Why Dry Freight Van Trailers Are Used Regularly in the Shipping Industry?


Shipping is a human activity that has evolved in enormous ways over the centuries. Innovations like the incorporation of beasts of burden, the wheel, the boat, the wagon, the train, the plane, and the internal combustion engine have all moved the bar in determining the weight, size, and volume of shipping we could manage. In the 21st century, shipping is conducted using a variety of methods, including dry van services for shipping large items.

Why Is Dry Van So Popular For Shipping Heavy Items?

Dry van transportation services offer numerous benefits and advantages over other methods of shipping via ground transport. Those advantages offer different benefits to different groups along the supply chain, from customers to 3PL providers who rely on them when sourcing fleets for their clients. A transport trailer is considered a “dry van” when it is used for shipping large items and quantities of goods and cargo. A dry van is often called upon to ship oversized loads like machines, parts, and vehicles. Dry vans are the most common shipping units seen on our roads and highways. They are usually hooked up to semi-trucks driven by independent or contracted truckers. The reason we refer to it as dry van transportation services is because whatever is being shipping is kept dry and protected from external elements by virtue of the trailer being fully enclosed. This also stops cargo from spilling out onto the road. Dry vans can come in many sizes and can be customized to accommodate a variety of loads.

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Primary Usage For Dry Van Transport

What can’t a dry van move?! As one of the most versatile types of ground shipping, dry vans are preferred by many industries and companies. They can be hauled short and long distances across borders and continents. Given their protective shells, goods inside are safe and secure, providing those shipping the goods with peace of mind during transportation. Literally hundreds of different products and materials are shipped using dry van transportation services. They include:

  • Construction materials like lumber, steel, roofing shingles, flooring, fixtures, windows, drywall, and more
  • All manner of textiles produced domestically and internationally
  • Non-perishable goods like foods and beverages from soda to beer
  • Large parts for automotive and industry
  • Machinery, appliances, and other commercial implements
  • Vehicles

What Choices Are There For Dry Van Services?

For logistics services who regularly connect ground fleets with customers, there are a variety of different options. Dry van trailers by their nature are generally fully enclosed. Freight is usually loaded on the rear and are most often loaded using a loading dock for ease of access. Sometimes forklifts can be used on cargo that is easily moved once placed inside the trailers. (The maximum dry van freight weight limits are somewhere between 42,000 to 45,000 pounds (19,000+ KG to 25,000 KG approx.). Dry van triple-axel freight weight is 63,000 pounds 28,500KG). The maximum length ranges from 48 feet to 53 feet long, 8.2 feet wide and 8 feet high.

Dry van transportation offers affordable pricing, versatility, and consolidated shipping. Many shipping companies offer discounted rates or “less than load” rates to businesses that are willing to have their freight delivered in the same container as another customer’s freight. This is a slower option than direct FLT transport but is ideal for customers looking to save money on shipping or who ship small loads.

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Challenges Of Choosing Dry Van Shipping

Because dry van shipping is often the choice for shipping large items and multiple industries from medical to consumer goods, the industry is highly competitive. Quite often dry van units are not suitable to carry goods that require refrigeration because they don’t have temperature control within the trailer. Bad weather may influence internal temperatures that could impact goods. If freight requires temperature control it may be better to ship using a refer.  Many units have wood flooring that can be susceptible to condensation and moisture and potential damage caused by the cargo contained within the van. There may also be less capacity due to height, length, and weight constraints.

Dry Van Shipping Is Still A Good Option

Despite the number of challenges presented by dry van shipping, it is still the most affordable, leading, and preferred means of ground transportation preferred by many customers and freight networks. This keeps dry van manufacturers in business as well as transfer companies.  Full truckload (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL) dry van shipping are the most common and affordable ways to ship goods.

Choose Nats Canada For Dry Van Shipping

When it comes to dry van transportation services, look no further than NATS Canada, one of Canada’s leading 3PL providers. Prices vary when shipping heavy items or shipping large items, but overall dry van shipping is one of the most affordable options for ground transportation shipping. There is rarely any service extras or special operation of such trailers required, and most carriers are equipped to execute dry van shipping responsibilities. NATS Canada works with a network of experienced carriers to accommodate any need. Whether it’s across the city, the province, the country, or North America, NATS Canada can connect freight shippers with the right dry van transportation services quickly and affordably. At NATS , we have a reputation for getting the job done right safely and efficiently. Whether it’s dry van services or flatbed trucking, reach out to NATS Canada no matter where you are located.

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