Blocking & bracing are essential to ensure maximum protection of your Cleveland CFS cargo.
As our logistics professionals can explain, meticulous planning is critical in container loads to ensure equal weight distribution during transit. It’s especially important for damage prevention when moving larger-sized loads.
Properly securing cargo may take a bit of extra effort, but it ultimately saves you time and money, increases safety, protects business relationships, and is required by state and federal laws.
We work to correctly block & brace every portion of loaded freight containers, ensuring your cargo gets where it needs to be – intact, on time, every time.
What is Blocking & Bracing?
Blocking is the means of preventing loads from moving laterally (side-to-side, front-to-back). Bracing, meanwhile, is the means of preventing vertical movement (up-and-down). Failure to brace properly can result in loads jumping over the blocks. And if the blocks aren’t implemented properly, the braces aren’t going to hold.
Visualize your heavy load resting in a container. Some assume that because it’s heavy, it’s unlikely to budge much. This is a miscalculation – a potentially catastrophic one. As our Cleveland CFS cargo experts can explain, once a container is moving, the internal object’s momentum in any direction is going to be proportionate to its weight.
Whatever the mode – whether it’s rail, truck, or ship – proper blocking, bracing, and loading is critical. It’s also important to understand that these techniques differ from load-to-load.
In the case of CFS shipments prepped for intermodal transport (cross-country or international), expect the potential for all kinds of jostling movements, including:
- Forward surges
- Front-to-back pitching
- Side-to-side rolling
- Up-and-down heaving
- Irregular motions
- Sudden impacts
When your shipment is properly blocked and braced, it’s going to be protected on every leg of the journey.
Some of the factors impacting how we block and brace:
- Container size
- Loading type (cartons, drums, pallets, etc.)
- Number of pallets or units
- Whether the cargo will be loaded onto pallets or floor-loaded
With supply chain logjams on U.S. coasts expected to stretch well into 2022, shippers looking to ease the strain on intermodal supply chains are increasingly turning to underutilized sea ports and air terminals – including those in Cleveland, Toledo and Cincinnati. As a longtime provider of Cleveland container freight station (CFS) services, On Time Delivery & Warehouse is prepared to onboard new business-to-business clients for consolidation/de-consolidation of import/export freight, full container loads (FCL’s), less-than-container loads (LCL’s), block & brace services, product segregation, heavy/oversized loading and unloading, stack & wrap services, CFS warehousing and customs bonded warehousing.
What is CFS – And Why Does it Matter?
CFS is short for container freight station. These are facilities located near ports, terminals, inland container depots or major railway hubs that help facilitate import/export shipments from origin and destination. They’re particularly popular with those utilizing LCL (less-than-container) shipments because they can serve as a central hub for importers/exporters looking to ensure their goods are going to be securely stored, carefully handled, and expeditiously sent on the next leg of the journey.
Among the core functions of CFS providers:
- Preparation of container load plan.
- Stuffing and de-stuffing containers (both FCL and LCL).
- Marking and sealing containers for identification.
- Serving as a temporary storage space for cargo, empty, and laden containers.
- Moving empty containers from container yards and laden containers to nearby ports and terminals.
- Stacking, sorting, tracking, and tallying containers pre- and post-shipment.
- Organization of customs clearance procedures (examination, classification, goods assessment, etc.).
- Ensuring safety and security of all goods in the facility.
- Managing break bulk cargo (cargo that’s not in a container).
Cleveland container freight station services are essential because they help decongest air terminals and sea ports – freeing them from numerous customs clearance procedures.
As reported by WKYC Channel 3 in October, the Port of Cleveland can easily handle 100,000 containers annually. Yet in recent years, it’s been topping out well below that – somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000. Pandemic-related congestion on the coasts is spurring a shift to higher local volumes, as cargo owners and third-party logistics (3PL) firms increasingly eye smaller ports to move their goods. Cleveland is the third-largest port on the Great Lakes. Although it can’t handle U.S. Navy or cruise ships, it can accommodate vessels bound for transatlantic shipments. Plus, smaller ports like Cleveland are often more efficient – and cost effective – than the larger hubs in Southern California (Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland) New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas (Houston).
