When you have to ship merchandise to a recipient located in Québec, in another Canadian province, or internationally, you should choose the most suitable mode of transport according to the product, the cost, and your needs. But what criteria can you rely on to choose the most appropriate mode of freight transport?
Delivery by road is a direct and flexible mode of transport that lets you deliver to the customer’s door, right on time. This is a real benefit at a time when companies are working in zero stock mode. Eliminating transshipments, road transport offers a very extensive range of transportation options, ranging from bulk to intermodal transport and including partial load transport (or LTL, for Less Than Truckload), mail, or full-truck transport. On the other hand, road transport is riskier in terms of road safety. It’s subject to the traffic conditions on the roads as well as weather conditions, and the transport duration must include the drivers’ mandatory rest time.
Canada has one of the most extensive railway networks in the world, and this is widely used, especially in the context of transporting goods in bulk, such as grain, ore, petroleum products, or timber, and the intermodal transport of shipping containers. Economical and suitable for long distances and large volumes, rail transport also offers great security for the transported goods. On the other hand, it requires a great deal of handling and transshipment, and it isn’t suitable for short distances. It also lacks precision regarding the departure and arrival dates of the goods. Furthermore, it’s very complex to use it to transport dangerous goods due to the problems it creates in terms of the safety of the population during transport.
This mode of transportation is the slowest but the most economical and the safest in terms of accidents involving people and the safety of the goods during loading and unloading. In Canada, commercial traffic basically revolves around the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway, which connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and the St. Mary’s River, which connects Lake Huron and Lake Superior. It’s the ideal way to transport goods in bulk or already packaged in containers or barrels, as well as large items.
With a highly developed infrastructure and local, regional, national, and international airlines, air transport is widely used in Canada for transporting both goods and passengers. A particularly fast mode of transport, transporting goods by air is mostly reserved for urgent deliveries, and more generally for products with high added value and perishable goods due to its expensive cost. When using air transport, storage and insurance costs are limited, and stock is better controlled than with other modes of transport.
Québec – and especially Greater Montréal – is a real hub in northeastern North America. With a high density of companies, it offers all possible choices in terms of freight transport: road, rail, maritime, and air transport, as well as a wide range of carriers serving Québec businesses. To determine the appropriate mode of transport, you should consider the type of merchandise to be transported, its point of departure, its point of arrival, the date it needs to be delivered by, its weight, and its volume.