Dry Van Shipping 1

Dry Van Shipping: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

If you have any questions about dry van shipping, you will find the answer right here.

So, keep reading to learn more about dry van shipping.

What is Dry Van Shipping?

Dry Van Shipping also known as ‘box on wheels’ is shipping done in a trailer that doesn’t contain temperature-controlled equipment.

It’s a fully enclosed semi-trailer used to transport palletized cargo and lose cartons.

Dry Van Freight Shipping

Dry Van Freight Shipping

It is called dry because it keeps products in the trailer dry by protecting them from environmental elements. Harsh weather, accidents, road debris or any other environmental element may interfere with the product quality.

Forklifts or lift gates can be used while unloading cargo from the trailer.

Which Industries rely on Dry Van Shipping?

Dry Van Shipping is the most trusted and prevalent form of freight transportation method used today.

In fact, Dry Van Trailers are the common trailers you see behind semi-trucks daily; it’s just that the term sounds new.

The following industries use Dry Van Shipping:

  1. Non-perishable food and beverage
  2. Electronics
  3. Automotive
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Consumer goods
  6. Entertainment
  7. Health and beauty
  8. Cleaning products
  9. Textile and clothing

How does Dry Van Shipping Work?

Well, as a buyer you choose the kind of shipping method you want based on the nature of your goods.

Once you settle with Dry Van Shipping, the seller manufactures goods, transports them to the port, and hands them into the first carrier. The carrier then transports the goods to you.

What are the Two Types of Dry Van Shipping?

In Dry Van Shipping, companies usually book two methods of transportation namely;

  1. Less Than Truckload Services- This is suitable if goods can’t fit the entire trailer. You can send them as stacked or non-stacked palletized cargo.

It’s cheaper due to the shared cost of transportation however slow because the truck has to stop and drop off goods.

  1. Full Truckload Services- you book the entire truck; no sharing. Goods are transported directly to the stated location

What are the Benefits of Dry Van Shipping?

The following are the main advantages of Dry Van Shipping:

  1. It’s highly available.
  2. It’s an affordable method of transporting palletized cargo compared to other shipping methods.
  3. It has a capacity of 45000 pounds which is large enough for many businesses.
  4. You don’t have to worry about the weather; it has a four-sided barrier that protects goods
  5. Goods are in a locked container hence they are protected from theft.
  6. Its reliable shipment method; you can choose either Full Truckload or Less than Truckload.
  7. It can be used for both short and long-distance shipping.

How does Dry Van vs Flat Bed Compare?

Dry Van and Flat Bed are forms of freight transportation.

They have the following similarities:

  1. Both trailers can be used to carry bulky non-perishable goods.
  2. Both trailers don’t have temperature regulators.
  3. Both are common modes of transport in international trade.
  4. The process of offloading cargo is quite simple. In Dry Van, the trailer can be attached to a loading dock, a forklift, or a lift gate are used while in a Flat Bed, the flat surface may ease the process.

When Should I Use Dry Van in Shipping?

Consider using Dry Van Shipping when:

  1. Transporting goods for short or long-distance via road.
  2. When transporting goods either as FCL or LCL.
  3. When there is a need to transport goods without any external influence.
  4. When Moving non-perishable food, beverage, textile and clothing electronic, plastics, consumer packaged goods, machinery, etc.
  5. Relocating household goods i.e. furniture.
  6. Transporting small machinery and equipment from the warehouse to the site.

What are the Weight Limits for Dry Van Loads?

Dry Van Trailers come in different sizes and materials. They are mostly made of iron, galvanized steel, aluminum, and hardwood.

A standard Dry Van Trailer is usually 53 feet long. It can carry a weight of between 42000-45000lbs however, most drivers prefer a maximum of 44000 lbs.

A 48’ trailer can carry 24 standards 48” x 40” pallets while a 53’ trailer can carry 26 standards 48” x 40” pallets.

What are the Specifications of a Dry Van Container?

