Moving Goods by Road

Moving goods by road, different types of lorriesMoving goods by road is, perhaps, one of the most common ways to move used clothing in bulk throughout Europe, particularly when the destinations are pretty close to one another. On this page, we are going to take a little look at the various options that you have available to you when you move goods by road.

It is probably worth noting at this stage that there are a few limits when it comes to the movement of goods. In the United Kingdom, 40 tonnes is the maximum weight that a vehicle can be. It can only be 12 metres long when it is a normal truck, 16.5 metres long when articulated. The maximum width is 2.55 metres. This means that not all goods will be suitable for transport via road.

Most goods on the road will be moved by articulated truck. They will have one of a variety of different trailers. The trailer that you select will be dependent on the goods that need transporting:

  • Flatbed trailer: Almost all types of goods can go into a flatbed trailer. As a result, it will be the standard used by many trucking firms out there. The trailer will not be protected from the elements as there is no roof. The goods are also not going to be protected from theft as anybody could jump into the trailer and take out whatever they wish.
  • Tilt trailer: This is very much the same as a flatbed trailer. The only real difference is that it has a canopy. This allows goods to be loaded from the top. The level of protection from the elements is still low, and nowhere near the level of protection you would enjoy if you are using another option.
  • Curtain-sider: This is one of the most common trailers used on the road. The trailer is very much the same as a flatbed trailer. It, however, has PVC doors on the side which can easily be opened and closed. This makes this option ideal for ease of loading. It also makes unloading dreadfully simple, particularly if the goods are being sent to multiple destinations. You will find that many of the larger courier firms, particularly those which deal with large and heavy goods, will use a curtain-sider trailer.
  • Box trailer: Loading on these trailers is down through the back door. The whole unit is a big metal box and provides a high level of protection.
  • Road train: A trailer will be pulled by a vehicle.
  • Swap-body system: This type of trailer is designed for those who are dealing with container shipping. It allows goods to easily be transferred from train or boat in order to continue on their journey. This is great if you are shipping goods overseas.
  • Low-loaders: These are very low-set trailers. They are often used when heavy goods, such as machinery, are being transported as this makes them easy to load and to unload.

If you are shipping smaller goods, it is likely your goods will be sent via van.

What is CMR?

CMR document explainedIf you are shipping goods by road, the CMR note is going to be incredibly important. Let’s take a little look at what the CMR note actually is and why you need one.

The CMR note is going to contain details of the consignment. It will also outline the contract that you have with the shipping agent. It will provide confirmation that the company which is shipping your goods actually have them in their possession. The CMR note will detail where the goods are going to. It will, basically, confirm that the goods are going to get there and what the liabilities are if the goods do not arrive.

It is worth noting that a CMR, unlike some other notes used in transportation of goods, is not a declaration that title of the goods has passed onto the shipping company. Some places may, however, regard it as so. It simply means that the goods are in the possession of the courier. The title will remain with either the sender or the receiver of the goods.

In most cases, you should be able to fill in the CMR note on your own. It is going to be very basic information. Some people will, however, ask their freight forwarder to do it for them. It is, however, worth noting that the freight forwarder is not responsible for the accuracy of the information. You will still need to check it over if a third party fills it in. It will, otherwise, be your responsibility should any issues be found.

The CMR will contain the following information:

  • Details of when the CMR note was filled in. This will include the location and the time and date.
  • Who is sending the goods. This will include their name and address. It may also contain a few additional contact details. It will also include details of the carrier and who is receiving the goods, referred to as consignee.
  • The CMR will contain a brief description of the goods. You do not have to be that specific here. After all, you do not want some people to know that valuable goods are in transportation. You will, however, need to identify the type of packaging that you have used. The weight will also need to be included.
  • You will need to include details of any charges that may be applicable to the goods. This can include, but is not limited to, custom duties and how much you are paying for carriage.
  • If there are any dangerous items inside of the packaging, you need to highlight them. You will also need to mention anything that customs will need to know i.e. the value of the goods and what is inside of the packaging. You will not need to include the latter if the goods are being shipped within the European Union or if they are staying within the United Kingdom.

Four copies of the CMR will need to be produced.

Which transport method is suitable for your business? Find out here