The container vessel during discharging at an industrial port and move containers to container yard by trucks

Why Trucking Services Are Preferred to Rail

Iron Horse Transport has been providing New York with drayage, final mile delivery, intermodal and other trucking services for years. Trucking businesses have competed with the railroad industry for years (and collaborated with them during intermodal drayage services).

For a long time, retailers preferred using trains to ship cargo. Trains offered competitive rates, eco-friendly advantages, and the ability to handle larger freight volumes. However, this perspective has significantly changed.

Recently, an increasing number of businesses prefer trucking as their primary mode of transport. So, what makes the trucking industry more popular than rail shipment now? Keep reading to find out more!

Diesel Prices Dropping

One of the benefits of using railroads for shipments was the lower cost of fuel. Essentially, trucks require diesel fuel, which was previously considered an unnecessary expense.

However, in the past year, diesel fuel costs have dropped. The average cost of a gallon of diesel fuel has decreased from $3.35 to $3.00. Consequently, it now costs less to keep trucks on the road. Consumers notice these savings in their shipment expenses and choose trucking based on these reduced fuel costs.

Trucking Flexibility

At one point, the railroad system was revolutionary. It transformed businesses by allowing the transport of enormous freight over long distances and changed the way cargo was shipped.

However, businesses now see railroads as a more restrictive shipping method. Trains are bound by their schedules and predetermined routes, limiting their ability to deliver cargo directly to customers.

Trucks are the most flexible way to deliver products. Other modes of transport can’t compete with services like final mile delivery. And this is considered to be their greatest advantage over trains.

Today, retailers depend on strategies for instant, same-day shipments to satisfy consumer expectations. Late shipments can lead to unhappy customers and lost sales.

Trains lack the ability to adapt to changes in shipping addresses mid-shipment, whereas trucks, regardless of their location, can reach any shipping address. This flexibility provides an added sense of security, as drivers have greater control over their routes.

Time-Sensitive Shipments

Retailers need the fastest shipment and delivery methods possible. Consumers expect their orders to arrive in shorter time frames. So, retailers are determined to meet delivery demands.

Railroad shipments are limited by schedules. Basically, trains are the inferior option if orders are time-sensitive, while trucks are able to spontaneously deliver orders in faster windows. By using techniques like palletized shipping and liftgate services, they’re not just delivering safely and quickly, but delivering larger quantities.

Modern commerce depends on speedy shipments. Therefore, the limits of rail deliveries are lessening their appeal to retailers.

Controlled Freights

Trucks have advantages not only in terms of fuel prices, speed, and flexibility but also in their diverse selection of vehicles.

Additionally, the technology of trucks is evolving. Trucks are the best shipping option when it comes to materials that are sensitive to the environment. Trucks have become equipped with temperature control freights. While fragile or high-value items can be compromised when shipped via rail. Moreover, trucking systems like air ride suspension are in place to provide protection that trains can’t match.

In summary, retailers can ship with confidence, knowing that trucking services offer safety and security.


Iron Horse Transport can fulfill any of your shipping requirements. We rely on years of experience, expertise and serving New York to meet any of your individual needs.