Expedited Freight Shipping: What Is It?

Understand how expedited freight services work, their benefits, and when they come in handy.

Making sure your freight gets to its destination on time is crucial for maintaining great customer relationships, running a successful business, and turning a profit. Whether you're shipping a single pallet of sensitive electronics or a truckload of machine parts, timely delivery is key.

Despite this, rapidly moving freight can pose a challenge, no matter the size. While traditional less-than-truckload (LTL) and full-truckload (FTL) services are options that provide cost-effectiveness to meet capacity demands, they don't always do so in an expedited fashion.

A more dependable shipping method is needed to get your products to customers in a timely manner.

Introducing: expedited shipping.

We understand at Revolution Trucking that in the shipping realm, timing is crucial. That being said, we also comprehend how troublesome and inconvenient it is when shipment deadlines are not met.

If you're wondering about expedited shipping and what it entails, this article has all the information you need. Expedited shipping is often the best solution for shippers when time is money and reputation.

By the end of this article, you will understand how expedited freight services work, its benefits, and when it's appropriate.

What is Expedited Shipping?

Expedited shipping is a time-sensitive method of moving freight. When using these services, shippers typically prioritize on-time transportation service over cost. The transportation landscape is constantly changing, so being able to move freight quickly and consistently can create a lot of value.

Expedited shipping methods are beneficial for shippers who need to reduce transit times and meet deadlines. This service is especially helpful when it involves a "line down" situation.

Expedited shipping on the open road

How Does Expedited Shipping Work?

At its core, expedited shipping involves finding a way to get your goods where they need to go safely, securely, and on time. If you're under a tight deadline and your customer is waiting, working with the right partner will ensure that your freight arrives on time, every time.

With unpredictable and unstable supply chains, dependable expedited shipping is a key requirement for success.

A transportation company's ability to find shippers a quick solution is now more important than ever. The best transportation service providers, whether carriers or freight brokers, utilize their expertise, network, and creativity to offer quick-fix solutions.

In order to quickly find an available truck with a dependable driver, many providers leverage their carrier network. If you have freight that needs to be hauled and there is a driver nearby, then this person would be the perfect fit.

A possible solution that your provider will set up is to work with a hotshot trucker who can transport your product from point A to point B.

If you're looking to transport a large number of items, then you might want to consider securing a 53-foot tractor-trailer.

Expedited shipping sometimes requires looking beyond the commonly used trailers and solutions, because there may not be any available in your area.

The only thing that should concern you is if your freight arrives safely, securely, and on time. If you limit your options, you may be left with complications.

The best transportation companies always strive to match the freight to the right truck. This can require thinking outside the box and coming up with creative solutions that adapt to their customer's requirements.

At Revolution, our team's creativity is rivaled only by our efficiency. Contact us when failure is not an option!

Expedited shipping can use a variety of trucks

Because of this, it is tough to determine precisely how expedited transportation should be approached. The options that are available for overcoming the barriers preventing freight from moving rapidly change in each situation. No two shipments are alike, and expedited shipping is a testament to that!

Expedited shipping is most commonly completed through one of four methods.

  1. By utilizing team drivers
  2. By utilizing sprinter vans
  3. By utilizing straight trucks
  4. By utilizing air freight

The service you opt for is based on three key factors: freight volume/weight, commodity type, and price.

Now that we know the different methods for expediting your shipment, let's discuss each one in more detail.

What is a Team of Drivers?

When time is of the essence and an FTL shipment needs to be moved quickly, team drivers are often the best solution. When shippers use two truckers to haul a shipment, they save time that would be spent waiting for the first trucker's hours of service (HOS) clock to reset. This is especially true on longer hauls.

Using multiple drivers ensures that your shipment won't sit for 10 hours while the driver resets their on-duty clock.

Since team drivers can put in 1,000+ miles within 24 hours, this allows for two times the amount of progress made on shipments than if only one driver was working.

Note that the price for shipping in these cases may be high as two drivers must be paid for their labor. Therefore, if a team of drivers is required to expedite an FTL shipment, it can become expensive to meet tough deadlines.

trucks ready to transport expedited freight

How are Sprinter Vans Used?

Sprinter vans are excellent for hauling smaller shipments of freight. These 19.5 to 24-foot vehicles can typically fit up to 4 standard-sized pallets and up to 5,500 pounds of cargo in total.

Using a sprinter van to transport your freight may be more costly than LTL transportation, but the direct, door-to-door service reduces handling, thereby reducing cargo claims.

There are two primary ways that sprinter vans help shippers who need to move LTL freight:

  1. Sprinter van drivers aren't required to follow the DOT's regulations.
  2. Sprinter vans become vehicles that are solely used for trucking solutions.

1. Sprinter Van Drivers Aren’t Required to Follow the DOT's regulations

People operating motor vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of more than 10,000 pounds must follow specific guidelines set by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

These regulations — applied originally to semi-truck drivers, yet any vehicle meeting commercial motor vehicle (CMV) criteria must follow- hours of service guidelines.

According to these guidelines, truck drivers can only be actively on duty for 11 hours within a 24-hour period, which makes it very difficult for vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds to adhere to strict schedules.

If truckers are lucky, they can drive 500 miles in one day. This is only if they have a registered DOT number indicating that the driver follows DOT rules and regulations.

