Not every delivery is urgent. A full truck load is not always required. The price always matters. Our general cargo service is built on those three pillars.
Handling LTL general cargo freight entails collecting cargoes from a number of loading sites and then delivering them to their respective recipients. Optimal use of loading space and efficient route planning generate significant savings. In order to reduce delivery times, vans are often used to carry general cargo.
This means you do not have to pay for the entire loading space. LTL shipments will safely reach their destinations. We specialise in importing general cargo from the EU to Poland. We also help Polish exporters. When we say general cargo, we mean smaller shipments, such as single pallets, IBC tanks, smaller machinery, crates, bags, tyres or furniture. The sender remains responsible for preparing cargoes for transport (packaging).
If feasible, in order to further reduce costs, general cargoes can be transferred from a large 13.6 m long vehicle to delivery vans (for example). This allows us to better manage our means of transport and reduce delivery times. General cargo shipments can be delivered to locations unreachable for HGVs. Upon request the entire haulage operation can be carried out using a single vehicle in order to reduce the risk associated with damage or loss during handling and re-loading.
We will be happy to handle general cargo deliveries from as little as 100 kg or a single EURO pallet (80×120 cm). Please do not hesitate to contact us for all your unusual transport needs. We tailor our services to your needs.
If you are not sure whether an HGV can deliver your cargo to its destination – contact us and we will let you know!
What is general haulage?
General haulage entails carriage of consignments which are not too large, of various shapes and in different packages, not large enough for a full truck load or even to fill a container. These are combined at handling facilities and loaded onto line-haul carriers. The nature of general haulage means that collection and delivery points are highly dispersed, and the entire operation requires meticulous planning. It is also more time consuming as a number of additional steps are required for this solution to be successful. The price usually reflects the number of pallets being shipped. Customers simply pay for the actual or estimated freight weigh. The size of the vehicle selected by the forwarder to transport the cargo does not affect the price.
What is general cargo?
Well, general cargo simply means consignments of various sizes and attributes sent by a number of different customers. These are then collected by the forwarder transported by line-haul carriers and delivered to the given recipients. This solution delivers savings by reducing storage and transport costs as these are shared between all the senders. From our point of view this type of haulage solution is based on stages – in order to deliver all the consignments on time, the driver has to follow a pre-determined route with a number of stops, i.e., delivery points.
Different types of general cargo
General cargo can be divided into two categories. Already packaged consignments, be it in boxes, bags, drums, cages, barrels or crates are in the first category. And the second group comprises non-packaged cargoes. In other words, we have shipments carried on pallets and those not carried on pallets.
General haulage – the process itself
Preparation of general cargo for transport
Organisational issues are of paramount importance when it comes to general haulage. Such freight requires appropriate preparation before it can be transported. Accuracy and precision are key. Above all, consignments must be secured so as to avoid damage during transport – so it is essential to use the right packaging to protect cargoes from external factors. Boxes, bags, barrels, parcels and crates are most often used for this purpose. It is also necessary to make sure that the item placed inside the packaging is immobile – so it is worth using double packaging, add bubble wrap or additional cardboard. And the packaging has to be secure enough to prevent it from opening in transit.
General cargo labelling
Correct labelling of consignments is yet another requirement which has to be satisfied.
We have four groups of labels:
- Primary – to identify the consignment,
- Information – consignment specification,
- Dangerous – for cargoes which are a risk to people and the environment,
- Handling – information on handling the consignment.
Shipping documents need to be prepared before a given consignment is ready for shipment. These documents contain more information than just the collection and delivery points. Correct labelling and packaging facilitate identification of the type of cargo being carried. It also has handling instructions as well as information on the quantity of goods and exact dimensions. This is to prevent potential handling errors or transport incidents. If not properly labelled, a consignment may be damaged or even destroyed. Labels are usually placed on the outside of the packaging where they can be clearly seen. Valuable cargoes should be insured before being sent.
Handling general cargo
Parcels delivered to a logistics operator
Such parcels have to be weighed and their content has to be specified. Then they are all counted and meticulously recorded. This allows forwarders to set optimal routes for hauliers.
Consolidation is the next step after a transport has been scheduled. This entails combining a number of parcels into single cargo units. The following are the most popular methods for combining general cargo:
- tying a number of items together,
- palletising – loading onto pallets,
- bundling – combining smaller cargoes into larger units,
- containerisation – packing parcels into containers.
These methods make it possible to maximise the use of loading space and thus optimise transport time and costs. They also facilitate the loading and unloading of freight, which may take place several times in the course of a single haulage operation.
Collection of general cargo
The sender prepares a parcel for shipment. The parcels are collected from several collection points from various general cargo customers. The vehicle is successively topped up with new consignments, some of which may also be delivered between other scheduled collections. The route is precisely planned in order to make optimal use of the loading space and reduces costs.
Vehicles with a payload of less than 24t (minivans, vans, trucks) are often used for this type of transport assignments. Use of vans speeds up transports operations avoids troublesome traffic restrictions. Customers do not pay for the entire loading space, and parcels can be collected relatively quickly within the scope of a large logistics network. When an operator receives a transport order, it contacts a driver in the area and schedules a collection. Sometimes to optimise the route parcels are transferred to different vehicles. All these efforts are made in order to optimise freight haulage time and costs.
Goods which cannot be carried as general cargo
Under current regulations certain goods and items cannot be from carried as general cargo. These are consignments whose specific nature requires them to be transported under special conditions. These include: animals, plants, explosives, weapons, oversized goods, goods with a short shelf life, securities, jewellery and pharmaceutical products, as well as certain dangerous goods..
A vehicle hauling goods must comply with the applicable emission standards and the driver must be familiar with the regulations of the countries which it will enter.
Do you need to send goods which are not classified as general cargo? Then please complete this quote request form – and your goods will be in safe hands.
Advantages and disadvantages of general haulage
- Attractive price,
- No need to store surplus stock,
- Services tailored to the client’s needs,
- Flexible delivery dates.
- Less efficient compared to full truck loads,
- Vehicle loading space and warehouse storage space not utilised to the full,
- Freight has to be delivered to a loading terminal and then split into smaller batches,
- A variety of handling facilities and tools are necessary.