Dry Van Container specification include:

  1. Certification- CSC
  2. State- New
  3. Material –Corten steel
  4. Container type- 20ft dry van shipping container
  5. Availability- rent, lease, or buy
  6. Maximum load- 28480 kg
  7. Maximum weight- 30480 kg
  8. Dimension (Internal) – length-5898mm, width- 2352mm, height-2393mm

(External)- length- 6058mm, width 2438, height 2591mm

What is the Difference Between Dry Van vs Reefer Shipment?

Dry Van doesn’t have temperature control or any other climate alteration equipment hence it can’t be used to haul perishable goods. It’s convenient as it allows freight consolidation.

Conversely, reefer shipment is a trailer for transporting perishable goods that need to be at a specific degree during transportation. It’s a complex mode of transport.

Dry Van Shipping vs. Refeer Shipping

Dry Van Shipping vs. Refeer Shipping

Which is Better Between New vs Used Container for Dry Van Shipping?

Different people have different tastes and preferences. For some people buying a new shipping container is important. However, for others as long as it serves the purpose, they don’t mind the dents and the faded paints.

Before purchasing a container, you need to decide which one works for you. It’s worth noting ‘new’ containers don’t come fresh from the factory.

Instead, the container is manufactured, loaded with goods then shipped to the final destination. After the shipment has been unloaded, it’s listed for sale as ‘new.’ In other words, it’s a one-trip container.

Below are factors that may help you make the decision:

  1. Container condition- If you want an aesthetically pleasing container, go for a new one, it’s usually in good condition. Old ones often have dents and surface rust.
  2. New containers have a longer life span (of up to 30 years if handled with care). While that of old ones is shorter due to exposure to multiple trips, heavy luggage, and chemicals.
  3. If you intend to use containers for living space go for new ones. They have not been exposed to chemicals that may be harmful to your health.
  4. Essentially new containers are costly compared to old ones. However, they come with high locking gear, a lock box, and new forklift pockets.
  5. Choose a container depending on the use. You can easily modify new containers than old ones especially if you want to use them as stalls for businesses.

You can still buy old containers if you don’t mind the dents and renovate them.

Takeaway; whether you choose a new or old container, there is no wrong choice. Both have pros and cons.

Most important thing is to go for one that serves you best. Remember to choose your battles wisely.

How Much is Dry Van Rental Cost?

The rental fee depends on the nature of the container, whether it is old or new.

You tend to pay less for an old container compared to a new one. Rental fee ranges between $300-600 per month.

What are the Benefits of Renting vs. Buying a Dry Van?

Renting a trailer is akin to renting an apartment.

You pay your landlord rent monthly in exchange for a house.

He/she takes care of maintenance issues, security, water, etc. It’s the same as renting a truck; an apartment with wheels.

Below are some of the advantage of renting over buying a truck:

  1. Dry vans for rental are readily available.
  2. It’s affordable- while renting a space you only need monthly payment. Whereas buying you need a lot of money that may force you to take a loan.

Also rented trailers don’t need a down payment. Companies only need a damage deposit that may be refunded at the end of your lease if the truck doesn’t incur any damage.

  1. Renting a trailer saves you from the process of registering, inspecting, and insuring a container after purchasing, which is time-consuming.
  2. With renting, you can hire a space only when in need. buying on the other hand, the truck becomes yours forever even after the business is over.
  3. Technology keeps changing, when you rent a trailer, it’s easier to upgrade compared to buying one.

Where can I Find Dry Van for Sale?

You can get old or new trailers either for rent, lease, or buy from trailer dealers online.

What is a Dry Van Trailer?

It’s a box that is enclosed on all sides used to haul non-perishable goods in large quantities. Typically made of iron, hardwood, aluminum, and galvanized steel.

What are the Types of Dry Van Trailers?

There are two common types of Dry Van Trailers which include:

  1. General trailer which is 53Ft long
  2. Pup trailer which range between 26-29Ft long

PUP Dry Van trailer

 PUP Dry Van trailer

What are the Best Practices for Packaging Goods for Dry Van Shipping?

Packaging is a very important process in freight shipping. It can make or break your business.

