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International Forwarding Association Blog » International freight forwarding » Everything you need to know about Dry Vans

Everything you need to know about Dry Vans

Dry van shipping remains the most popular and widely used freight forwarding method used for the international freight services provided by the members of IFA.

The reason is that this type of transport where enclosed trailers are used for complete loads, pallet shipping, European groupage services and all kinds of other freight forwarding needs is so popular, is the fact that it is highly available and offers multiple benefits both for the companies from the European logistics network but for their customers as well.

What exactly is a Dry Van?

A dry van trailer is used for transporting large quantities of cargo and goods, as well as for oversized cargo such as cars and large machines. The trailer is attached to a semi-truck and is actually the most common trailer type you have all probably seen on the highways and roads of Europe.

The name “dry van” comes with a very logical explanation – these trailers keep the cargo dry as well as protected from debris, different weather conditions and from spilling out of the trailer.

What are the different dry van trailer types?

The companies from the European network for transportation use various types of dry vans for their European logistics services. The maximum length of such a trailer is 53 feet. These long dry vans are called general trailers, while as the shorter ones (26-29 feet) are commonly known as pup trailers.

Also, the dry van trailers used by the companies from IFA can differ by the type of material used for making and covering them. The most common materials include galvanized steel, hardwood, iron, and aluminum.

What are dry vans used for?

These types of trailers are suitable both for international freight forwarding at long distances as well as shorter distances. They are in fact, very versatile which makes them one of the top preferred vehicles to use by the members of the freight forwarders association.

Many different types of products and cargo can be transported in dry vans including non-perishable beverages and goods, materials and products from the textile industry, construction materials, and many more.

They are also perfect for transporting large cargo such as vehicles, large machines, and large parts.

Often dry vans are used for moving raw materials and small equipment and machinery for the construction business as well.

The challenges for dry van shipping

The challenges associated with dry van shipping which the members of the international freight forwarders network are faced with include the fact that these trailers don’t have temperature control which makes them unsuitable for refrigeration transport. Also, they lack insulation and cannot handle any alterations in the outside temperature and weather.

Plus, many of the dry vans used by the freight forwarders network have hardwood floors which are vulnerable to moisture and condensation and can be damaged by both the weather conditions and by the cargo being forwarded.

But overall, it seems like dry van shipping will remain one of the leading, most affordable and preferred means of transportation by the freight forwarders network as well as by customers throughout Europe, which is why the members of the International Forwarding Association are doing their best to provide sufficient dry vans to meet the ever-growing demand of its customers.