Less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL or just TL) are the most common types of freight shipping in most industry supply chains. Unfortunately, Ohio LTL freight shipping prices have risen substantially in recent years.
At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we pride ourselves on pricing transparency and strive always to provide the most competitive LTL shipping costs in the region. Understanding why costs are higher these days is important to formulating a workable strategy to keep those expenses manageable while still ensuring your shipments are getting where they need to be – intact, on time, every time.
What is Ohio LTL Freight Shipping?
Approximately 54 million tons of freight are moved on trucks daily in this country, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. A considerable share of this is hauled on LTL loads.
Anytime your shipment takes up an entire truck (typically somewhere around 42,500 lbs. or 24 pallets), it’s called a full truckload. When the weight or size of your shipment is less than that, you have the option of shipping items via less-than-truckload. LTL is sort of like a rideshare service with multiple passengers, but for freight.
On a per-mile, per-unit basis, Ohio LTL freight is often more costly. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t the most cost-efficient option for the specific needs of your business.
Some benefits of LTL shipping include:
- Tracking and tracing. Transparency and visibility of shipments is important to our clients as well as their customers. Knowing transit times, the location of shipments, estimated delivery times and more can be invaluable.
- Service options. These can include pick up and delivery, liftgate service, import/export freight handlers, hotshot deliveries and more.
- Earth-friendly. Shipping via LTL allows carriers to use all the room on the truck, meaning each shipment is efficient and eco-friendly.
These should be factored when considering whether LTL makes the most financial sense for your firm.
Spot ocean container rates have tripled in the last year, an unprecedented spike in the history of container shipping. Rates for bulk commodity shipping may be elastic to a certain extent, but it’s imperative that when working with a Cleveland freight station, you’re getting the most for your money. Asking key questions before contracting with any freight station – domestic freight handlers and import/export freight handlers – ensures you’re receiving the best possible value.
The freight industry is a complex one, and you want to make certain the third-party logistics team working for you is a good fit for your business, particularly if you’re trusting them to transport your cargo. One Cleveland freight station may operate differently from another, so before you sign on to any agreement, it’s best to have a full understanding of the provider’s services, locations, experience and network.
To aid in your search, On Time Delivery & Warehouse has outlined several questions you may consider asking prospective Cleveland freight station providers.
Cleveland is a dynamic transportation hub and a vital location for many supply chains. Choosing the right Cleveland container freight station (CFS) for your import and export shipments is crucial to your bottom line and customer satisfaction. Container freight stations are a critical element of any supply chain moving interior point intermodal freight.
The largest users of CFS service companies are typically freight forwarders, though some shippers and other third-party logistics firms rely on us to ensure their customers’ freight gets where it needs to go – intact, on time, every time.
Paint. Dry ice. Lithium batteries. Perfume. There are just a few of the seemingly innocuous items that are considered potentially hazardous when they’re in transit. If you sell these or other regulated hazmat goods, there are tight regulations for transporting them. As our Ohio hazmat certified shipping providers can explain, the U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that anyone shipping hazardous materials be both trained and certified. Proper shipping of hazmat materials means correctly packaging, labeling and documenting all items as well. Non-compliance can result in costly legal action – both from government fines and civil liability for injuries. The skillful handling of your hazardous materials is essential for the safety of everyone in the supply chain.
At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, our Ohio hazmat certified shipping teams are experienced in packing, crating and securing these materials to minimize potential risks – from pickup to delivery and every point in between.
As a longtime Northeast Ohio 3PL provider in Cleveland, On Time Delivery & Warehouse has a battle-tested supply chain network of carriers and routes spanning the U.S. market and beyond – on ground rails, overseas and in the skies. For most domestic deliveries though, we rely on commercial trucks.
