Flat Rack Container Shipping Services
Every organization supplying goods across a country needs to have a sustainable supply chain model. Containers and trailers used to transport goods are an integral part of the entire ecosystem. To combat an increasing demand for their products, companies need to have the capacity for oversized and heavy cargo shipping. Only then can a firm make its global freight shipping optimized. Here is where flat rack containers come into the picture.
What is a flat rack container?
Flat rack containers were developed to improve the global freight shipping system. These containers do not have a rooftop or two side walls; the two walls and sturdy base of the flat rack container give it a rack-like look. One of the primary USPs of the container is that it can be used to transport products globally when there is difficulty in adjusting heavy-weight products in a standard container.
As only support walls constitute either end, it is easier for organizations to load or unload the OOG Shipping cargo from the sides or the top. Thus, it is easier to ship or store heavy cargo such as boats, buses, and machinery.
Ideally, flat rack containers are available in the standard size of 20ft and 40 ft and a height of approximately 7.7ft. Their design enables them to carry concentrated and heavy loads of up to 20k kg (for the 40ft containers) and 200000 kg (for the 20ft containers). The containers remain sturdy and keep the products safe due to their softwood flooring and steel manufacturing.
When do you need a flat rack container?
Flatrack containers find wide usage in OOG shipping or cargo that can't fit into regular containers. They are an alternative to the RO-RO (roll-on, roll-off) service. However, it isn't necessary to ship only those products using flat racks. Several products (bundled pipe) are transported using such containers to make it easier for workers to load and offload.
As a common practice, flat racks are shipped using a container vessel.
How should I select a container for OOG Shipping services?
It is important to note several factors while selecting between flat rack services and RO-RO services. A few pointers you can consider while making the decision are:
Time constraint: One drawback of RO-RO services is that it is not available at all ports. Additionally, you might not have the option of RO-RO sailing when you require it. While most other containers offer weekly OOG shipping, RO-RO vessels offer sailing weekly or every alternative week. In some cases, the sailing takes place only when there is sufficient cargo to justify the sailing to the port. In such cases, if RO-RO options aren't available as per your requirements, flat rack services should be your go-to option.
Cost-factor: Whether you utilize OOG cargo services or RO-RO services to ship products between two ports, the ocean rate will remain the same. However, as flat rack container shipping services offer more sailings and serve a larger number of ports, you are likely to get a better deal from there. Additionally, if there is no RO-RO service in the proximity of your destination, you will have to incur a substantial transportation cost as well.
For example, suppose you are a brand with a global presence and need to ship products from the US to Belgium. However, no RO-RO carriers are offering OOG shipping services to any port in Belgium. You will have to load the cargo on an RO-RO ship to France. From there, you will be required to truck it to your destination. The entire process would require a considerable trucking fee, and it is advisable to use a flat rack container service to a port in Belgium.
Lastly, the port charges might also tilt your decision in favor of flat rack services. Every terminal demands a fixed cost to load or unload cargo from a vessel. The cost depends on the total weight of the consignment. Generally, at an RO-RO port, you might have to pay additional amounts for static loads.
Efficiency: As flatrack services are more common than other services, several ports have efficient mechanisms to accommodate these containers. Every port has a minimum number of ship-to-shore container cranes that make it easier for workers to load or offload containers from a container vessel to a truck or a railway line and vice-versa. However, if you are shipping products internationally, the ports might ask you to have a special crane to offload your cargo.
Flexibility: Some factors you should look for when selecting your OOG cargo services are convenience and flexibility. Ideally, the container carrier should be allowed to be brought to a shipping facility directly where the cargo can be loaded or offloaded. With flatracks being stationed at the ports, it becomes easy to put the cargo onto a rail line from the port.
How can you use a flatrack container to manage cargo effectively?
Flatrack container shipping is ideal for cargo that needs to be loaded from the sides or the top and consists of heavy loads. An example of the same could be huge machinery and heavy pipes. You can take advantage of the steel frame, which allows you an increased loading limit. Additionally, you can select a flat rack container with flexible or fixed walls depending on your requirements. Also, you can attach a freight-fixing mechanism to load multiple racks on top of each other.
As an organization, if you are used to open-deck or flatbed trailers, you should choose flat rack container shipping. It is important to note that you will anyway be using open-deck trailers to transport your cargo to port so that you load it on a flat rack. If you regularly have to transport products that might not fit in a 20-foot container, you should opt for flat rack services for your cargo.
They offer an amazing alternative to existing international shipping methods. However, study the dimensions and weight of your cargo and analyze the end-to-end costs before finalizing any container shipping service.
United Heavy Haul is a very smart and secure choice when it comes to flatrack container shipping services. You can now reach them on their official website and avail the best options for your transport.