Historically, rail transport has been the go-to option for long-haul freight endeavors. Trains were literally invented to move cargo from coast to coast and everywhere in between. It wasn’t until the early 1940s that semi-trailer trucks hit the road and began to cover the same distance as trains, and the trucking industry still didn’t fully emerge as a viable option for long-distance freight transport until the early 1960s. Today, however, trucking has all but overtaken trains as the premier method of freight transport.
There are many reasons to choose a trucking company in Minnesota over a rail line in today’s economic climate. When you consider everything from cost to logistics, and timelines to the nature of cargo, trucking begins to become a clearer and clearer leader for freight transport. Let’s take a look at how trucking has come to trump trains and why it’s an investment worth considering:
- The cost of trucking over rail transport is drastically lower in most cases. This is due in part to many factors, including the more fluid logistics trucking offers, the lower cost per retention for drivers and equipment, and the direct-to-destination nature of trucking.
- Rail transport often includes a diverse range of freight to make load. This means more stops along the way, which can significantly extrapolate delivery timelines. It may also subject your freight to changeovers at specific stations when a new engine takes over.
- Freight that’s transported via a trucking company in Minnesota will be traceable at every stage of its journey—from the loading, to the transport, to the unloading. This is because long-haul trucks have tracking capabilities. Not every train has the technological capabilities to offer up-to-the-minute tracking.
- In the event of a setback—such as a damaged rail line or obstructed rail—a train must simply wait for the situation to resolve itself. Trucking is adaptable, allowing drivers to plot a new course as needed, mitigating setbacks and logistical problems.
- There are far more trucks on the roads than trains on rails. This means you have options when it comes to choosing a freight transport provider and determining the logistics of your transport. Often, rail limits you to a small group of providers with little diversity and fewer logistical offerings.
- Infrastructure favors trucking over rail. There’s 4.1 million miles of roadway in the United States today, compared to just over 150,000 miles of total railway (commuter and freight combined). When a truck needs to transport freight, there are numerous options for a route; when your freight is on a train, the path is dictated by a much smaller range of rail.
Trains still have some advantages over trucks in the freight industry today, but the bulk of the benefits favor trucking in most freight transport operations. Trucking is economical, efficient, adaptable and dependable—all things that attract companies and help smooth out logistics when it comes to disseminating their product across the country. It’s for these reasons and more that you can scarcely drive a few miles on the interstate without seeing at least one truck with a trailer in tow.
To learn more about how a trucking company in Minnesota can help you transport your freight from one place to another, contact K-Way Express, Inc. today.