Know Your Ground Shipment Vehicle Options

Compare the benefits of dry van trucking to a flatbed truck or refrigerated truck

Ground shipment, commonly referred to simply as “trucking,” is a transportation method made up of several distinct services and timing options, as well as specific vehicles best suited to particular types of cargo, shippers or industries.

AIT has you covered with every type of ground shipment vehicle

Whether you need a full truckload or less than a truckload, are shipping to remote, rural communities or urban centers, require dry van trucking, reefer trucks or a flatbed truck, you can count on AIT.

From transborder deliveries to warehouse management and more, we provide end-to-end ground distribution support tailored to meet your unique requirements, including concierge delivery options, hazardous materials handling capabilities and reverse logistics expertise.

Read on to learn about the different ground shipment vehicle options available to you and which type makes the most sense for your freight.

Flatbed truck: Ideal for oversized cargo, fast loading

Vehicle description, benefits
These trucks are not enclosed, with a body consisting of a level “bed” that is used to transport goods.

Because they aren’t constrained by the four walls of a typical dry van container, flatbed trucks don’t necessarily need to back into docks, which can make unloading easier.

Cargo suitability
From piping to machinery, flatbed trucking enables secure transit of freight that can’t be delivered in dry van trucks. Loading freight into a flatbed truck is faster and easier, simplifying the supply chain by allowing drivers to get on the road and deliver goods more quickly.

Reefer trucks: Best for temperature-sensitive cargo

Vehicle description, benefits
A “reefer” is short for refrigerated truck, and actually refers to a refrigerated container, which is attached to a truck. They are also used in intermodal and ocean transport.

Because reefers are designed to endure severe at-sea weather conditions, they’re extremely durable, as well as tamper-proof.

Cargo suitability
While the modern reefer used today appeared on the scene in the 1960s, the concept can trace its roots to ice cream transport as early as the 1920s. Today, reefer trailers continue to be ideal for moving perishable food items, as well as other temperature-sensitive goods, from medical cargo, like pharmaceutical ingredients and vaccines, to fresh flowers.

Dry van trucking: The ground shipment go-to

Vehicle description, benefits
This most common type of ground transport vehicle consists of a large, enclosed, rectangular trailer hauled behind the semi-truck. Most “box” trucks you see on the road are dry vans.

In addition to being one of the most affordable ground shipment options, dry van trucking containers provide security from the elements, as well as theft.

Cargo suitability
Freight that can be boxed or palletized is the most obvious candidate for dry van trucking; however, this option’s versatility, size, and built-in weather and theft protections make it the shipping standard across many cargo types and industries—from electronics to non-perishable food to furniture and much more.

Partner with the ground shipment experts today

Grow your reach—and bottom line—with a dependable, timely and cost-effective ground distribution strategy. Contact an contact an AIT representative today to get started.

AIT has a robust global logistics network, with more than 60 offices worldwide.

See our Global Network