Understanding the True Cost of Heavy Haul Transportation

Understanding the true total cost of moving heavy, oversized shipments requires much more than just getting a line haul transportation quote.  It requires an in-depth knowledge of the many potential fees and accessorials associated with shipping specialized cargo. In addition to transportation charges, there is the very real and significant cost of delaying construction sites when “low cost” transportation providers with poor reliability fail to meet JIT delivery expectations. “These pricing and service complexities require experienced transportation experts to guide shippers in implementing mission critical heavy haul projects on time, on budget and damage free,” says Jim South, Director of Operations for the data center logistics team at Momentum Transportation, an award-winning Landstar agent. 

If dialing in the true cost of heavy haul transportation is important to your data center logistics objectives, here are three key things to look for that can keep your projects on budget:

 #1:  A Pricing Process that is Transparent and Provides All Cost Component Details

Transportation costs that seem to grow over the course of a project or even during a single shipment can be attributed to hidden charges and vague initial pricing estimates.  Does your transportation quote include a total fixed rate comprised of the cost of fuel, permits, escorts, route surveys and engineering studies? The fine print associated with many transportation providers’ quotes for complex, specialized shipments, will often leave the customer in the dark regarding many “cost-plus markup” line items that are later added to the invoice. Our Landstar heavy haul experts have adapted to these challenges by developing comprehensive pricing workbooks that detail all cost elements providing you with an all-inclusive fixed transportation quote and no surprises when the invoice arrives.

#2:  A Focus on Preventing the Significant Cost Incurred by Construction Site Delays  

Extensive pre-project planning and collaboration between customer, shipper, receiver, and transportation provider is necessary to establish an operationally efficient, reliable, and safe project shipment plan.  Proper planning and expert specialized transportation knowledge will minimize the chance of unexpected transit delays which often leave crane and rigging crews standing idle while waiting for a truck to show up at a very significant daily expense. This planning process done correctly, will ensure all   project components arrive in the proper sequence to maximize construction site efficiencies.  Landstar has developed extensive project management processes focused on preventing site delays, including:

  • A robust shipment plan and customized project SOP development process
  • Comprehensive route planning and pre-project surveys when applicable
  • Operational & safety briefings with each driver and their escorts
  • Planning for seasonal travel restrictions and construction detours

#3:  A Project Management Process Intent on Eliminating Potential Accessorial Costs  

Shipper and construction site schedule changes are going to happen during complex mission critical construction projects.  The key to eliminating or reducing truck detention and layover charges, which can amount to thousands of dollars per day, is the rapid and accurate communication between key stakeholders of operational schedule changes and their agreed upon shipment pickup and arrival time adjustments.  Momentum Transportation’s project management system (Pro-Sync) allows you to prevent many of these hidden accessorial costs before they happen by utilizing:

  • End-to-end to transit status reporting via live GPS tracking on every load
  • Geo fences for each shipment allowing pre-arrival alerts via text or email
  • Sync meetings to keep all stakeholders updated on schedule changes
  • Shipment cost tracking from beginning to end (never experience surprise fees again!)
  • An approval process for detention, layover and truck order not used charges, including root cause analysis focused on making the adjustments needed to prevent future on-costs

By managing the total project, not just dispatching the next truck, Landstar has saved our customers millions of dollars utilizing operational best practices, technology tools, and hands-on project management.  Our team’s focus is to stay on budget without compromising safety, on-time performance or operational efficiencies.  Your total transportation costs should never be a mystery. Get started today at www.landstar-agent.com to ensure your next project is on time and on budget.


About this blog’s contributors

An expert team of data center logistics experts at Momentum Transportation, an award-winning Landstar Agent, contributed to this blog post.  Meet the team:

JIM SOUTH, Director Heavy & Specialized Operations

Jim has over 30 years of transportation experience, starting his career as a dry van and platform equipment driver. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. Xavier, he went to work for Landstar in various operation and regional roles. His comprehensive experience provides him with the insight to find solutions to customer’s challenging and complex needs. Jim is responsible for managing the operations and project management teams in our rapidly growing heavy haul and specialized freight sector.

DAVE BAUMANN, Senior Key Account Manager

Dave brings over 25 years of transportation and supply chain experience to Momentum Transportation. He spent 8 years serving in the armed forces as an Army Logistics and Supply Chain Expert and 15 years as a Regional/National Account Manager for ATS Specialized and Mercer Transportation. Dave currently oversees the pricing and contracting of mission critical accounts and works with project stakeholders across the country.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Augusta State University.

BECKY SCOTT, Key Account Manager

Becky came to Momentum Transportation 10 years ago with a background in sales and marketing. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of North Florida. Becky has held various positions within the company, allowing her to grow her expertise in domestic (truckload, LTL, heavy and specialized) and international (ocean and air) logistics. She is currently focused on further developing our mission critical business segment.

DAVID HOPPENS, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

David brings over 30 years of transportation and supply chain services experience to Momentum Transportation. His sales, marketing and business unit leadership at companies including CSX Transportation, Pacer International and U.S. Xpress, make him the ideal person to lead sales and marketing. He has served as President and Chairman of the Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. He holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Florida.