What is groupage in transport

Let’s start by giving a definition to groupage. We can define groupage in transport as any shipment of merchandise that is less than the total load of the vehicle and in which it shares a trip with other shipments from other customers. In other words, they are all those shipments in which we depend -or rather, we take advantage- of the existence of other break-bulk loads so that they share a trip with ours and thus optimize trips.

We must differentiate these groupage from cases in which our goods do not occupy the entire vehicle, but by our decision. For example, if you make a shipment with a trailer and you only occupy a certain part of it, but it is urgent and you cannot wait to find other loads, or you do not want to share a trip for security reasons or any other reason, we would be in a direct transport . Or if you hire a van to make a direct trip of a single pallet.

Another option is that we have two shipments from a client to places close to each other. In these cases we could get a truck that went exclusively to these sites. When this happens, the most common thing is to talk about direct transport with an additional delivery (or more deliveries, depending on the case).

Types of groupage in transport

The main difference in the types of groupage in transport is in the number of pallets or merchandise. The groupages of more pallets are usually measured either in linear meters -how many meters of the truck your merchandise occupies- or in simple divisions of the trailer -a quarter of a trailer, half a trailer, etc.-. This means that few shipments are consolidated for each vehicle.

In smaller groupages, the amount of merchandise per shipment is drastically reduced. The operational difference is also important, and this has resulted in the appearance of distribution networks for palletized merchandise specialized in this type of shipment. This is our case, where the Palibex network moves shipments with an average of less than two pallets per delivery.

However, maintaining our line of innovating in the sector, these days Palibex has presented the new LTL service (which refers to Less than Truck Load, load less than a truck in English). It is intended for groupage between five and 15 pallets and is especially oriented to Mass Consumption “with a new service that offers the advantages of express pallets -such as traceability, shorter transit times or guaranteed delivery- at such competitive prices like those of the groupage”.

Another operational difference is the number of times the merchandise is loaded and unloaded. Among the largest groupages, it is usual for the truck to go directly to the destination, without intermediate warehouses. Meanwhile, in the smallest groupages, the usual process is for there to be several consolidations and unloadings, until their arrival at the final warehouse, where a last-mile route will be prepared. This adds complexity and makes factors such as online traceability more important.

Regarding speed, the most urgent model is that of small groupages. This is because much of its boom stems from the need for companies to ship smaller stocks but more frequently. On the contrary, the largest groupages are more likely to have more lax terms to find those loads that optimize the shipment. Of course, once loaded and running it is difficult to beat them, since they go directly to their destination.

We hope that this simple guide to groupage in transport will help you to have a clearer understanding of the concepts and thus focus them in the best way for your company.

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