The Significance of Freight

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‘Without trucks Australia stops’ is a slogan commonly seen on the back of trucks, and on a larger scale, an appropriate expression would be: without freight the world stops.

Freight is the glue that holds the world together. Freight is what makes it possible for the local supermarket to sell fresh produce, for car makers to assemble cars with parts built in various corners of the world, and for international aid to reach the people that need it the most.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if freight operations ground to a halt? To give you an idea of the incredible impact this would have, one need not look further back than the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano back in 2010.  Incredibly, a volcanic eruption in Iceland somehow managed to severely affect not only freight, but all air travel over most of Europe’s airspace due to the subsequent ash cloud which drifted across Europe in the days that followed. The consequences of this were enormous, affecting hundreds of thousands of people who had travel plans during that time, as well as major sporting and entertainment events needing to be cancelled.

But it wasn’t only Europe that was affected. Every nation with freight ties to the European continent was impacted. Freight of perishable items were some of the hardest hit, with goods like fresh produce, flowers and pharmaceuticals not being able to be freighted and sold due to reaching their expiry date.

Freight in the Oil, Gas and Mining Sector

On a private scale, if the international freight charges on small, regular goods is as much or in extreme cases, even exceeds the value of the actual item being shipped, the potential buyer will usually prefer the peace of mind that comes with paying more for a similar item available locally. However, in large industries, where down time is very costly, even relatively expensive freight will still be far cheaper than the costs incurred of a machine or piece of equipment staying broken down.

There are some amazing true stories of companies that have gone to great lengths to ensure goods reached their destination rather than relying on the ‘freight gods’. Companies that operate on tight deadlines have been known to simply book a taxi and strap the parcel to the passenger seat, to ensure nothing is left to chance.

The oil and gas industries are an example of hectic environments where downtime is counted in minutes, not hours. Again, freight is taken to the next level by people willing to pay whatever it takes. Scenarios such as paying an employee to take a last-minute flight and personally hand deliver a desperately needed replacement part have been known to occur within these industries, where the cost of the flight, accommodation and a handsome hourly rate for the employee running the errand is only a drop in the bucket compared to money being saved through reduced downtime.

How to Send Big Items

Obviously personalized express freight like the examples above are not possible when it comes to shipping big items. Even so, a last minute exorbitant courier quote for large items might still be the best option in some cases. Large items will often require custom built, heavy duty packaging which consists of materials such as timber and steel. This ensures that these items are not only safe and secure during transport, but that the packaging remains intact during the important stages of loading and also unloading these large items at their destination. Knowing how to send big items securely can be critical in a supply chain.

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