Freight forwarders transport very different things: starting with the smallest cargo such as paper through CDs, tools and cables and ending with steel. However, what if you want to transport something unconventional, oversized or requiring special conditions? In such case you should rely on a trusted forwarder who knows how to treat the given cargo. Here are some thoughts on carriage of different types of cargo from Tomasz Job, Senior Domestic and Size-related Transport Specialist at M&W Spedition.

What types of goods do you transport most often and do they require any special adjustments during transport?

We have the biggest experience in carriage of neutral goods, such as textile articles, toys, furniture or electrical equipment. Moreover, we often transport exhibition stands, palletized construction materials and steel elements. Such cargos are not problematic and do not require special conditions and as far as transport is concerned: all you need to do is to properly secure goods on a semi-trailer or platform. If necessary, we can provide a lift or crane for unloading. I should also add that palletized goods are the easiest to load and unload.

What requirements do you have to meet during carriage?

As mentioned before, a basic requirement is to properly secure cargo in a vehicle. Security measures are adjusted to the type of cargo: these include, among others, belts, anti-slip mats, angles, cross-beams, beams or airbags. As for stone, which constitutes very difficult and problematic cargo, it is important to arrange it properly in a vehicle, not to exceed a permissible axle load and secure it with special belts or chains to prevent any movement or cutting out the curtain. Other carriage-related requirements include return or exchange of pallets, which are usually provided for in a contract. Driver’s duties comprise checking whether the pallets are suitable for the exchange, which is further confirmed by the so called pallet receipt. A driver who transports goods is obliged to remember about all documents confirming the release and acceptance of goods. Moreover, on some occasions a driver is required to wear protective clothing upon loading and unloading – hard hat, vest, shoes and protective goggles.

What was the weirdest or the quaintest cargo you transported?

The most distinctive items transported by M&W Spedition include, for example, the whole production line, paving machine, commercial vehicles, cannon and helicopter. The helicopter had to be transported from Poland to Austria: a recipient was our client who collects this kind of machinery. Less surprising was a crane transported on nine semi-trailers, however in this case the time of carriage was very important. Each vehicle had to be provided to the place of loading exactly every hour, because the crane could be unloaded only on one day – transport had to reach the destination on time and we managed to do that without any problems.

Are there any cargos you would not transport?

Yes, we do not transport radioactive, contagious or explosive materials, or generally speaking dangerous goods classified as ADR 1, 2, 6.1, 6.2, 7 and 8 – we transport all the remaining goods. This is not only the question of safety but also of suitable fleet – to transport most of these materials you need tanks, and we do not handle this kind of carriage. Moreover, we do not transport goods in refrigerated trailers and in dumpers.

Are there any legal restrictions that apply to transport of goods?

Of course, primarily the ADR, i.e., the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, which describes the conditions for transport of dangerous materials. It mentions, for example, that each company transporting such cargos should cooperate with the safety adviser. Also, special qualifications are required for transport of waste, live animals or pharmaceutical drugs due to the nature of these goods.