The Differences Between Dry Van, Refrigerated, And Flatbed

Knowing which trailer to pick to transport goods can seem like a harrowing decision to have to make when you’ve got goods to preserve, but it doesn’t have to be. By having the information upfront, you can confidently pick a means of transportation that will keep your goods and materials safe throughout the shipping process. Check out the following details about three of the most popular methods of shipping before determining which method is best for you.

Dry Van Shipping

Looking for dry van trailers for sale? Many industries are and it’s no surprise. Dry van shipping happens to be the most popular, and often most affordable, option when it comes to transporting goods.

Because dry van trailers are extremely versatile, you can find many of them on the road. So, what makes dry van trailers so versatile? Their enclosed trailer makes theft and weather conditions a non-issue, while their wooden flooring is perfect for anchoring dry goods and other supplies into the floor. Dry vans are able to transport anything that is dry or otherwise non-perishable, and this includes non-perishable food, cosmetics, unrefrigerated health care items, automotive parts and much more.

Many also love the fact that dry vans often offer shorter waiting times for unloading and that these types of trailers can even be “dropped and hooked” from the cab so that the driver can go pick up another load while the current trailer is being unloaded.

Refrigerated Shipping

Refrigerated shipping is another popular choice, although not as popular as dry van. Nevertheless, the refrigerated trailer, or reefer, is the perfect selection for refrigerated items or goods that have to be temperature controlled. In fact, these are likely the only trailers able to handle such products, and as such, they will always be in demand.

The downside to refrigerated trailers? They are often noisy, cost more in fuel and may take longer to unload. They also must be cleaned thoroughly between loads, which often leads to more time lost when it comes to transporting goods.

Flatbed Shipping

Flatbed shipping is unique in that it doesn’t have an enclosed trailer as does a reefer or dry van, however, it does bolster the advantage of not necessarily having to be backed into a dock for a load and unload. Instead, many flatbeds can be loaded by crane and forklift.

The disadvantages to flatbed shipping are that products are exposed to weather elements and that products being hauled must be properly secured to prevent goods from flying off the back-end of the flatbed and into other vehicles.

Flatbed trailers also require skilled and well-trained drivers to ensure that oversized loads get to where they need to be safely, especially in harsh or difficult weather as flatbeds can often be a challenge to maneuver under these circumstances.

Remember, when deciding what mode of transportation is right for you, it is important to consider the product being hauled and your general shipping needs. Dry van, refrigerated trailer and flatbeds are some of the most popular go-to shipping methods for many manufacturing industries.

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Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
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