Transportation is a precise business! This clearly holds when it comes to transporting natural stone. Why? Simply because it is extremely dense, heavy and brittle. Moving something heavy and huge needs utmost care, special equipment, and well-planned transportation.
Natural stone is mostly transported by road, rail or sea. Airways is unlikely due to the tremendous danger involved. Hence, packaging and handling of the products are done considering the mode of transportation. Besides, the form (i.e. blocks, slabs or tiles) and cut of stones also need to be taken into account. You may say that each natural stone logistics requirements are different. And if even one step goes wrong, it brings significant expense both economically and environmentally.
So, going further, we have chosen some of the most potential challenges that you need to take care of during natural stone logistics. In the line, solutions are listed to transport stone safely, securely and efficiently.
Challenge 1: Accident
Natural Stone logistics generally involve notable accidents. Vehicles carrying stone usually become severely deformed if an accident occurs. For example, by road, there have been cases when cargo falls out of the vehicle causing significant road dangers. This poses a danger to people’s life and health.
Additionally, costly container repair charges are one of the biggest problems. Especially, when transporting stone such as rough granite tile and marble tiles. Another major challenge is space. In peak season, ocean liners offer limited space for stone cargo considering the weight.
It is possible to prevent accidents and high repair charges by planning transportation carefully. This also eliminates the impact on the environment. Take safety measures by packing the cargo appropriately. Smaller shipment can be packed in custom crates using built-in foam material for cushioning. But the boxes shouldn’t be too big and should have minimal extra space to limit the movement of the product.
For larger freight shipment, physical arrangements and organisation in the cargo vehicle are recommended. During loading, an aggregate cargo transport unit should be formed inside a trailer. Use an A-frame connected to a single structure to stack the slabs smoothly vertically at an angle. The structure needs to be firmly connected to the trailer. A-frame should be higher than slabs on them. It can be easily loaded into a truck using a crane or forklift.
To manage challenges related to space, make sure the maximum payload does not exceed during transportation.
Challenge 2: Over-Dimensional Cargo (ODC)
Many times cargo protrudes out of the loading dock of the logistics vehicle - termed as ODC. The cargo is loaded exceeding the capacity and volume of the truck. This often affects your shipment while having to meet legal obligations. Each state in a country may have different legal regulations for acquiring a permit to transport ODC. Further, there are restrictions on hours of operation as well on drivers for hours of service. Meaning that you have less time to deliver products by road.
As a natural stone logistics provider, it is essential to carry out planning ahead of time. Provide an accurate estimate for the transit time. And have an extra day or two when communicating with your customers. Consider that the load will move through checkpoints in each state it travels through. And, ensure drivers are prepared with the necessary permits, paperwork and commodity information.
Challenge 3: Logistics Liability Insurance Coverage
There are several potential hazards and risks for damage involved in natural stone logistics. In such a case, proper insurance coverage is important. For low-truck load, the carrier liability is usually limited. So, if in case your shipment is damaged during transit, it is extremely unlikely that you obtain full compensation for the value of your product. And, perhaps you may also need to go through a strenuous procedure to file a claim. In this, you need to prove that the vehicle is at fault for the damage done.
To prevent this, obtain additional freight insurance to have more complete coverage of your shipment. This requires the carrier to satisfy certain primary insurance minimums.
Furthermore, if transportation involves import or export, it is crucial to understand the laws of compliance. This saves the company from fines and penalties while saving time. The compliance regulations which need to be considered include customs, duties, refunds, rebates, remissions, and taxes. Hence, the natural stone logistics provider should ensure the insurance coverage it takes, comprises the full scope of such activities.
Challenge 4: Accessibility Management
The accessibility of the pickup and delivery location is one of the biggest challenges for natural stone providers. One of the best examples is loading the stone directly from a quarry. It could be difficult for the driver of a 53' dry van to be able to manoeuvre in these locations. The unloading/delivery of the products to a construction site or a residential project might make it more difficult for drivers. That said, it depends on whether the product is shipped by road, rail or sea.
Usually, a driver of your natural stone logistics vehicle will not be responsible for the loading and unloading of the cargo. Hence, to load or unload tons of kgs of natural stone blocks and slabs, you must be prepared with a well-trained team to complete the task. In fact, most of the logistics service providers charge detention after hours for loading/unloading, which results in spending extra money. So, ensure that any area or equipment is cleared from the site of loading and unloading.
Quality Marble Exports (India) Intends To Provide Hassle-free Logistics Care
Today, the most efficient way to avoid any transportation catastrophes is to constantly monitor your shipment. Track the carrier once the cargo leaves your facility. Ensure that data rules are established such as the information provided and method of communication. Additionally, you can also employ devices that provide real-time updates of the shipment.
QM India is one of the leading marble and granite suppliers, that monitors the shipments until it reaches the customer. Hence, having provided delivery service to places in India and abroad, our company employs the best practices. We ensure that loading, unloading, pick up and delivery of our products does not involve any environmental harm. Moreover, we assure you that the shipment reaches its destination as safely as possible - without causing any costly damage.
Contact us for safe and seamless delivery of your natural stone product!