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Line Haul Transportation – The Essentials Everybody Should Know

What's in this article?
  1. What Is Line Haul Transportation?
  2. Line Haul Carrier The Company Behind The Process
  3. Line Haul’s Importance To The Shipping Process
  4. Factors That Are Affected By Line Haul Transportation
  5. Duration Of Delivery
  6. Transportation Costs
  7. Freight Movement
  8. Movement Regarding Depot
  9. Movement Regarding Sorting Facilities
  10. Transportation Costs
  11. Why Line Haul Transportation Is Advantageous
  12. Efficient Deliveries
  13. Better Customer Service
  14. What Is A Line Haul Charge?
  15. The Difference Between Long Haul And Line Haul Transportation
Line Haul Transportation – The Essentials Everybody Should Know

There are many things regarding shipping, and it only becomes more complicated when sensitive cargo like vehicles is involved. It’s important to know the different sides and options you have.

Line haul transportation is a service that ensures the movement of cargo, and it's a process you'll need to be aware of before shipping your car to your destination.

What is Line Haul Transportation?

Line haul transportation is a logistics term that encompasses the movement of goods between two points, no matter the method, at previously set times.

It's a broad term, and its significant property is that it has set times. In other words, it's when goods, objects, or freight are transported between two predetermined points. This movement can be done through train, ship, or even air.

The other main point is that it also has predetermined times and routes. This factor means that freight is transported from one point to another, usually to a storage facility, before it's sent further out.

For example, let's talk about cars.

Shipments will be taken to a warehouse at regular intervals, where they’ll be loaded onto carriers in groups to be taken to their final destinations.

Another point to consider is that line haul can refer to any means of transport; it can be small packages by courier, express, and parcel (CEP) or efficient less than truck capacity (LTC) shipments.

The method relies on grouping packages with similar destinations together. So, they'll load cars with an efficient route or close-by delivery spots for vehicles.

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Line Haul Carrier: The Company Behind the Process

Line haul carriers carry out the process. These companies specialize in different parts of the process and provide shipping services.

Besides that, they take care of quality inspection, management, and ensuring the vehicles comply with all transport regulations.

Line haul transportation is complex, with several stops and modes. The freight is constantly moving, and only trained personnel can stay on top of everything.

Separate companies are necessary because they are experienced and can carry out the process smoothly.

Besides, carriers follow less than truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL) regulations. The former usually refers to smaller packages, so FTL applies to vehicle transport.

Carriers also ensure that everything adheres to the service level agreement (SLA) and that all drivers and routes are in line with additional local or geographic regulations when transporting your car.

Line Haul’s Importance to the Shipping Process

As mentioned, line hauling is a complex procedure with several stops. When transporting vehicles, it's essential to be even more careful because any damage can cause trouble with clients.

Everything is kept in check because of line haul carriers. They analyze and track the process using digital software. Using this, they ensure everything is according to customer specifications and federal standards.

The tracking allows the carrier to figure out the most cost-efficient ways to transport vehicles, such as comparing cargo shipment and truck transport times.

They help analyze routes to figure out the quickest and most cost-efficient ways and ensure that the entire procedure complies with government regulations, making them indispensable.

For stakeholders, the data gained can help plan and analyze ETAs, success and failure rates, and how to retain customers as much as possible through excellent service. Parcel tracking also adds to business transparency, increasing consumer trust.

Factors That Are Affected by Line Haul Transportation

As mentioned, there's a reason line haul transport is a critical system for the effective movement of cargo, including vehicles, around the world.

Many areas can be modified to ensure a smoother, more efficient process if handled by a capable carrier. Here are some of the factors that are affected by line haul transportation.

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Duration of Delivery

Effective tracking can significantly affect delivery times. While it may seem like the overall process is still lengthy, small schedule changes can save a lot of time in the long run.

For example, the more accurate the ETA, the quicker recipients can prepare to unload freight, taking out preparation times.

Similarly, they can optimize routes for the best delivery order once carriers set out with ground transport.

Transportation Costs

Analyzing the entire process involves checking how to unload the freight quickest and still being able to turn a reasonable profit for the company. It needs to be a balance between profits and customer convenience.

Every move at terminals and depots costs money, including the workforce, so it's essential to figure out a way that doesn't sacrifice the quality of service and reduces freight shipping costs simultaneously.

Freight Movement

This factor largely depends on the line haul carrier in question: a larger one might control more of the freight arriving at a terminal. If they are responsible for a larger number of vehicles, they don’t need to work around any other carrier’s schedule.

If they control a body of water, they'll have no competition and can reduce freight shipping times.

Movement Regarding Depot

Depots are where vehicles will be taken for storage once shipped, and line haul carriers impact total shipping times by controlling these units. They are secured and ready for transport, and the carrier can then figure out the most efficient way to have them reach customers.

Efficiency is important because since the time spent at sea can’t be sped up, a carrier needs to do what it can to lower ground time.

Movement Regarding Sorting Facilities

While destinations near the port cities might be delivered quickly, line haul carriers have to figure out the best routes for vehicle delivery too. After the depots, the vehicles are taken to different sorting facilities and terminals, categorized according to destination.

This ensures that the driver on the route isn’t wasting any time and will reach the customer as soon as possible, increasing the level of service.

Transportation Costs

Finally, all these factors unite to let the carrier control transport costs. The longer a car is at a port, depot, or sorting facility, the more costs are piled up.

Similarly, it also depends on how they choose to deliver your car to you. The more time spent on the road, the more you'll pay per mile.

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Why Line Haul Transportation is Advantageous

There's a reason line haul transportation is being adopted by more and more companies; there are several advantages of the service that are directly tied to the factors.

Efficient Deliveries

Suppose the carrier can observe the time taken to unload vehicles from freight and ship them to depots and sorting facilities. In that case, they can figure out ways to quicken the process wherever possible.

This results in an efficient process that benefits workers and customers by reducing costs and lowering delivery time.

Better Customer Service

If customers can get almost accurate ETAs and fast deliveries, they'll be happier with the company. They'll not employ their services in the future but also recommend them to acquaintances, strengthening customer base and loyalty.

It's vital to ensure a trustworthy and reliable reputation when you're in a business that handles expensive vehicles, which only helps.

What is a Line Haul Charge?

This is the fee incurred during the journey between the pickup location and the destination. It's calculated based on the distance and the weight of the vehicles you're transporting.

It's a basic charge but doesn't include any extra costs for loading or unloading. If there are costs, they'll already be calculated in the total. However, it's not usually necessary for cars because they'll unload it for you: it's not the sort of cargo you'll be expected to handle.

The Difference Between Long Haul and Line Haul Transportation

Line haul transportation doesn't just include predetermined routes and times: it also has shifts for drivers. A standard shift would be 9 to 5, and another night shift. Since there are different stops, drivers change.

But the traditional long haul method involves drivers making up to month-long trips across multiple cities. This leads to fatigue, stress, and added fuel and accommodation costs. It's why most companies in the industry are shifting to line haul transportation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Drivers Less Likely to Make Errors in Line Haul Rather Than Long Haul Transportation?


How Does Line Haul Improve Communication Within the System?


Is My Car Safe During Line Haul Transportation?

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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