Five crates of beer from Germany? 150 kilograms of soap from France? A couple of wool rolls from Sweden? Separately, each of these shipments could be quite dear to a customer. But in a groupage shipment, even small amounts of cargo like these can be transported profitably.
AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG experts tell us about the unique characteristics of Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) logistics from Europe to the CIS countries:
Georgy Baranov, Team Leader in the Groupage Cargo Department in Belarus, suggests starting with a clear definition of groupage cargo. It involves goods of less than 83 m3 and with a maximum weight of 15 tons. Note that it is a maximum in terms of expediency, as the rates for 16 tons are close to rates for Full-Truck-Load (FTL). In case of a full load, the client wins in terms of transportation. There is also a minimum economically viable volume of 50 kg.
We now turn to the definition of concepts. You can often hear the terms “groupage,” “LTL” and “express delivery.” Groupage and LTL are synonymous and traditionally used in logistics companies. Express carriage is the delivery of goods by individual low-tonnage machines. Between Europe and the CIS, the AsstrA team transports all types of products except for those with hazard classes 1 and 7. "Low-tonnage" trucks with a maximum weight of 9 tons are primarily used. These cases do not involve a collective dispatch as the entire capacity of a car is given to one client.
In the case of classic groupage transportation, goods arrive from different parts of Europe to AsstrA partner warehouses in Lithuania, Poland, Italy, or Germany. AsstrA specialists oversee further consolidation by, for example, collecting cargoes with the same temperature requirements or a shared destination or a place of unloading along the way.
From this definition it becomes clear that LTL is an ideal option for customers who have small and non-urgent cargo. In case of urgent delivery, a customer may choose express delivery by land or express delivery by air. But you should understand that for "express" service levels there are different rates.
Thanks to AsstrA’s multinational presence and wide partner network, every client can receive price quotations for shipping to farflung destinations on complex delivery routes. AsstrA experts provide each partner with several alternative shipping options with different timeframes, prices, and conditions to choose from based on his specific requirements. In addition, groupage delivery is perfectly combined with multimodal transportation. For example, there might be air or sea delivery from the USA to Lithuania during the first transport stage, with onward shipment by groupage truck to the final beneficiary or temporary storage warehouse.
Olga Shimanovich, Consolidated Cargo Department Specialist, continues the conversation:
Frequently, clients first considering groupage transportation have concerns about the safety of cargo and whether there will be any confusion in the warehouse during transshipment, loading, or unloading. Today, loading and unloading at AsstrA partner storage locations is completely automated and practically eliminates the possibility of errors. The cargo arrives at the warehouse where it is signed and marked with a special barcode containing the necessary information about the product and the sender. In the warehouse, the cargo is photographed, and the photo is sent for the customer’s review. Our colleagues in the warehouse strictly follow every client’s instructions, prepare and check all appropriate documents for the cargo, and if necessary make EX and T-1 declarations.
Upon arrival at the trucking warehouse, the marked goods are loaded in the order of unloading: the most "distant" product goes into the truck first. After delivery to the final recipient, at the request of the client the unloaded goods are photographed again. The AsstrA team guarantees maximum cargo safety to ensure our clients’ peace of mind.