In the past, most people believed that the whole companies who wish to go about moving goods by rail were those who were looking to transport goods in bulk. That is not the case. In fact, nowadays, moving goods by rail, even over short distances, is an incredibly popular method of shipping. Let us explain.
In the past, rail tended to be used solely for those who wished to transfer mass amounts of goods. Nowadays, however, rail is often used to ship materials not in bulk i.e. materials in a pallet. This method of shipping tends to be far more cost-effective than shipping via aircraft and by the road. The only method of shipping which is cheaper than moving goods via rail will be via boat. Although, that option is not going to be right for each and every circumstance!
One of the greatest benefits of moving goods via rail is the fact that it is remarkably cheap and very quick. Most of Europe is open up nowadays via rail. This means that you should be able to get your goods anywhere you want within a couple of days. In addition to this, many European countries are starting to make their railways private. This means more and more train companies are entering the fray. Each of them will be competing against one another for your business. This will help to bring the cost of shipping down drastically.
You can, of course, ship the vast majority of goods via rail (there are some exceptions to this rule i.e. you can’t ship items which are inflammable). Shipping via rail is ideal if you need to ship a container to or from a location where another mode of transport needs to be used. After all, the container can just be removed from the freight train and slid onto the other method of transport easily. Many people will send their goods via train before they are moved on over to a boat in order to be shipped elsewhere in the world.
You can even use the channel tunnel to ship goods. It is the only rail network between the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. There are a number of regular freight services operating through the Channel Tunnel, and these tend to be highly affordable. Once the goods land on the other side of the tunnel, they will be removed from the train and sent on via whichever method of transport is next! This means that you can, effectively, access the rest of Europe through one single train journey. This is brilliant for British businesses who are looking to expand the reach of their company.
If you are looking to ship a large number of goods via rail, why not talk to your local freight company? They will be more than happy to explain the ins and outs of shipping goods via this highly affordable and quick method.
Key Rail Transport Documents
Whilst sending goods via rail is a very efficient method of getting goods from point A to point B, you do have to be aware that there are a few documents that will need to be completed before your goods can be loaded onto the freight train.
Below, we are going to take a little look at some of these key rail transport documents.
CIM Consignment Note
This is one of the most important documents you have. It helps to signify the contract between you and the trader. It lets everybody know that the freight train operator has permission to carry those goods for you. The CIM consignment note does not change who owns the goods. It simply says what is being sent and where it is going to. The CIM consignment note will include the following information:
- A description of the goods being sent. This will include the number of packages that may be inside of the container as well as the overall weight.
- The name and address of the sender.
- The name and address of the recipient.
The sender of the goods will be responsible for ensuring that all of the information on the CIM consignment note is 100% accurate. If there are any inaccuracies and the document is signed for despite these inaccuracies, the freight operator will not be responsible for any losses, or at least their responsibility will be kept to the absolute minimum. Notes will be used to calculate any compensation should the goods on the train become damaged or lost. It is, therefore, vital that you keep back all CIM consignment notes.
If you are sending goods internationally, it is unlikely that the same train will take your goods the whole way. This is what a forwarder certificate is for. This certificate will provide proof that a forwarder has collected the goods and that they have now taken upon the task of ensuring that those goods get delivered to the recipient.
The forwarder document does not mean that the goods are on the way. It, instead, means that the forwarder is working on it. This means that you will be able to collect payment for the consignment sooner as opposed to later. All you need to do is present the certificate to the recipient. If you go down the other route i.e. do not use a freight forwarder, then you will need to wait to receive a travel document which signifies the fact that the goods have been loaded onto the train and that they are on the way. This can delay payment.
Yes, key transport documents for rail travel are complicated beasts. However, if you work closely with a decent freight forwarding team, you can be sure that each and every piece of information is filled out correctly. This will provide you with the protection that you need to ensure that your goods remain not only on time but in the best possible condition.