Interstate shipments are overwhelming if you're just beginning to work with customers in faraway places. Before becoming overwhelmed, it's smart to discuss your shipments with intermodal trucking or transport companies. These businesses utilize ships, trucks, trains, and airplanes to deliver products, handling the details along the way. To know more, asking the following questions is important.
What is the Plan for My Products?
A solid intermodal trucking company will lay out a possible transport plan, so you have some idea of how you can save money or time with this kind of company. For instance, a company might recommend that your products travel by train for a number of days during the winter so that snowy or icy road conditions have little or no effect. They might recommend trucks for a certain portion of the journey because train service is not as consistent in a particular region. If there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the way that a sample transport schedule is laid out, ask for specific reasons why such a schedule would benefit you.
Are Permits Required?
If you're new to shipping inventory across state lines, you may not understand local and state requirements for this kind of travel. Your transport company should help, but you're ultimately going to be the responsible party. Therefore, ask for help with permits; if the intermodal trucking company will be securing permits on your behalf, ask to see copies and look at them yourself to be sure they were duly filed. You may want to contact your state's transportation department to ensure that everything necessary has been done before your first shipment takes place.
How are Things Tracked?
Different intermodal transport companies have their own methods of notifying customers about item location. This information is not only useful for you personally, but you can relay information to your own customers about deliveries they will be getting. Some intermodal trucking companies provide their drivers with cellphones specifically for customer contact, while others use GPS and emailing to provide you with periodic updates. Find a company that uses methods you prefer.
Knowing more about intermodal trucking or transport companies allows you to think clearly about how best to deliver inventory to clients in faraway locations. Discussing your particular business with different companies in the industry will ensure you eventually sign with a carrier that can get your products to the right places without problems.