What Is Dry Van Shipping?

by | Freight Shipping

Dry van shipping is shipping in a type of semi-trailer that is fully enclosed to protect shipments from outside elements by truck. Dry vans are designed to carry palletized, boxed, or loose freight. They are not temperature-controlled and can’t carry oversized shipments.

Dry vans are suitable for:

  • Cargo that does not require temperature-controlled vehicles
  • Pallets of goods or materials
  • Consumer packaged goods
  • Electronics
  • Some machinery
  • Furniture
  • Food

This process is essential to importing and exporting things like electronics and other consumer packaged goods. 

How Is the Dry VAN Shipping Process Done?

This is generally how dry van shipping typically progresses:

Stage 1

Booking: The shipper initiates the process by contacting a carrier to reserve space in a dry van trailer, specifying the pick-up and delivery locations and the required timeline.

Stage 2

Loading: Workers load the cargo securely into the dry van at the shipper’s facility, ensuring it is appropriately palletized and protected to prevent damage during transit.

Stage 3

Inspection: The carrier thoroughly inspects the loaded trailer, checks for any signs of damage, and then seals the trailer to maintain cargo integrity.

Stage 4

Transit: The loaded dry van is driven to the destination by the carrier, following a predetermined route and schedule.

Stage 5

Unloading: Upon arrival at the receiver’s facility, their staff carefully unloads the cargo from the dry van trailer.

Stage 6

Verification: The receiver checks the delivered cargo for any damages or discrepancies against the bill of lading, noting any issues for potential claims or disputes.

Stage 7

Billing: The carrier invoices the shipper for the shipping service, typically based on distance, weight, and agreed-upon rates.

Stage 8

Return: The empty dry van trailer is returned to the carrier or the nearest designated location after unloading.

Stage 9

Documentation: All shipping-related documents, including the bill of lading, delivery receipt, and inspection reports, are processed and filed for record-keeping and potential future reference.

Dry Van Shipping Costs

Several factors determine the costs:


The primary factor influencing dry van shipping costs is the distance between the pickup and delivery locations. Longer distances generally result in higher shipping costs.

Weight and Volume

The weight and volume of the cargo play a crucial role. Heavier or larger shipments typically incur higher costs due to increased fuel consumption and space utilization.

Freight Class

Cargo is categorized into different freight classes based on density, ease of handling, and liability. Higher freight classes often come with higher shipping rates.

Route and Lane

The specific transportation route and shipping lane can impact costs. Some routes may have tolls, congestion, or seasonal variations that affect pricing.

Fuel Prices

Fluctuations in fuel prices can influence shipping costs, as carriers often pass on fuel surcharges to shippers.

Accessorial Charges

Additional services, such as liftgate delivery, inside pickup, or reefer (temperature-controlled), can incur extra charges.

Delivery Timeframe

Expedited or time-sensitive shipments typically command higher rates than standard delivery options.

Carrier Selection

Different carriers offer varying rates and service levels, so choosing the right carrier for your needs can affect shipping costs.

Negotiated Rates

Shippers with high shipping volumes can negotiate customized rates with carriers, potentially reducing costs.

Seasonal Demand

Shipping costs may vary seasonally, with higher rates during peak demand periods like the holiday season.

Special Requirements

Any special handling, insurance, or specific equipment needs can add to the overall shipping costs.

Accessorial Fees

These extra charges may include residential delivery fees, fuel surcharges, or detention charges if there are delays in loading or unloading.

Market Conditions

Broader economic factors, such as supply and demand fluctuations in the transportation industry, can impact pricing.

Determining dry van shipping costs involves considering these factors and obtaining quotes from multiple carriers to find the most cost-effective solution for your shipment.

Dry Van Shipping Companies

Dry van shipping companies are crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, they provide a versatile and reliable means of transporting a wide range of goods. Dry van trailers are suitable for shipping non-perishable items, from electronics to clothing, making them an essential component of the logistics industry.

Secondly, dry van shipping companies contribute to supply chain efficiency. They offer standardized, secure, and weather-resistant cargo transportation, ensuring products arrive at their destination in good condition. This reliability is vital for meeting customer expectations and maintaining the flow of goods in both domestic and international trade.

Lastly, dry van shipping companies play a pivotal role in economies by facilitating trade and commerce. They bridge the gap between manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, enabling the global exchange of goods that drive economic growth and prosperity. These companies are the backbone of modern logistics, connecting businesses and consumers worldwide.

Fleet size is important

Fleet size is crucial in dry van shipping because it directly impacts a company’s ability to meet customer demands, expand its reach, maintain reliability, and stay competitive in the dynamic logistics industry. 

A company like Value Truck, an Arizona-based full-service trucking company. Has plenty of assets to get your freight where it needs to go. 

Our company has a fleet of 300 trucks and 500 trailers. Companies of this size are guaranteed to deliver your shipment efficiently.

We have many propositions and services involved in Dry Van shipping and transporting materials en masse up to 100,000 tons or more.

Dry Van Shipping Stocks

These commodity and Dry Van shipping companies also offer various career opportunities and services in the dry van and freight industry.

For example, at Value Truck, we have almost 300 employees across the United States of America and our outlets in both neighboring countries, Mexico and Canada.

Many of the job offerings these companies offer are freight agent jobs that connect shipments with drivers to ensure quality delivery, positions that directly run the freight, such as truck drivers, owners, operators, and other jobs heavily involved in freight trucking and dry van shipping.

The industry of dry van shipping is an essential economic activity since its impact on both the state’s and country’s economic growth is due to the movement of the supply of materials and necessary components in building critical infrastructures across the country.

The dry van shipping industry also covers bulk shipping via freight and land transportation of food materials such as dry goods and agricultural products, as well as important electrical components important to industries like the automotive industry and all across tech industries.

Given all of the points above, there is no doubt that the dry van shipping industry attracts many investors. It has proven through the years that the sector is essential in the development and flourishing of the economy, not just to iron ore and steel demand speculators.

Finding the Right Logistics Company for Your DRY VAN Shipping Needs

Finding the right logistics company for your dry van shipping needs is paramount for several key reasons. 

Firstly, it ensures efficiency and reliability. The right logistics partner possesses the expertise to optimize routes, manage cargo, and coordinate deliveries, reducing transit times and minimizing the risk of delays or damage to your goods.

Secondly, cost-effectiveness is crucial. A well-suited logistics company can offer competitive rates and help you avoid unnecessary expenses by efficiently planning and utilizing its dry van fleet.

Thirdly, compliance and safety are paramount. The right logistics provider adheres to industry regulations, ensuring that your shipments meet legal requirements and maintain your cargo’s and the public’s safety.

Lastly, customer satisfaction and reputation are at stake. Choosing the right logistics company can enhance your reputation by consistently delivering on promises, meeting deadlines, and providing exceptional service, ultimately fostering long-term business relationships and growth opportunities.

If you have any questions about our bulk shipping services or any other services we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We would be more than happy to assist you with all of your logistics needs.