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What is Loading and Unloading Freight?

loading and unloading services

By the title, we do not mean literally, “What is loading and unloading freight?”  Express Freight fully understands that in our industry, we know its definition. Instead, we are taking the time to point out, and or, perhaps to remind transportation carriers, warehouse forepersons, fulfillment, and operations managers of the value of freight loading and unloading services to their businesses. To begin, consider the volume of freight that is moved throughout the United States every year. According to the Bureau of Transportation, in 2021 10.93 billion tons of freight (in terms of primary shipments only), was transported by trucks which represented 72.2% of the total domestic tonnage that was shipped. In fact, on an average day over about 55.2 million tons of freight, worth approximately $54.0 billion, is shipped in the U.S.

These statistics are astounding and underscore the importance of each and every link in a given supply chain. Remember that axiom, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link?” Well, that applies to any supply chain. Yet many transportation carriers, operations managers, and others, with one eye on their company’s bottom line, attempt to cut costs. They do this by hiring unskilled day laborers, or by recruiting existing, yet untrained personnel to perform trailer and container loading and unloading services.

Long term, this is not a cost-effective measure at all. Unskilled laborers will take longer to perform a given task and are not accountable should their actions cause damage to the cargo or injury to themselves or others. Your employees who are diverted from other divisions of your company are untrained in the use of the equipment required to perform loading and unloading services. Using hand trucks, ramps, and forklifts, knowing how to palletize and break down palletized goods, as well as the correct materials and procedures for padding the freight and container walls are not intuitive. These require training, safety certifications, dedication, and experience to move freight quickly and safely.

For example, considerable delays can be caused by the discovery of a load shift that has occurred in transit. Experienced lumpers, such as the teams dispatched by Express Freight Handlers, know exactly what to do when there is the possibility of damage and asset losses. This way, minimal time is spent assessing and isolating damaged goods, and documenting and preparing a report for insurance purposes, so unloading a container or trailer can remain on or close to schedule. That saves time, and saving time equals saving money.

To answer the title inquiry, “What is Loading and Unloading Freight?” Arguably these are the most important links in your supply chain and optimally, should be performed only by trained and certified professionals. Express Freight Handlers has earned our stellar reputation by serving our clients in over 38 states and by unloading over a million trailers and containers every year. Our staff is OSHA-trained and certified, meaning you can rely on our teams to perform our loading and unloading services quickly and safely. As mentioned above, every day over 55.2 million tons of freight move throughout the U.S., but the only shipments that matter are yours. Do not put your business at risk to try to save a few dollars.

Have your lumper services performed by professionals. Learn more by contacting Express Freight Handlers today!