We’re certainly not the only Northeast Ohio 3PL to do so, though our longstanding, loyal customer backing affirms our stake as one of the most trusted supply chain management companies in the Midwest. The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports 70 percent of the 50 million tons of U.S. economy freight moved daily is hauled by commercial trucks. Our trucking services clients have the advantage not just of our expansive carrier network, but our own fleet of trailers, box trucks and flatbeds.
Trucking is often the most cost-effective ways to move freight domestically, though as you probably know, it’s not exactly cheap either. Working with a 3PL trucking service can help, getting you better deals on less-than-truckload services and more. In fact, one of the greatest benefits of working with a Northeast Ohio 3PL instead of managing trucking services in-house is: Third-party logistics providers can help reduce your trucking liability risks.
This is an especially key consideration for many firms, given the risk of commercial truck crashes is on the rise.
Ohio LCL shipping (less-than-container-load) makes the most sense for many small business owners requiring lower-volume, time-sensitive freight shipments that won’t fit in an entire ocean container, but would cost too much to send by air freight.
A full container load, or FCL shipping, is when a cargo shipping container’s space capacity is maxed-out. Although large corporations often have no problem regularly filling entire shipping containers, smaller companies may rely on international trade or products, but don’t do the same kind of volume needed to fill a whole space. LCL shipping allows both the space and cost to be shared, so you aren’t stuck footing the bill for an entire full container load you don’t need.
With international cargo shipping, figuring out the optimal method for YOU is key to reduce losses and maximize profitability. Whether you run with LCL or FCL, make sure you’re getting:
- On time cargo delivery to the proper destination;
- Optimized freight costs;
- Simple, streamlined processes.
If container freight cargo shipping is something your Cleveland company is exploring, On Time Delivery & Warehouse third-party logistics professionals can assist in mapping a supply chain cost-benefit analysis and determining which method makes the most sense. Implementing that plan is also seamless, with our own committed Container Freight Station and Customs Exam site and established import/export procedures already in place.
Freight shipping (aka freight transport) is the physical process by which we move goods and cargo through the sea, land and air. Like so many other industries in recent years, freight shipping has been forced to evolve to meet ever-increasing consumer expectations, thanks in part to the so-called “Amazon effect.”
The Amazon effect is named for the multi-billion dollar online retailer that sells everything from podcast equipment to pools – usually delivering in a matter of a couple days or even hours.
Our Cleveland freight shipping experts know that once-upon-a-time (not so very long ago), companies used to capture customers on their own terms. Now, the Amazon effect means customers expect to be addressed on their terms – and on their timelines. It’s not quite as fast as a fairy godmother, but it’s often pretty close.
That means freight shippers must keep up – and we’re committed to doing just that. Freight shipping and 3PL providers that used to launch strategic planning initiatives every three years now need to make sure improvements are constant. On Time Delivery & Warehouse is dedicated to guaranteeing our Cleveland freight shipping services and supply chain operations are agile and responsive and employ the best people and technology available – all while making safety a top priority.
Freight shipping – across all modes and volumes – is poised for a boom in the U.S. over the next 10 years, with the volume rising from 15.18 billion tons moved in 2017 to 20.73 billion tons in 2028 – an increase of nearly 37 percent. That’s according to the American Trucking Association’s Forecast to 2028 report, which evaluates existing and projected growth of the U.S. freight transportation industry.
On Time Delivery & Warehouse’s Cleveland freight shipping services are prepared to meet these rising demands. Our responsive, dependable team is always working on ways to streamline, innovate and improve our processes for maximum customer satisfaction. In our experience, the better we understand the unique challenges of our customers, the better we can serve them in the long haul.
The ATA anticipates there will be some freight capacity shortfalls over the next decade, with tightness especially in the arena of freight handling. On Time Delivery & Warehouse leaders carefully monitor market trends, helping us stay ahead of the quality curve with experienced import/ export freight handlers, trailers, box trucks, flat beds and same day/ next day service.