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What Is a Dry Van Trailer? 8 Shipping Facts


What is a dry van trailer?

Dry van trailer is an enclosed box for shipping non-perishable goods. Dry van shipping trailers are one of the most popular trailer types among carriers and shippers, and the ones most commonly seen on the roads. These trailers are fully closed and sealed. Therefore, freight is protected from any external influence. Dry vans don’t have temperature control, so you can only use them for moving non-perishable goods.

dry van shipping facts

Why should you use a dry van trailer?

Ultimately, if you’re not moving temperature-sensitive or oversized cargo, the dry van trailer is the most valid option to choose from. These trucks are either for full truckload or for less-than-truckload and can handle up to 45,000 pounds of freight. Availability and high protection make dry van trailers the most demanded trailer types in the freight shipping industry.

If your company uses dry van transportation or plans to try it, here are some useful dry van shipping facts to better understand this type of transportation.

8 dry van trailer facts you need to know

1. A dry van is the most common type of freight transportation in the U.S

Dry van trailers, or box trailers, can be described as a rectangular box on wheels with doors. They are designed to transport equipment and boxes or pallets of cargo. There is no temperature control in regular dry van trailers, so they are designed for any shipment except oversize freight or perishable, temperature-sensitive goods.

2. Dry van trailers are versatile in terms of freight shipments, both for local and over-the-road routes

Dry vans are used for moving non-perishable food and beverages, household goods, clothing items, plastic, and building products. They are the most frequently used equipment type due to their versatility to hold a variety of different products.

3. Dry van trailer protects your freight from theft

Dry van trucks enclose your freight on all four sides, giving freight strong protection from bad weather and other possible damage. Dry van trailers are commonly used due to their increased safety and ability to lock to prevent cargo theft.

4. The standard dry van trailer dimensions allowed for a dry van truck is 53 feet in length

Dry van trailers come in a variety of sizes, but the most common type of trailer is 53 ‘ x 8 ‘ 6 ” x 8 ‘ 6 “. Other sizes include a 28 ft trailer or a 24 ft trailer, depending on the shipment type. A dry van trailer can haul up to 45,000 pounds of cargo or 26 standard pallets.

5. Dry van trailers acquire a 42.3% rate of fatal crashes annually

Dry vans trailers are the most common type of equipment for shipments on the road, so a high rate can mainly be explained with the prevalence of dry vans on the roads. According to the FMCSA, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 10 percent from 2016 to 2017, from 4,251 to 4,657.

6. Dry van trailers are always in the highest demand

Historically, dry vans have been the most commonly used and highly demanded equipment type in freight shipping. These trailers are extremely common, the demand is still high, which often causes the capacity crunch. The crunch is usually caused by the deficit of free dry van trailer capacity. In recent years, there was much more capacity available to the shippers due to the rapid growth of the retail sector, but dry vans remain the most in-demand trailer by default.

7. Dry vans have hardwood flooring inside of the trailer

Most dry vans on the road today contain a hardwood floor that it is vulnerable to moisture that can come from freight or through the open doors. Preventative measures and protective maintenance can help prevent the floors from failing during a shipment.

8. Both full truckload and LTL freight shippers can benefit from using dry van trailers

Both truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments can use a dry van. Depending on what type of freight you are shipping, using a dry van can help protect your shipment from natural causes. LTL shipping allows the shipper to only use part of the truck space and can bring significant cost savings through shipment consolidation.

PLS Logistics offers dry van trucking services, including full truckload and LTL shipments.

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