Freight Shipping Seasons—When Is Freight Transportation at Its Peak in the U.S.?

freight shipping seasons U.S. With the holidays many think it’s the busiest time of year for the freight industry. Not so. We’ll break down the freight shipping seasons by industry. Knowing when shipping is at its peak will help you plan shipments accordingly.

Winter: January through March

This is the slowest freight shipping season of the year. We like to think of this as a hangover for the industry. Carriers were extremely busy during the holiday season. With that out of the way, the trucking sector sees a drastic decline in shipment placements. For the customer, this is also when carriers and linehaul shippers have flexible availability dates.

Spring/Early Summer: April through July

This is when businesses begin picking back up. This is also harvest season for many types of produce, so agricultural shipment is high.

Summer/Early Fall: August through October

This is the peak shipping season for numerous reasons. The retail industry sees an explosion due to back-to-school month. This is also when retailers begin preparations for the holidays. Warehouse suppliers can expect high-volume shipment orders. LTL truckers and dedicated truck transporters have no trouble finding work during this time.

Fall – November through December

This is when malls, retail and online stores go into overdrive. For suppliers, though, most retailers have already placed their orders the prior season. However, you can still expect last minute orders from retailers processing short-notice requests. Suppliers and carriers are busy but not like they were in summer or early fall.

We Arrange Freight Shipping For All Seasons

Contact us at Machine Transport any time of the year. We’ll do our best to find you a carrier even during the peak season. We’ll help you navigate the often-unpredictable freight shipping seasons and recommend the ideal timeframe for your next outbound shipment.

Freight Shipping Seasons: Freight Brokers for Year-Round Shipments in the U.S.

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Posted on November 11, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Does Your Freight Require a Pilot Car Escort in the U.S.?

pilot car escort U.S. Depending on the nature of your freight, your machine transport might require one or more pilot cars. When does a carrier require such escort services? We’ll explain the ins and outs of using a pilot car escort and its general purpose.

What Is a Pilot Car?

The term “pilot car” refers to an escort car that accompanies an LTL truck or other carrier. A pilot car is usually a pickup, SUV, or van that accompanies the truck, either in front of it or behind it; sometimes an escort vehicle is necessary in both positions. People who operate pilot cars are trained professionals who do this type of work for a living. Escort car drivers are also in constant communication with the carrier driver during the journey.

The Role of Pilot Cars

Pilot cars may drive ahead and warn the carrier of potential street closures, accidents, or obstructions up ahead.

The pilot car’s job is also to alert surrounding motorists that the carrier is carrying extremely heavy or wide loads. Pilot vehicles may have signs at the rear warning drivers to maintain a safe distance.

Pilot Car Escort Requirement Laws

Does your outbound shipping require a pilot car escort? The laws differ, depending on the states your freight travels through. If your carrier passes through California, for example, then it requires one pilot car if loads exceed 12 feet in width. Other states might require pilot cars for both the front and rear if the trailer load is more than 14 feet wide. If the load exceeds a certain height limit, then escorts might require a special vehicle called a “height pole car.”

Depending on the state of travel, pilot car operators may require licensure. This includes the states of Washington, Florida, and New York.

We Make Carrier and Pilot Car Arrangements

As freight brokers, Machine Transport determines the appropriate carrier for your needs. We also help you determine whether escort vehicles are required. Pilot car escorts ensure safe and timely arrival of your freight. Contact us today for more information.

Machine Transport and Freight Pilot Car Escort Brokers

Serving U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico

Posted on October 24, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Freight Insurance Vs. Freight Liability: What’s the Difference in the U.S.?

freight insurance U.S. When you ship out freight, you would be wise to insure the cargo in the event it incurs damage in transit. You ask: “Don’t carriers cover you automatically? The answer is both yes and no. We’ll discuss freight insurance and freight liability and how they differ.

Freight Insurance and Freight Liability Explained

Insurance and liability coverage are similar but not exactly the same. Federal law requires all truck transports to have basic liability coverage. Depending on your freight and personal assessment, this may or may not be adequate.

Basic liability coverage differs from carrier to carrier. It covers a specific amount of damage, usually calculated by a dollar amount for every pound of freight. The maximum coverage amount may be less than the monetary worth of the freight.

