If you run a business involving transporting vehicles from one part of the world to another, then you will understand the logistical problems of moving, storing and working on these products. Automotive logistics can be a difficult problem to resolve and many businesses face difficulty improving the workflow on their transportation routes, as well as cutting back on manual handling and stock damage.
Procedural & Technical Challenges
Challenges include both procedural difficulties and technical problems. On the procedural side, the challenge is that of getting vehicles from A to B as quickly as possible. With finished vehicle logistics, Point A could be a car factory in Japan, and Point B a car dealership in Madrid, Spain.
You have a range of transportation options available, of course, and some will be quicker than others. For instance, in this hypothetical journey you could move your cars the bulk of the way across the Silk Road railway that now connects Asian manufacturers to European markets. Or you could ship your vehicles the long way round by sea, which arguably involves less transfers but takes a lot longer.
Route planning strategies can help you find the most efficient routes, but there are always trade-offs you have to make. Saving time by using a quicker route may involve transferring vehicles more frequently – and with each transfer comes the risk of stock damage, theft, vandalism and so on.
This is where transportation technology can help improve your finished vehicle Logistics.
Containerised transport offers logistics businesses the greatest flexibility when moving goods around the world. This is an area in which logisticians in charge of transporting microwave ovens simply used to laugh at the headaches of their colleagues in charge of moving cars.
Microwave ovens, along with a vast range of consumer and industrial products, can simply be stowed away inside shipping containers. Once they are tucked away and the doors are bolted closed, there is no need to worry about the stock. The shipping container can be moved seamlessly by crane across as many transportation types as you like. Move the container from ship to storage, from storage to train, from train to lorry and so on – it makes no difference to the goods inside.
Container Transport For Cars
Could the same be true for cars? Traditionally no. The conventional way of transporting cars was, and is, roll on roll off transportation. Cars would be physically driven onto transportation lorries and strapped in place, then driven onto transport ship, then driven off again onto yet another mode of transport at the end. This is an issue for logistics companies because it slows everything down by limiting your responsiveness to market demand. It takes longer to ship cars and there is more risk involved, which bumps up prices for everyone involved.
Container shipping is an option for cars but you can usually only fit a couple of vehicles in each container, making it prohibitively expensive. This is where a reusable racking system can help. A stainless steel racking structure, such as our R-Rak, can be adjusted to fit a standard shipping container, and can increase the number of vehicles it can hold by 50% to 75%.
This depends on the size of the vehicles, of course. You will be able to fit more Smart Cars in a shipping container then you would Nissan Qashqai’s. However, even for consignments of differently shaped vehicles, our racking solutions have proven to drastically increased carrying capacity. As the number of cars you can ship in each container increases, the relative transportation cost per unit is reduced. What our solution does is make container transport more accessible to car transportation businesses. When you do the sums, you might find that your microwave transporting colleague isn’t laughing so hard anymore.
Find Out More About Flexible Racking Solutions For Containerised Car Transport
To help you make an informed decision about containerised car transport, we have written The Containerised Car Transportation Guide, a free e-book that covers the following topics:
- Different racking systems
- Mistakes to avoid when transporting cars in shipping containers
- Planning your logistics network
- Reducing the cost of racking systems
- How to lower the risk of stock damage during transport