Here are a few tips you can apply while packaging your cargo:

  1. Palletize cargo.
  2. Use new packages such as corrugated cartons that are strong enough to withstand the weight of your cargo. One with a reinforced water-activated tape.

You can also add another layer of X-pad on the bottom, sides, and top of the shipment.

  • Carefully place fragile goods at the center and cover them with a cushion or a bubble wrap.
  • Slip the package in a bigger one, fill the empty spaces with an air pillow or X-pads.
  • Seal the boxes with water-activated tape; it protects the box from opening during shipping.
  • Break heavy shipments into several boxes to avoid overloading one box.
  • Once you’ve done all this, shake the package. If there is any kind of movements. It’s not well done. Open and repackage.

Do Dry Van Shipments Require Special Handling?

The answer is yes. Ideally, all items should be handled with care so that they can get to the final user in goods state.

It doesn’t mean that because Dry Van shipments are non-perishable they should be handled anyhow. The shipment may be made of glass which is super fragile hence must be handled with care.

Is Dry Van Shipping suited for Out of Gauge (OOG) Goods?

Out of gauge goods are oversized shipments that can’t fit the standard shipping container i.e. aircraft parts.

Dry Van Shipping is not best for transporting OOG cargo reason being it’s enclosed hence the goods can’t fit. While shipping OOG goods, consider using a flatbed or open box shipping.

How are Dry Van Shipping Rates Determined?

Companies determine Dry Van shipping rates according to:

  1. Mileage
  2. Season whether peak or off-peak
  3. Availability of truck lane
  4. Cost of fuel
  5. Type of trailer needed
  6. Type and weight of freight either FCL or LCL.
  7. Demand and supply

What is the Average Dry Van Shipping Cost?

We can’t really give an exact figure.

Average rates are obtained from data rate reviews which highly depend on the supply and demand cost.

The rates rely on how much freight there is to haul compared to amount of truck space available, along with factors mentioned above

Which Factors Affect the Cost of Dry Van Shipping?

The cost of Dry Van Shipping is affected by the following factors:

  1. Delivery Distance- the further the destination the higher the cost.
  2. Demand and Supply- Demand seasons are the produce seasons that start from spring to summer.
  3. Availability of Truck Drivers- the fewer the drivers the higher the cost of shipping.
  4. Type of Freight Shipping whether it’s FCL or LCL.
  5. The weight, density, and freight rates of your cargo.
  6. The cost of fuel at a given time.
  7. Additional services like same-day shipping, shipment paring, high-value cargo protection services, etc. may affect the cost of shipping.
  8. Unexpected events like natural disasters.

How do I Find the Best Dry Van Freight Rates?

There are many shipping methods in international trade, settling for Dry Van Shipping can be a relief.

However, there are so many companies to choose from meaning finding the best rates can be another hustle.

Here’s how you can find the best rates:

  1. Use online rate quote engines available on most companies’ websites. Request for a quote and receive it in minutes.

There is room for a bargain with online quoting. In case you don’t agree with the initial quote, submit your name and the amount you want to pay.

The company will review and get back to you within 5 minutes.

If the company accepts your quote, proceed with the process, if not, use the initial quote.

Companies may or may not accept your quote, but at least you tried.

  1. Due diligence: examine the financial records of the company you have chosen before starting your business. Its goods for your safety.
  2. Freight rates may differ from one company to another. Go for the one that fits you best without compromising on the quality of services needed.
  3. There are peak and off-peak seasons in international trade, avoid shipping goods during peak season and holidays. Prices are usually high.

What are the Common Dry Van Shipping Challenges?

Every shipping method has pros and cons. Here are some of the cons of Dry Van Shipping:

  1. It has no temperature control equipment hence it can’t transport goods that need refrigeration.
  2. It lacks insulation hence you can’t alter the temperatures outside the trailer.
  3. It’s mostly made of hardwood floors which are prone to moisture and condemnation. It can be damaged by the weather or cargo itself.

Dry Van Shipping has few cons compared to other shipping methods. It still remains to be the best and most affordable means of transport in international trade.

How can a 3PL Improve My Experience during Dry Van Shipping?

