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Wednesday May 4th, 2022

What Are Specialized Freight Services?

What are Specialized Freight Services?

To understand what specialized freight services are it’s critical to know what specialized freight is. Specialized freight is a broad term for goods that freight companies can’t ship with a basic box trailer. Typically, these kinds of products and materials require a company to modify its standard shipping method. Specialty freight is often extremely:

  • Heavy
  • Large
  • Unwieldy due to shape
  • Flammable
  • Hazardous

From logging trucks to tanker trucks, specialty freight generally demands a special trailer type to ship goods safely and legally. Accordingly, specialized freight services combine logistics and transportation services to make it possible to ship specialized freight. Companies that use specialized freight services are often shopping:

  • Agricultural Goods & Livestock
  • Bulk Liquids
  • Bulk Minerals
  • Coal & Coke
  • Dry Chemicals
  • Military Materials
  • Forest Products
  • Household/Office Goods
  • Oversized Items
  • Refrigerated Goods
  • Sensitive Electronics
  • Trash & Biological Matter

Put simply, specialized freight services find solutions for goods and materials that standard trucking options can’t handle.

Specialized Freight Requires Specialized Equipment

Not only is it critical to have a seasoned team of logistics experts to help you with the specialized freight process, but it’s essential that they have the right tools for the job. From dry vans and flatbed trucks to lowboys and double-decker trailers, it’s remarkable how products and materials travel from point A to point B. To give you more insights into how logistics companies make it happen, let’s look at some of the most common specialized freight and how it moves.

specialized equipment

Agricultural Goods & Livestock

Transporting animals in an affordable, humane, and efficient way requires a variety of specialty trailers. If you need to transport livestock, ensure your shippers have access to:

  • Gooseneck Livestock Trailers: This option is ideal for transporting large herds of livestock. Not only is it spacious, but the trailer’s weight is designed for safety and stability for your animals.
  • Bumper Pull: This option is excellent for transporting one or two large animals over short distances.
  • Stock Box: This option is for smaller animals such as chicks, goats, or lambs. They can sit conveniently in the back of a pickup truck.
  • Pen System: This option is essential for the safety and comfort of livestock that you need to pen, such as large groups of pigs, sheep, or goats. 

Bulk Liquid

Bulk liquid such as petrochemicals, polymer additives, and vegetable oils require special trailers. To successfully transport and store these materials, freight companies need access to tank trailers. A tank trailer is a tank that carries bulk liquid freight. Depending on the bulk liquid contents, specialty freight will require a:

  • Corrosive Tanker
  • Food-Grade Tanker
  • Hot Product Tanker
  • Petrochemical Tanker
  • Petroleum Tanker

Bulk Dry Material

From plastic pellets to granulated sugar, dry bulk materials require a special kind of trailer. Logistics experts refer to this kind of trailer as a Pneumatic trailer. This dry bulk tank also needs to be accompanied by a variety of specialty equipment such as an unloading discharge hose, pressure control valves, and a vacuum unit. To minimize contamination, carriers must wash their containers after every load.

Forest Products

When you need to move timber to a sawmill, your transport company will use a logging truck or timber lorry. Depending on how much you're moving and where you’re moving it, these trucks may have integrated flatbeds or a dollied trailer.

Oversized Loads

In the U.S., regulators see a load as oversized if it exceeds 8 ft 6 in width, 13 ft 6 in high, and 53 ft long. Generally, shippers will modify flatbeds and step decks. However, shippers don't just need special equipment to make the haul; they also require permits. These permits have multiple categories, such as single move, multiple hauls, and annual hauls.

Refrigerated Goods

Refrigerated trailers, also called "reefers," are insulated, full truckload trailers with refrigeration capabilities. If your products will go bad or be damaged by warmer temperatures (or freezing temperatures), this type of trailer is critical. Products and materials that generally need to be refrigerated are:

  • Candles
  • Chewing gum
  • Flowers
  • Fresh food
  • Hazardous materials
  • Pharmaceuticals

Simplify Your Specialty Freight Process

If you're looking for a logistics company that can help your company with reliable and affordable shipping services, then you should reach out to NLN. We have an extensive network, advanced tracking technology, and a team of seasoned experts who offer 24/7/365 white-glove customer service throughout the entire fulfillment process. To learn more about our specialty freight services, please reach out today by visiting our contact page