In the logistics sector, flatbed shipping in North America is one of the most widely used means of transportation since it enables the delivery of bulky, heavy objects that would not fit in typical dry van trailers and shipping containers. 

Nevertheless, flatbed shipping can also bring a unique set of difficulties and issues that may affect the effectiveness and economy of your supply chain. The article discusses six typical flatbed shipping issues that apply to both truck load and LTL freight and offers advice on how to avoid them, so read further to get a better understanding of flatbed shipments.

6 Flatbed Shipping Problems & Their Solution

Following are six flatbed shipping problems and tricks on how to avoid them. 

1. A Bad Loading & Securing Technique

A frequent issue with flatbed loads is improper cargo loading and securing. The cargo’s weight and size may cause instability and movement during transportation, leading to cargo damage or even accidents. 

How To Avoid 

Ensuring the cargo is loaded and secured correctly is crucial to avoid this issue. This entails distributing the weight of the goods on the trailer uniformly and utilizing the proper chains, straps, and tie-downs to prevent movement.

2. Lack of Communication

Each logistics operation, including flatbed transport, depends on effective communication. Delays and other issues may result from poor communication between shippers, brokers, carriers, and receivers. 

How To Avoid 

Establishing clear communication procedures and making sure that everyone is aware of their duties and deadlines are crucial to prevent this. This can involve implementing real-time information transmission methods like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or Transportation Management Systems (TMS) to track shipments and simplify communication.

3. Delays Caused by the Weather

Although bad weather can make moving freight difficult or even impossible, weather-related delays are another frequent issue in flatbed transportation. 

How To Avoid

It’s crucial to keep a careful eye on weather patterns and prepare for any disruptions if you want to prevent weather-related delays. This can involve planning shipments for periods when the weather is predicted to be good or, if required, using alternative modes of transportation. 

4. Equipment Failures

Equipment failures can result in lengthy delays and higher transportation costs for flatbed shipments. Breakdowns of the tractor, trailer, or other cargo-transporting machinery can fall under this category. 

How To Avoid 

Regular maintenance on all equipment, including inspections and repairs as needed, is vital to prevent this issue. In addition, it’s critical to have backup supplies of equipment and other transportation options on hand in case of unanticipated breakdowns.

5. Regulatory Issues

Due to the numerous rules and limitations that can apply to the transportation of large, heavy products, compliance difficulties are a prevalent issue in flatbed shipping. This can involve adhering to the permitted weight and size limits as well as the laws of the hazardous material. 

How To Avoid 

Keep abreast of all pertinent regulations and ensure all shipments are compliant with regulatory authorities to avoid complications. One method to achieve this is partnering with knowledgeable carriers familiar with the rules and offering direction and support as necessary. For smaller carriers that do not have the in-house resources to keep on top of all the regulations and requirements, it is advised to work with a reputable safety and compliance consultant to manage this for them. 

6. Overrun Expense

Flatbed shipping cost overruns can happen for several reasons, including unanticipated delays, equipment malfunctions, and compliance problems. 

How To Avoid 

It’s crucial to budget for potential unforeseen expenses and prepare ahead to prevent cost overruns. To do this, it may be necessary to negotiate advantageous pricing with carriers and other service providers and provide extra time and resources to account for anticipated delays.

For any of your flatbed needs, contact Lot Logistics, as we offer top-class service so that you never face any inconvenience.

Reach out today!