Coverage is usually limited to incidents that are deemed negligent on the carrier’s end. The carrier’s failure to properly secure the pallet once inside the truck or trailer is one example. Liability coverage typically doesn’t include other scenarios, such as theft or nature-induced damage.

What About Freight Insurance?

Insurance essentially covers most or all other scenarios that basic carrier liability doesn’t cover. This is optional, so it’s up to clients whether they wish to purchase additional coverage for their freight. The insurance is in effect from the time the freight leaves your warehouse until it reaches the destination. Insurance may also cover the freight while it’s sitting in overnight storage.

Coordinate with a Freight Broker

Contact us today at Machine Transport to schedule your next outbound shipping. All the carriers we work with follow federal laws regarding basic liability coverage. We can help you if you choose to apply for additional coverage. Freight liability and freight insurance protect your investment in the event of a devastating in-transit scenario.

Experts in Freight Insurance & Freight Liability Serving all 50 States

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Posted on September 22, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Preparation Tips for Heavy Haul Freight in the U.S.

heavy haul freight U.S. In the transportation industry, the term “heavy haul freight” refers to an exceptionally large and wide load. Machinery, warehouse vehicles, and manufacturing equipment fall under this category. Due to the freight’s extraordinary size, weight, and dimensions, special preparations are in order.

Arrange the Appropriate Carrier

LTL is likely insufficient for transporting heavy haul freight. Depending on the nature of the freight, the cargo may require a certain type of trailer with a flatbed. In some instances, the carrier may classify the freight as a “super load.” The definition of a super load differs depending on the region. In any case, you’ll need to acquire a state oversize permit. Visit this site for specific definitions of a super load by state.

Heavy Haul Freight Preparation Tips

  • Plan ahead—this cannot be overstated. Plan all heavy haul shipping weeks or even months in advance. This gives you ample time to handle permit requirements, which can take several weeks for approval.
  • Know the exact dimensions—Be sure to have the measurements down to a T. The difference of a few inches can completely change the type of permit you need or alter the route.
  • Identify loading requirements—does the freight require the use of a crane? Do regulations require the use of specific materials, such as a tarp, braces, or tie down points?
  • Identify other requirements—depending on the freight and state rules, regulations may call for additional requirements. These might include a shipper’s letter, pilot car escort, route and engineering survey, and sketch of shipment.

We’ll Square You Away

As a freight broker, Machine Transport will help you organize a heavy haul or super load shipping. We’ll identify the exact type of carrier you need and explain all the logistical requirements. Contact us today for a free consultation.

The Best Carriers for Heavy Haul Freight in the U.S.

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Posted on August 19, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Warehouse Slot Optimization 101 for North American Industries

Slot Optimization North AmericaDoes your warehouse adhere to slot optimization practice? This term refers to the strategic placement of inventory to minimize loading times. Because time is money, more time on the loading dock means more money spent on overhead expenses and, possibly, surplus fees from the carrier. We’ll go over some best practices for placing inventory in your warehouse for North American industries.

Here’s Why Slot Optimization Matters

Want some eye-opening statistics? Staff spend 55% of their time walking back and forth in the warehouse, and another 15% searching for items. These percentages can be drastically reduced with slot optimization. Strategic slotting comes into play regardless of the carrier or line haul shipper you use.

Put High-Use Inventory Up Close

Instead of organizing inventory by number, keep the items you often ship closer to the loading dock. This minimizes staff travel time on foot. Don’t, however, place these items so close together that it causes bottlenecking among different picking groups during peak hours.

Slot for Better Pick Accuracy

Picking refers to the process of pulling, packing, and palletizing inventory. Don’t just focus on picking speed; also focus on accuracy. Mistakes, such as pulling the wrong item, waste time. Slotting methods, such as not placing similar items together, and stocking items with labels facing out, reduce errors.

Re-Slot in Accordance with Seasonal Shifts

Change slotting seasonally if that’s how your business operates. Re-slot your inventory as certain items become more in demand than others. Use business intelligence software with predictive analytics to predict the items that will increase in demand in the coming weeks.

