistics companies have a large fleet of vehicles that are ready to leave almost every hour. This is ideal for short distance deliveries that need to be rushed.

Road Transport Deliveries Can be Full of Challenges

While it has many advantages, there are also challenges along the way. Road travel is subject to a lot of contingencies. Traffic would be the most obvious example. Deliveries can be delayed when it encounters heavy traffic, and there is nothing that the freight company can do to help it.

With different modes of transport, there may be some delays when it comes to weather and road conditions. When transporting to remote areas and the access roads are closed, delays would be inevitable. Choosing the road transport option carries that inherent risk.

Tracking the progress of the package can also be challenging, especially when the package changes hands. Technological advances like GPS (Global Positioning System) can help in this regard, but just like the traffic, the accuracy can be subject to a number of factors.

Rail Freight is Reliable

Railway travel is efficient and reliable. They are impervious to traffic and maintain a constant speed. If you send your package in this transport method, you will reap the same benefits. For modern train systems, arrivals and departures are closely monitored. They are hardly late and unless there are rare contingencies, they have a very small margin of delay. For rail freight deliveries, you can be sure of the arrival time.

Rail freight is the preferred option for long distance deliveries. They can easily cover distances of over 500 kilometers and in terms of safety, trains are sure to deliver.

Rail Freight is Limited

rail freight loaded with cargo

As trains travel through a fixed railway, sending a package in this method may require the recipient to pick up the parcel at the train station or make additional arrangements. If the freight company agrees to shoulder this, it will come with an additional cost.

The decision to use road freight transportation or rail freight depends on the customer’s needs. For short distances that need to be specific with their destination, the road option can cater to this. For long distances that need to be delivered in a rush, the stability of the train is hard to beat.