Dry Van Trailers: 8 Shipping Facts


Dry van shipping is one of the most popular and widely trusted freight transportation methods. It has remained a preferred means of transportation due to the high availability and numerous benefits of having an enclosed trailer throughout the shipping process. This blog will dive deeper into the essential features of dry van trailers.

What is a dry van trailer?

A dry van trailer is an enclosed box for non-perishable shipping goods. 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.

Why should you use dry van trailers?

Ultimately, if you’re not moving temperature-sensitive or oversized cargo, the dry van trailer is the most valid option for you to choose. These trucks are either for full truckload or 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 type in the freight shipping industry.

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

Dry van 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 rectangular boxes 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 in holding various products.

3. Dry vans protect your freight from theft

Dry van trucks enclose your freight on all four sides, thus providing freight protection from bad weather and other possible damage. These 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 various sizes, but 53 ‘x 8 ‘6” x 8 ‘6” is the most common type. Other measures 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. In addition to the size and weight that a dry van trailer can withstand, there are also maximum legally acceptable dimensions. These dimensions are length: 52.5 feet, width: 8 feet 5 inches, height: 9 feet 2 inches, and door height: 8 feet 6 inches.

Additionally, there are several materials in which dry van trailers are available. These trailers are mainly made from galvanized steel, aluminum, hardwood, or iron.

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

Dry vans trailers are the most common equipment for shipments on the road, so the prevalence of driven dry vans mainly explains the high rate. According to the FMCSA, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 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 used and highly demanded equipment type in freight shipping. These trailers are ubiquitous, but the demand is still high, which often causes a capacity crunch. Whenever there is a free dry van trailer capacity deficit, a crunch usually occurs. 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. Along with dry van trailers always having high demand, they also are one of the most affordable options for shipping.

7. Dry vans have hardwood flooring inside the trailer

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

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

Both truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments can use a dry van. Depending on what type of freight you are shipping, a dry van can help protect your cargo from natural causes. In addition, LTL shipping allows the shipper only to 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.

PLS Logistics dry van services

Using a dry van when shipping allows you to worry less about the security and safety of your freight. PLS Logistics offers dry van trucking services, including full truckload and LTL shipments, if you’re considering dry van shipping.

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