Opus9 Blog

Dry Van Shipping – Everything You Need To Know To Get Started

Read on for a primer on dry van shipping, and on how this segment of the freight shipping segment is critical to transporting certain categories of goods across the U.S.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re not unfamiliar with the term “dry van shipping.” Perhaps you’re engaged in the shipping industry or maybe you have contact with businesses that provide such services. But how much do you really know about dry van shipping and its importance to the shipping industry? If your understanding is surface-level, you’re not alone. But our goal at Opus9 is to ensure that you get a solid grasp of what it is and how it works.

Dry Van Shipping: What is it, Anyway?

A dry van refers to a fully enclosed semi-trailer that is designed to safeguard shipments from the elements, dirt and debris, and any other things that could compromise the products. They are designed to transport bulk, pallet-loaded products, and can be loose freight or boxed freight.

Dry van shipping is the most prevalent form of freight transport in the U.S. Unlike refrigerated shipping trucks and ships, dry van shipping vehicles contain no temperature-control equipment and are designed to transport boxes or pallets of products. It’s also important to note that a dry van is not ideally suited for transporting oversized shipments. The best options for oversized shipments have been, and continue to be, flatbeds and open box trailers. Standard dry vans are 53' in length and can haul up to 26 regular-sized pallets (40' X 48') between 42,000 to 45,000 lbs. This versatile freight shipment mode can be used equally effectively for local routes and over-the-road routes.

Industries that Rely on Dry Van Shipping

Dry van shipping is a freight option that is applicable to many different industries. For instance, it can be used to transport consumer packaged goods, clothing, electronics, equipment, furniture, non-perishable foods, household goods, machinery, parts, and more. Another important point to consider is that dry shipping carrier availability is usually very favorable, and this affords an affordable means to transport pallets compared to some other shipping methods.

Companies whose lines of business are similar to or related to any of the aforementioned segments can contact a dry van freight broker for a dry van freight quote on their transport needs.

It’s also important to underscore that dry van shipping is not the best option for some industries. Here’s an example of lines of businesses that are not suited for dry van shipping.


Below are a few instances that are perfectly suited for using dry vans:

  • Businesses that need to transport live animals;
  • Businesses that need to ship perishable goods whether produce, meats, or other edibles; and
  • Businesses that need to ship oversized loads such as vehicles or mobile homes.

If you’re not quite sure whether or not dry van shipping is the best option for your shipping needs, your best bet is to contact a dry van freight broker or a dry van carrier. They will be able to help you determine the most ideal and cost-effective freight shipping method.

Dry Van Shipping: The Logistics

Dry van shipping is the most economical and the most convenient option for the transport of many sorts of freights goods.

Even so, it is incumbent upon you to conduct research and due diligence to find out about dry van shipping and dry van carriers so that you find the most ideal option for your company. Oftentimes, you can contact a dry van freight broker for assistance in finding a service provider that will help your company with its shipping needs. You’ll want to find out about important things such as rates, pick up times and drop off times, and any miscellaneous expenses. For instance, some dry van shipping companies tack on pay per mile expenses for weekend shipping. Doing your homework will increase your odds of finding the right dry van carrier, which in turn will save you money and prevent potential problems down the road.

How Opus9 Can Help

At Opus9, we’re a digital holistic company dedicating to ensuring that US-based shippers can ship their goods to where they need to be in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Because of our deep expertise, we liken our company to the Expedia of the US shipping industry. With us you can
● Instant dry van freight quotes
● Book a truck in minutes
● Track your shipments in real-time, receive proactive alerts en route.

Contact us today! We’ll be honored to assist you.

Dec 5 | Posted by Trupti Desai

Topics: Truckload, Dry Van