Just Freight Services - Container Freight at the Transport Depot

Transport Depot

Ever wondered what a transport or freight depot is? It’s a premises, usually with a warehouse where freight is stored before it is transported to its final destination. Often the utes, vans and trucks which are used to transport the freight by road, are parked and dispatched from the same premises to collect and deliver freight according to customer bookings.

Transport depots are essential to the efficient and cost effective transportation of goods, especially when transporting long distances – from city to city or interstate. Careful planning and coordinating of bookings means that freight from various customers can be combined into a load for a larger vehicle. This is of course more cost effective than having many smaller vehicles driving smaller loads hundreds of kilometres away from the major cities.

“Ensuring that the goods have been properly secured to the pallet and prepared
adequately for transport is key…”

A Day at the Depot

A lot of planning and coordinating go into moving your valuable freight from point A to point B. At the transport depot, customer bookings are processed and appropriate vehicles are dispatched to pick up from homes or businesses. Depending on the destination and urgency of each collection, the goods will either be delivered directly, or taken to the depot for reloading onto larger vehicles, for intercity or interstate transport.

Ensuring all freight is reloaded onto the correct vehicle is essential, a  process which is often referred to as ‘picking’. Incoming freight arriving from other locations or depots needs to be processed and reloaded onto smaller vehicles for the final delivery. These day to day processes are often streamlined using dedicated software which also allows for options such as real-time tracking.

The nature of road transport means that plans made just days or even hours before, can change at a moment’s notice. Events such as traffic congestion, collisions or a driver not being able to access a premises for a pick-up can cause delays that impact subsequent collections and deliveries.

Palletised Freight being received and handled at a Transport Depot

The Challenges

Because a transport depot is so fast paced there are many challenges administrative staff and drivers will face on a daily basis. Goods that have been poorly prepared for transportation will inevitably cause trouble at some stage during the delivery process. Inappropriately packaged fragile goods, or even a bulky item not properly secured to a pallet – these are issues which causes delays and result in damaged or even lost goods. Pallets which exceed the allowable dimensions and need to be repacked prior to transport can also cause delays, especially if the transport companies are not advised in advance.

Ensuring that the goods have been properly secured to the pallet and prepared adequately for transport is key to ensuring they reach their destination safely and on time.

Another costly challenge that drivers face is experiencing delays either at the collection or delivery location. This causes disruptions which affects subsequent collections and deliveries, and freight companies will often be forced to charge demurrage fees to the customer, in order to recover their costs. As with so many industries, communication and organisational skills, combined with a healthy dose of good-will, are key determining factors in the operation of a transport depot.