One of the most basic truths faced by nearly all businesses is that products, whether they are as simple as an ear of corn or as complex as a high-speed microchip, are almost never used at the same place they are produced. Thus producers nearly always face the responsibility of logistics and expense to get the product to where the users are.

While there are many ways of transporting products from the factory to the user, the method chosen is usually a function of three variables: time, distance, and volume. Just as a custom wedding cake wouldn't be transported on a cargo ship, 100,000 barrels of crude oil would not be moved in a delivery van. Fortunately, there are transportation modes for almost any combination of the variables.

Hot Shot

In some industries such as manufacturing or oil and gas production, even a few hours of downtime can result in significant loss of revenue. Often a broken or worn-out part needs to be replaced even faster than usual through overnight shipping. Typically using a single pickup truck or flatbed trailer, a hot-shot service will deliver a product immediately during all hours of the day or night. For a low volume, relatively short distance and extremely short time frame, hot-shot delivery is a perfect option.


If cargo volume remains relatively low but the delivery time requirement is increased, traditional trucking becomes a much more attractive option. By being able to wait for a full load to fill a truck and not having to deliver immediately, trucking companies are able to charge a lot less for delivery. These services can range from local to nationwide delivery. With products being shipped a longer distance but with more time to get there, truck and trailer delivery is the way to go.


When distance and time are not factors but volume increases substantially, the next transportation option is the railroad. To move 420,000 bushels of grain, approximately 110 train cars are needed, and all can be pulled by a single engine. By comparison, a much higher number of truck and trailer rigs would be needed to move this same volume, making rail the best option for this situation.


No matter the variables, when the product needs to be shipped over water, all of these options become unavailable and a ship becomes the only way to move large volumes of product. Although the delivery time is often very long, extremely high volume and overseas locations make ships the most viable solution.

As product delivery needs arise and/or change, cargo transportation companies can help to determine just the right combination of all of the shipping options are best for any given need.