Issues like these are nonexistent to sprinter vans.

Because sprinter vans usually weigh less than 10,000 pounds, the drivers of these vehicles don’t have to follow HOS regulations. This enables drivers to drive a little faster and go a bit further than solo drivers pulling larger (48 to 53-foot) trailers.

Expedited shipping can utilize ground or air transportation

2. Sprinter vans become vehicles that are solely used for trucking solutions

Since LTL freight shares trailer space with other shipments, transit times can be less stable, and the handling of the freight might not stay controlled.

In contrast to other shipping methods, LTL doesn't provide a continual solution for your merchandise during their trip. They make numerous stops and aren't as timely. However, utilizing sprinter vans can help this process by cutting down on these issues.

Since these vans become your freight's dedicated shipping solution from start to finish, you won't need to share space or adjust to meet another party's schedule. This makes meeting tight deadlines much easier.

How Are Straight Trucks Used?

Straight trucks are small semi-trucks where the tractor and trailer are all connected on the same frame. These vehicles typically measure 10 to 26 feet in length, making them perfect for quickly moving less-than-truckload freight.

Straight trucks that provide expedited A to B services can typically transport 12 pallets and 12,000 pounds of freight.

For those looking to move commodities with an overall capacity that falls within a certain range, straight trucks are much more efficient in terms of transit time and have fewer handling issues compared to LTL shipping.

Note: These trucks, like sprinter vans, may not be subject to DOT hours of service regulations, depending on their Gross Volume Weight Rating (GVWR). Therefore, straight trucks can be an expeditious solution for time-sensitive shipments.

There are many benefits to using expedited shipping, including guaranteed delivery times and fast transit speeds. This can make supply chain planning much easier and help operations run smoothly. Let's take a closer look at each of these benefits in turn.

Freight trucks ready to transport expedited freight

Guaranteed Delivery Times

With expedited shipping, there are no more stressful guessing games about when your freight will finally arrive. This method is especially important for businesses that ship frequently, since not knowing an arrival date could cause costly delays down the line.

If you need your items quickly, expedited shipping is the way to go. With this option, you can expect your items to arrive within a specific time so you can plan accordingly.

By using Revolution Trucking services, shippers can be confident that their freight will arrive on the required date and time. This level of certainty is difficult to obtain with other shipping methods due to speed and visibility issues. Contact us today because at Revolution you are the priority and we manage all your handling and transportation needs from start to finish.

Heightened Transit Speeds

The businesses that use expedited shipping services do so for the same reason we all appreciate the speed in this fast-paced world: certainty. Expedited team drivers can sometimes cover upwards of 1,000 to 1,200 miles a day, making these transportation services some of the quickest available.

In the transportation industry, transit speeds can be difficult to predict, and increasing them may not always be an option.

Many shippers use teams to speed up traditional full-truckload shipments, or sprinter vans and straight trucks for smaller shipments, despite the higher price.

Furthermore, using air freight solutions for smaller shipments is also a feasible option when you compare it to alternatives like ground transportation, which could take 38 hours to ship from New York City to Arizona, for example, as opposed to the five-hour flight time.

Expedited shipping is always a worthwhile option for those who need their freight moved promptly.

Expedited shipping uses a variety of modes of transportation

The Disadvantages of Expedited Shipping

Fast and guaranteed delivery times are some of the great advantages of expedited shipping so why would anyone pass this up? As you might expect, there is a disadvantage to using this method.

The main drawback of expedited shipping services is understandably the cost. It's an objection we regularly hear as transportation providers.

This is a valid point. Expedited shipping can come at a higher cost than other methods of transportation; however, it is an excellent tool that should be used in specific circumstances.

By arranging a separate transportation method only for your freight, you will have to pay the driver for their time spent and any other money they spend while transporting your product. Therefore, you'll likely have to pay more for this shipping service than others.

In other words, if you choose the right transportation provider with a good track record of moving freight quickly, you can secure capacity at an affordable price.

There are plenty of expedited shipping options available if you know where to look. Contact Revolution today to discuss whether expedited shipping is right for you in terms of cost, effectiveness, and efficiency.

Expedited shipping can use tractor-trailers to move freight.

Let’s Talk About More Transportation Services

After reading this article, you now know the basics of expedited shipping. This includes information on how it’s done, what service options are available, and what benefits come with expedited shipping. You’re now ready to learn more about all that the shipping industry has to offer!

We guarantee that there is a shipping service available to meet your needs, no matter how unique they may be. Our team has even moved freight to oil rigs in the middle of the ocean via helicopter!

Revolution Trucking takes pride in preparing shippers like you for success in the transportation world. We’ve gathered many articles on the various services that this industry can provide for you. Have a look and see if any of them will work with your supply chain.

These services have helped improve the lives of our customers, and we hope they can do the same for you.

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Freight Broker-What Is It and When Should You Use One?

All You Need to Know About Hot Shot Trucking

How Can LTL Freight Shipping Benefit You & What Is the Meaning?

Freight Truck: Different Types and What They Haul

• What Is Power-Only Trucking?

Shipping containers can be used in expedited shipping.

Revolution is passionate about helping shippers exceed their most demanding requirements. If you have any questions regarding your next shipment, or whether any of the services we offer apply to you, don't hesitate to contact us!

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