For efficient handling of shipped items, carriers use special equipment to avoid breakage and to handle items that are too heavy to move manually. Special material handling equipment is used in most cases to handle shipped items efficiently and quickly. Carriers that use such equipment are more reliable and secure.
Material handling equipment used in shipping varies according to the weight and nature of the shipped item. Also the nature of the shipped item affects the means of storing and transporting it, whether they are food, chemicals, medical or biological specimens, other perishable items, or everyday items that require no special handling. The condition, including being kept chilled or frozen, also affects this choice. For example, food and other perishable items are stored in refrigerators, segregated from other items.
Fleets of vehicles including lorries, trucks, pulling trucks, and trailers are usually used by the carriers in your item's transportation. For these fleets to work more efficiently, usually a management system is set up. The idea of outsourcing is becoming more popular in the field of handling and shipping freight too, where it helps to perform this task more efficiently and increase the amount of work the carrier can handle.
Another means that is often used for the transportation of freight is railroad barges or railroad ferries that are water born. They are commonly used for freight transporting where forklift trucks carry palletized freights to the barges for loading and unloading purposes. Automatic crane systems, which work wirelessly through a central computer, are used too. Different conveyors can be used for transporting items, such as pallets that are too heavy, within ports. Air transportation is also used which is much faster but also more expensive.
What about warehousing? Do the items have to be stored before receiving them? Can they be delivered immediately when they reach the area? Usually a carrier has warehouses to store items before and after shipping, for local and international deliveries. Some carriers dedicate warehouses for items or allow use of the company’s own. Other carriers don’t store items at all but deliver them to your door immediately. Furthermore, the shipped items can be collected directly from your supplier and get shipped to you without storage, ultimately saving money.