Trains have been an important form of transport for about two centuries. Boats and trains were used to transport people and cargo long distances before cars and trucks dominated the road. While trains may not be the main way to haul cargo or people today, they are an excellent choice for companies that are shipping heavy, bulky products or items in large quantities.
1. Environmentally Friendly
There have been many advancements made to the railway system since its creation. Engines, compressed air service and other aspects of rail transport have become more fuel-efficient. Trains use much less fuel per mile than trucks do, resulting in lower emissions of greenhouse gases. If more cargo is hauled by trains, there will be fewer trucks on the road, reducing gas emissions, traffic congestion and road maintenance needs.
Companies that change from trucks to trains for long-haul freight needs can save money. The savings depend on the specific shipping companies involved but can be significant. The lower fuel costs associated with trains can result in those savings being passed down to the businesses shipping products. Companies that save money by shipping items on trains may pass those savings on to their customers, increasing their competitiveness, or they can invest in some other aspect of the business.
Truck drivers are limited by their own capabilities to drive for long periods of time as well as traffic constraints. Accidents, construction zones and bad weather can result in unexpected delays. Railways have schedules that they adhere to and are not as affected by poor weather conditions. Since trains do not share the road with other vehicles, they are not impeded by traffic congestion. These factors help trains stay on schedule so that they can reliably serve customers.
4. High Capacity
Hauling heavy loads using trucks can be problematic sometimes. Different regions can set their own weight limits, and have stations set up that weigh trucks to ensure they are following the rules. If the cargo load is too heavy for a truck to handle, special permits may be needed, or the route may need to change to avoid certain areas. Trains can haul large, heavy loads without a problem. They can also handle much larger volume than trucks. It is probably going to be much more cost-effective for a company to fill up several train cars rather than hiring a fleet of trucks.
While using a train to transport cargo may not be the solution for everyone, many companies may benefit from using trains more often for their shipping needs. They can ship higher quantities for less money while also using a method that is beneficial for the environment.