What are the pros and cons of rail freight transport?
Are you in search of the best shipping method for your merchandise? Are you still unsure of which mode of transportation is best in line with your business goals? Have you been looking into rail transport, but aren’t convinced that it is the right fit for you?
With so many options available, it’s no wonder that you have a hard time deciding. Luckily for you, we are here to help you out in your quest to find the ideal shipping partner for you and your business. Today we spill the beans on the pros and cons of rail transportation:
Huge carrying capacity
Rail enables anyone to transport goods in large quantities simultaneously. A single load can weigh up to 1600 net tons, which can be transported in 40-42 wagons and a single locomotive. It is an excellent option for those looking to transport bulk cargo on land.
Economical on long distances
Shipping cargo via rail is considered to be a very efficient and economical option. Due to the fact that you can move huge quantities at the same time, it has a lower cost-per-tone-mile than transporting goods via trucks. The cost-effectiveness of rail transport is especially prominent when shipping long distances.
Cargo is safely stored, shielded from meteorological factors
Many consider rail to be the safest way to transport goods on land. The merchandise is usually packed in specialized containers and wagons, which protect it from both deterioration and meteorological factors, such as sunshine, dust, wind, rain, hail or snow. Rail is an especially great option to transport hazardous materials, which require special, professional care and handling.
Reliable and on time
Delivery time of shipment via rail is less impacted by weather conditions or road traffic congestions than transporting goods with trucks. If weather patterns shift, digital software helps notice them just in time to rearrange shipment departure schedules. All in all, reliable transit times, timetables and logistics software enable rail transports to arrive in accordance with a pre-determined timeframe.
Environmentally responsible and fuel-efficient
Rail is one of the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly transport options, accounting for merely 1% of global transport emissions. It is 3-4 times more fuel efficient than trucks and helps lower greenhouse gas emissions by 75%. It is the most sustainable out of all transport options, especially if you wish to transport large amounts of goods on long distances.
Freight corridors impose limits on coverage and reach
Dedicated rail routes do not ensure full coverage in all parts of the country, which an pose a problem. The issue can be remediated by combining rail freight with road transport. Trucks can complement the rail transport process and can ensure door-to-door service for clients. Our partner networks enable us to make such arrangements, upon request.
Too costly for small shipments
For those looking to transport small amounts of goods, rail transport might prove to be quite expensive. This is why rail companies, such as ours, are open to discussing the possibility of combining the cargo of several clients that wish to ship small quantities in order to provide a more cost-effective solution. This is also great for anyone wanting to transport merchandise on shorter distances.
Mechanical failures can cause disruptions
As all machines, locomotives and wagons can break down, requiring repair work. While the possibility of unforeseen circumstances and mechanical failure is always in the books, regular service inspections on the rolling stock can prevent disruptions on freight transport routes. Our mechanics check older locomotives on a weekly basis, while modern locos, such as the new Siemens Smartron, are scheduled for 8-hour maintenance sessions once every three months. Thanks to these efforts, the risk of interruptions is kept at a minimum, and clients can benefit from safe and reliable freight transport services.
Now that you’re aware of all the advantages and disadvantages of rail freight forwarding, you can decide whether this mode of transportation is a good fit for your business or not. If the answer is yes, then the team behind MMV Rail Romania is more than happy to help you navigate the ins and outs of rail freight transport. Contact us today for a personalized offer!