Third-Party Logistics always come in handy in international trade. They improve your shipping experience by:

  1. Enables business transparency in terms of shipment, transaction, and operation.
  2. Provide communication.
  3. Provide visibility of shipment to the customer through tracking.
  4. Provide customer care services.

Under Dry Van Shipping, What Defines Buyer/Seller Responsibilities?

Buyer and seller’s responsibilities are clearly stated on Incoterms. Here are some Incoterms that apply to Dry Van Shipping:

  1. EXW (EX Works)- goods are available at the seller’s place and the buyer is responsible for all the charges.
  2. FCA (Free Carrier) –The seller supplies the goods cleared for export to the first carrier mentioned by the buyer.
  3. CPT (Carriage Paid To)- The seller pays for the carriage of goods to the agreed location. Risks are transferred to the buyer once goods are handed to the first carrier.
  4. CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To)- the seller pays for carriage and insurance to the agreed destination. Risk is transferred to the buyer once goods are issued to the first carrier.
  5. DAT (Delivery at Terminal)- The seller pays for the cost to the terminal apart from fees related to import clearance. He/she bears all risks up to the point the goods are unloaded from the terminal.
  6. DAP (Delivered at Place)- it’s similar to DAT. Only that the seller assumes risk until goods are ready to be unloaded by the buyer.
  7. DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) –the seller is responsible for delivering goods to the mentioned destination and paying all the costs including import duties and taxes

Incoterms for Dry Van Shipping

 Incoterms for Dry Van Shipping

Can I Buy Insurance for my Dry Van Shipment?

Yes, you can. Cargo insurance may protect your goods against inevitable losses or damage that may occur during transportation.

However, the incoterms you choose may determine who incurs the payment. If you choose CIP, the cost of insurance will be incurred by the seller.

What Precautions do Carriers Take to Keep my Dry Van Freight Safe?

Despite the fact that Dry Van Shipping is considered the safest method, carriers take further actions to ensure the safety of the freight.

They include:

  1. Verifying the packaging of goods once they get to the port.
  2. Creating space for goods and arrange them orderly.
  3. Palletizing cargo.
  4. Fastening cargo to the floor and walls of the trailer with ratchet ties to prevent movements during transportation.
  5. Covering goods with a protective blanket to shield them from dirt and dust accumulation.

What are the Paperwork Requirements for Dry Van Shipping?

Dry Van Shipping paperwork are the same as any other shipping method.

They include:

  1. Proforma invoice
  2. Bill of Lading
  3. Commercial invoice
  4. Certificate of origin
  5. Incoterms
  6. Letter of credit
  7. Purchase order
  8. Insurance certificate
  9. Shippers letter of credit

How do I Choose the Ideal Dry Van Shipping Company?

When it comes to Dry Van Shipping companies, there are a pool of them. You may get confused in the process.

Here’s how to choose one that will suit you:

  1. A reliable company has good customer care services i.e. quick response.
  2. Check the experience and competency skills of the company. Ensure the company specializes in what you are looking for.

Check their level of experience. The longer they have been in the field the sharper they may be.

    • Logistics services- these are the most important services you require from a shipping company. Define what you require and go for a company that you can work with.
    • Freight carrier capacity- this is important if you ship a lot of goods. You should consider a company with trailers that can handle the weight.
    • Lastly, choose a company that charges affordable rates without compromising on the quality of the services.

How do I Track Dry Van Shipments?

It’s normal to have the desire to monitor the entry, stay, and exit of your cargo. It’s possible if you consult a 3PL or a trailer tracking company.

They have systems that provide you with live freight updates of your shipment.

How does Customs Clearance for Dry Van Cargo work?

A customs broker can help you with customs clearance all you need to do is provide correct documents. You will be blamed for any false information provided.

If applying DDP terms, once the shipment leaves the port, the carrier sends an arrival notice to the entity mentioned in the Bill of Lading.

Cargo undergoes screening, may also be inspected by customs along the way. The Customs fee is paid by the person responsible for customs clearance.

At BanSar, we will help with all your freight forwarding services from China.

Contact us now for all your shipping needs from China.

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