Road Haulage: Road VS Rail

The road haulage industry is currently one of the most essential, yet vastly underappreciated industries in the entire world, and to say that we take it for granted would in fact be considered a huge understatement. Without haulage and freight, none of our items and belongings would have made it to the various shops and businesses that you purchased them from. When you stop and really think about it, it actually becomes painfully clear just how essential road haulage, and indeed rail haulage, is for everyday living.

Although the freight industry took a big hit during the global economic crisis less than a decade ago, as did other businesses, the good news is that road haulage and rail haulage is now, once again, looking just as dominant as ever, and that does not look set to change anytime soon. One topic of debate which is often brought up in relation to the haulage/freight industry, is whether road or rail haulage is the better of the two. Well, to help look at things objectively, here’s a look at the various pros and cons associated with both forms of haulage.

Road Haulage Pros

First and foremost, we’ll begin by taking a look at the pros associated with road haulage. To begin with, road haulage is far, far more practical as you can deliver goods virtually anywhere in the country with road access, meaning that rural and isolated locations can easily receive the items they require. Rail haulage for example, limits access to locations where there are railway lines.

road haulage

Another benefit of road freight is the fact that, as the vehicles can gain access to most locations, loading and unloading is much easier and much more straightforward than with rail freight. When delivering to businesses and warehouses for example, the vehicle can drive right into the yard, park up in the loading/unloading bay, and quickly get loaded/unloaded and be on its way.

Road Haulage Cons

As far as cons are concerned, the main disadvantage associated with road haulage, is the fact that, compared with rail freight, you cannot transport anywhere near as much cargo, so some may consider it less economical. Larger vehicles may also struggle down smaller, more narrow roads and lanes as well.

Rail Haulage Pros

As far as Pros associated with rail haulage are concerned, the main benefit is the fact that, as the trains can carry such vast quantities of cargo, it is considered a much more cost-efficient option.

Secondly, providing there are good rail links, transporting goods via rail to other parts of the country can be much, much quicker than driving on the roads.

Rail Haulage Cons

One of the biggest cons associated with rail haulage however, is that, if there are no rail link/railway lines nearby, transporting the goods may not be feasible.

Another con is the fact that, if there are no railway links nearby, the bulk of the journey may be carried out by train, and then completed with road haulage I.E large lorries. In this instance however, there can be an argument made that, perhaps the entire journey could have been via road instead.


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