Flatbed Shipping

Ground transport takes on various forms to accommodate the specific parameters of the freight being shipped. Flatbed trailers are used to transport cargo that is too large for van trailers or intermodal containers, doesn’t require protection from the elements, or requires loading and unloading with special lifting equipment such as cranes. 

Benefits of Flatbed Shipping

Flatbed trailers off a versatile shipping solution that accommodates a variety of special shipping circumstances. Flatbed shipping is most common among industrial shippers, who rely on it to transport large equipment, machinery, steel, pipes, rigs, lumber, and an expansive range of other bulky freight or freight that requires side or top loading. Some of the primary benefits offered by flatbed shipping include:

  • Greater dimensional versatility
  • Easy loading and unloading access for cranes and forklifts
  • Versatile trailer options, such as step deck, double drop, side kit, Conestoga, hot shot, or multi-axle

Although flatbed shipping removes many of the restrictions of dry van shipping, it requires precise dimensions and weights to facilitate safe, on-time delivery of your freight.

Items Shipped with a Flatbed Truck

You can ship just about anything on a flatbed truck as long as the freight and trailer comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) dimensional and securement regulations. Common types of freight shipped using flatbed trucks include:

  • Machinery and Equipment (tractors, agricultural implements, backhoes, dozers, excavators, forklifts, construction, manufacturing and warehousing equipment, etc.)
  • Construction Materials (concrete tees, lumber, large beams, trusses, etc.)
  • Oversized Freight (items exceeding 100″ and/or 100″ width)
  • Top-Loaded or Side-Loaded Freight (loaded/unloaded using crane, winch, roll off platform, forklift, etc.)

Flatbed Shipping Rates

A variety of market factors affect flatbed shipping rates. The most common variables include:

  • Weight and dimensions of freight
  • Origination and destination of the freight
  • Diesel prices
  • Availability of trucks/trailers
  • Regional and seasonal conditions

Industries that Use Flatbed Freight Shipping and Why

Flatbed freight shipping is common across a broad range of industries for a variety of reasons. Some of the industries that frequently rely on flatbed shipping include:

  • Construction. In addition to transporting construction equipment such as backhoes, scaffolding, cranes, caterpillars, and more, freight in this industry often includes steel, concrete, solar panels, lumber, piping, and the delivery of numerous other materials to the job site.
  • Aviation/aerospace. Flatbed trucking facilitates the shipping of large aircraft, spacecraft, and satellite parts and components between manufacturers, assemblers, launch sites, and more.
  • Automotive. Flatbed trucks transport whole vehicles to dealerships, as well as damaged or totaled vehicles to salvage yards.
  • Manufacturing. The manufacturing industry often utilizes flatbed trucking to transport manufacturing equipment such as CNC machines.
  • Distribution.  Though the majority of distribution items ship by dry van, there are instances where oversized items, tall loads, or products with loading/unloading limitations require the use of a flatbed truck.
  • Agricultural. Commercial farming usually requires the use of large, heavy equipment like combines and tractors, which exceed the dimensional capacity of dry van shipping and do not require protection from the environment.

Flatbed Freight Shipping From Satellite Specialized Transportation

Flatbed freight shipping provides the necessary versatility to accommodate special shipping circumstances not available from dry vans. Transporting goods using flatbed trucking provides greater dimensional versatility, accommodates loading/unloading access from all angles, and includes a variety of trailer options to meet specific needs.

Contact us to learn more about the flatbed freight shipping benefits and solutions provided by Satellite Specialized Transportation or request a quote customized for your specific shipping needs.