Road freight is the physical process of transporting cargo through roadways. It is the most common transportation of goods and in most countries. Thanks to its efficiency and relatively low price, in relation to for example air and sea freight, it is one of the most demanded types of cargo transportation. Road freight can in some cases be the only way of transportation in certain areas, where other modes of transport are unavailable. The best part about road freight is the flexibility of for example door to door delivery, if and when required. Road freight is a fast option for short and medium distances.
Within road freight transport, a number of variables come into play depending on the kind of cargo to be transported. Different types of goods require different kinds of care for their handling, loading and unloading, and storage in the truck.
Bulk cargo is freight transported in large quantities without packing or packaging, where the means of transport itself acts as the container. Both solid and liquid bulk freight require especially careful storage to reduce cargo loss. Heavy goods can also be transported by road and may require equipment such as cranes or hoisting platforms for its transportation. The road transport of dangerous goods, also known as ADR transport (Agreement on Dangerous Goods) requires particularly sensitive handling and is subject to a series of legal requirements and specifications, making it a specific field of specialization for professionals working with dangerous goods. Dry goods, which encompasses most of the goods transported by road, need no special transport equipment or conditions.
Specialized logistic companies contribute to solving the equation of complicated supply chains, and thereby control vast and varied amounts of goods. The motor transportation of cargo organization includes several stages, starting with a study of characteristics of specific cargo and the client's wishes, followed by the selection and coordination of optimal transportation routes, to the preparation of the necessary set of accompanying documents, but also cargo handling such as packaging, labeling and storage. After that come the loading operations, including cargo insurance and monitoring the cargoes condition throughout the route. Freight transport operations thereby generate information flows and cause the creation of value by the agents that take part in them, everyone from the Freight Forwarder to the Customs Clerk plays a vital role in the supply chain.
Those working in the sector need to keep up with the latest technological developments and opportunities. Working in Road freight means managing and controlling different types of operations, working with various technologies and programmes and adapting to the ever changing landscape of IT, which has long since been weaved into the transport and logistics processes. This planning and execution require excellent communication and organizational skills.
A career in road freight often starts after being a trainee or apprentice of after studies related to transport, logistics and supply chain management. Throughout these paths of education, one can oftentimes already gain work experience, whether it be part of the apprenticeship or in the form of internships. It can be helpful to already decide one's specialization, such as road freight, early on, in order to enter the workforce with previous relevant experience.
After getting your first experience in entry-level positions, for example as Dispatcher, you will start gaining operational experience and processing orders. Through working with operational tasks, as for example Planner, you get extraordinary know-how of road freight, and your career path will progress either in becoming an expert in specific aspects, such as dangerous goods or a customs specialist or product manager. Or you can choose the path of a generalist focusing on surrounding aspects more removed from the operational, such as sales and customer service, or move into the managerial level, becoming a department manager or team leader in the road freight sector.