Transport and distribution are both very important when it comes to international trade, so you should take the time to analyse your needs properly. Compare the different types of transport available – road, sea, air, rail, or more of them combined – and see which of them is the most convenient for you and your business. To start with, here are a few basic things you should know about road transport.
Advantages of road transport
Not only will your goods be private and secure, but you can enjoy a lot of flexibility if you choose to ship your goods by road too, particularly if you are exporting to a country within the EU. You do not have to worry about spending too much time at the borders and the road networks are well-built and extensive too, thus allowing you to schedule your deliveries and stick to those schedules. You can also track your shipment very easily if you want to. Finally, you get to enjoy all these advantages at rather low costs.
Disadvantages of road transport
However, as anything else, this mode of transport also has its drawbacks. For starters, the delivery times can be quite long if the destination is remote, not to mention that delays can occur at any time due to heavy traffic, for instance. The risk of damage is also higher whenever goods travel long distances. As for the financial aspect, the toll fees must also be considered when calculating the overall costs. These vary from one country to another, as may the traffic regulations too.
Whether you choose to drive a personal vehicle or use a carrier is up to you. However, you should look into options properly before making your decision. When shipping goods via a personal vehicle, you need to consider licences, training, fuel expenses or additional taxes, among others. If you lean towards carriers, on the other hand, you should know there are different types of them, namely couriers, hauliers and freight forwarders. The former deliver small parcels fast and safely, hauliers deliver them after picking them up from your place, whereas the latter consolidate your deliveries while taking into account all the regulations applicable to your shipment.
Cargo insurance and required documentation
While doing your research, you will also learn that you can have your goods insured should any loss or damage occur during transport. You are provided basic insurance under the CMR Convention (The Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road)< however, you should consider additional insurance as well.
Should you be looking to have dangerous goods shipped, you should be aware of the ADR regulations (The European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) applicable to them. Dangerous goods include gases and corrosive, explosive, flammable, oxidising, radioactive and toxic substances. Commercial vehicles can only be used for such deliveries if they pass the ADR test in advance. They may even have to meet certain design and construction standards, as provided by the Department for Transport. As for the driver, they must possess an ADR certificate in order to be allowed to ship any such goods.