Optimize Your Warehouse

Slotting optimization helps immensely for all types of shipment, from LTL to dedicated truck transport carriers. Machine Transport has been in the industry long enough to understand why slot optimization is a time and money-saving practice. Contact us today for help with this technology.

Slot Optimization for North American Industries

Serving Manufacturing Industries Throughout North America

Posted on July 22, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Why U.S. Manufacturers Are Using Business Intelligence Solutions

Business Intelligence U.S.

More and more businesses in the transportation industry are using business intelligence solutions to augment their income. Business intelligence means being more intelligent about your business. One example of a BI tool is using cloud data services as a form of data storage. Cloud integration can reduce downtime, increase productivity, and increase revenue.

Business Intelligence Benefits for Manufacturers

Besides storage, cloud vendors also offer BI tools that compile data and convert them into meaningful reports so you don’t have to. These tools automatically compile data into easy-to-read charts or graphs to instantly determine the latest trends.

Store Data Safely in a Single Location

Using cloud services means all your data, from invoices and bills of lading to outgoing dedicated truck shipment information, is stored in the same place. With this system, everyone stays on the same page and data is updated and collected in a single spot. Most cloud vendors also implement the latest security applications to prevent hacking. Cloud-based business intelligence solutions automate many tasks which previously had to be completed manually. Your employees’ time will be better spent conducting inventory or prepping freight for a pending LTL shipment.

Capitalize on the Newest Technology to Improve Daily Operations

Machine Transport uses the latest cloud and BI solutions for managing day-to-day operations. We’re able to keep track of the monstrous amounts of data from our clients across North America, and we’re able to stay on track when arranging shipments with the dozens of common carriers and line haul shippers we collaborate with. Cloud solutions for manufacturers is the way of the future. Contact us for more information on all our services. We’re a bonded freight broker licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Business Intelligence: Technology Innovations for the U.S. Manufacturing Industry

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Posted on June 20, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Tips for Warm Weather Shipping of Perishable Goods in Canada

Warm Weather Shipping If you’ve been in the Canadian transportation industry long, you know warm weather shipping of perishable goods requires diligent packaging on your end. With summer approaching, we’ll go over some tips on how to properly pack temperature-sensitive goods.

Be Careful About Shipping Time

Arrange for a shipping time later in the day, preferably late afternoon or early evening. This way, the starting temperature is lower once the freight is in transit. Also, try to arrange for a shipping date earlier in the week to reduce the likelihood of the freight sitting idle in a warehouse over the weekend. This is especially the case with LTL shipping.

Don’t Forget the Ice

If you need ice to keep the goods cool, don’t skimp, and dry ice is better. Some people use gel packs, but these don’t stay cool as long. If you do use gel, sprinkle them in dry ice pellets. Whatever cooling type you choose, keep the packaging tight to minimize air space.

Use Multiple Shipping Materials

Some perishable goods, like boxed chocolates, don’t need refrigeration, but do need to remain below a certain temperature. In this case, use custom shipping boxes lined with plastic foam insulation and cold gel packs. Slotted boxes work best; they provide air circulation. This method will keep the freight cool for about 72 hours. It might be wise to arrange for a dedicated truck transport that can make the delivery within that timeframe.

We Organize Warm Weather Shipping in Canada

Machine Transport can make transportation arrangements for your freight no matter the time of year. We work with various carriers and line haul shippers that specialize in shipping and moving machine tools. Contact us today for all your shipping needs.

Freight Brokers for Warm Weather Shipping in Canada

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada & Mexico

Posted on May 21, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

U.S. Parcel and LTL Shipping: What’s the Difference?

parcel and LTL shipping U.S.A parcel refers to any small package. How small does a package have to be to classify as a parcel? At what size does a package require LTL shipping? We’ll go over the difference between parcel and LTL shipping.

When to Choose Parcel Shipping

Every carrier has its own classification for defining a parcel. Typically, the package can’t exceed 150 pounds, although some shippers cap that weight at 70 pounds. Dimensional limits apply as well. The parcel must also be small enough for a single person to haul it by hand.

For parcels, you can make shipping arrangements with nationally recognized carriers, such as UPS and FedEx. These companies also offer overnight and weekend delivery. LTL shipment, by contrast, usually doesn’t offer expedited services since your freight is one of many in the truck.

If you have small, time-sensitive freight, see if you can reduce its weight and size so it falls under the parcel designation. If this isn’t possible, consider using a dedicated truck transport or carrier van.

When to Choose LTL Shipping

LTL is the more affordable option if you have multiple small packages headed in the same direction. In this case, consolidate the packages into a single pallet. This is much more cost effective than sending multiple parcels individually.

We’ll Help You Decide Between Parcel and LTL Shipping

Our freight brokers normally deal with line-haul shipment for machinery tools and related freight. However, we know the best strategies for optimizing cost and timely delivery. Machine Transport can determine whether parcel or LTL shipping is better for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about the types of trailers we carry and the difference between common carriers and line haul shippers!

Brokers for Optimized Parcel and LTL Shipping Solutions in the U.S.

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Posted on April 19, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How to Fasten a Tarp on a Flatbed in North America

tarp on a flatbed north americaA tarp is necessary in many instances for securing freight on a trailer. Think safety when fastening a tarp on a flatbed or step-deck truck. Flatbed truck tarp safety requires special care. Otherwise, you risk serious injury, not to mention improperly fastened freight that can come loose during transport. We’ll explain what to do when working with tarps to secure cargo.

How to Fasten a Tarp on a Flatbed in North America

1. Wear Safety Gear

  • hard hat
  • safety goggles
  • work gloves
  • long pants
  • steel-toed work boots

2. Use a Forklift

Tarps are heavier than they look; the average tarp weighs in at around 80 pounds. Instead of trying to get the tarp on the bed of the trailer by hand, work smarter not harder. Use a forklift.

3. Use the Right Tarp

Tarps are meant to be reused. With that in mind, we recommend heavy vinyl tarps, which can withstand rain and ultraviolet radiation. These are more durable compared to tarps made from canvas or polyethylene. Assess your cargo when choosing a tarp as well. Tarps are made specifically for lumber, steel and smoke–to protect freight from exhaust.

4. Unroll the Tarp the Right Way

Tarps should be unrolled facing forwards and never backwards. When securing the tarp over the top of the load, be sure to stay within the load’s center line.

Arrange Your Next Outbound Shipping Via Certified Broker

You may not need a tarp at all if your freight is being transported via LTL or another truck with an enclosed bed. Contact Machine Transport for help determining what kind of carrier or line-haul shipper is required. Contact us today for a quote or to discuss your specific project.

Freight Brokers Serving Businesses in North America

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Posted on March 20, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Industrial Rigging Safety Tips for Machine Tool Transportation in the U.S.

industrial rigging safety U.S. If you rely on your own team to prep your machine tools for dedicated truck or trailer transportation, safety is absolutely critical. Here are essential industrial rigging safety tips for you to pass down to your rigging team.

Industrial Rigging Safety Tips

Essential Knowledge

1. What is the capacity load of the crane or rigging gear? Overload can damage the crane, causing it to collapse.

2. Ongoing and periodic Inspection of rigging gear is crucial. Look for bent or sprung hooks, broken strands, frayed slings, and overstretched links.

3. Minimal wear is too much wear; replace all defective gear.

4. Designate trained staff only for rigging duties.  Don’t risk the safety of the team if you’re short on proper personnel.

Techniques for Secure and Safe Load Lifting

1. A level lift keeps a suspended load centered. Be sure the hoist hook is in the center of gravity to keep the load at the center of gravity. Avoid an unbalanced load to avoid unequal stress on the sling.

2. Identify the sling’s rated lifting capacity. Capacity will vary on the type of material of the sling and hitch. Steel chains, wire ropes, and synthetic web slings may offer a higher capacity.

3. Determine the maximum angle between the sling legs and the horizontal point of the load.  A small angle greatly diminishes the load capacity and puts excessive stress on the sling legs. Equal weight distribution among the legs is essential.

Help With Industrial Rigging Safety Tips in the U.S.

When your freight is properly and securely loaded, you are ready to contact Machine Transport to arrange for carrier transport.  Follow these industrial rigging safety tips to ensure employee safety and prevent costly equipment damage and on-site injuries.

Industrial Rigging Safety for U.S. Transport

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Posted on February 17, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business