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Everything You Need to Know About Dry Van Freight Shipping

Most people assume that dry van freight shipping in Canada is the best option for their freight. However, if you’re unsure about which shipping method you should use for freight, the first thing you need is knowledge. Learning about the different kinds of shipping methods available to you can help you make an informed decision. 

If you’re already in the logistics industry, you are most likely familiar with the concept of dry van shipping. Dry van trucking is just one of the major types of shipping methods used in Canada. In fact, flatbeds and refrigerated trucks fall under this broad category. Depending on your specific needs, dry van freight shipping may be the best option for you.

In this blog, we will take a look at what dry van freight shipping is. More importantly, we will show you the best times to pursue this trucking service. Keep reading to find out the important features of dry van freight trucking and shipping. 

What is a Dry Van?

Dry vans are the most common trailer used for local-to-nationwide freight shipping. It is also called a “box trailer,” you can use it for a variety of less-than-truckload (LTL) or truckload shipment types. It is a type of semi-trailer that’s fully enclosed to protect cargos or shipments from outside elements.

Furthermore, the term “dry van” can also refer to large empty boxes that are ideal for various types of shipping jobs. Dry vans are not temperature-controlled trailers, unlike a refrigerated truck. Also, it is important to note that these vehicles can’t carry oversized shipments compared to flatbed trailers. They are only designed to carry boxed, palletized or loose freight. Moreover, dry van trailers are available in several types of materials. They can be made from aluminum, galvanized steel, iron or hardwood.

While dry van trailers are among the most popular trucks used for shipping, there are still other options to consider. Nevertheless, if you are looking to ship or receive cargo, it’s more convenient to move your goods on a dry van. Keep reading to find out everything you should know about dry van freight shipping.

What is Dry Van Freight Shipping?

Dry van freight shipping is one of the most known and widely used (from local to nationwide) freight transportation methods. It remains the most preferred means of transportation due to the high availability and numerous benefits. Having an enclosed trailer throughout the shipping process is a convenience that makes dry van freight shipping the best for most shipping needs in Canada.

Types of Dry Van Trucks

Dry van trucks are available in many different sizes and types of materials. Generally, the maximum length allowed for a dry van truck is 53 feet long. The most common types of dry van trucks are ‘general trailers’ and ‘pup trailers.’ Generally, dry van trucks are 53-feet long, while the pup dry van trucks are 26-29 feet long.

  • General Dry Van (53-foot trucks): It is the most common type of dry vans on the road. Typically, the dimensions for these trailers are 53’ x 8’ 6” x 8’ 6” (LWH). These trailers can accommodate 45,000 pounds of freight and up to 26 standard pallet positions across the floor space.
  • Pup Dry Van (28-foot trucks): Pup dry van trucks are commonly used for moving less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. It measures 28’ x 8’ x 9’ (LWH) and can accommodate 22,500 pounds of freight and 14 standard pallet positions across the floor space.
  • Straight trucks: Straight trucks are also referred to as box trucks. They are usually used for city deliveries and often feature a liftgate. Straight trucks come in multiple sizes; typically, its measurement is 24’ x 8’ x 8’ 6” (LWH).

When Should Shippers Use Dry Van Shipping?

Dry van trucks can be used for both local shipments and short-distance. Also, dry van freight shipping can be used for long-distance road trucking needs. These trailers/trucks are incredibly versatile and can handle a variety of freight. They can be used to load nonperishable food, building materials, etc. Finally, the affordable cost of dry van freight shipping is a plus.

Below are some of the specific examples where the use of dry van freight shipping in Canada is applicable:

  • Moving nonperishable foods and beverages, electronics, plastic, textile, other clothing items, and building products.
  • Transporting motorbikes, cars, small buses, other automobiles, and components of giant machines like ships and airplanes.
  • Transporting small construction machinery, equipment and moving raw materials from the warehouse to the construction area, or vice versa.
  • Relocating household furniture, electronics, goods, and more during the residential moving process.

Related Article: Ocean Freight Shipping: Ocean Freight Rates and Logistics

Benefits of Dry Van Freight Shipping

Are you wondering if the cost of dry van freight shipping is worth it? Below are some of the major advantages you can expect to enjoy with this trucking method:

Affordable Rates

Dry van shipping doesn’t require service extras or other special operations. It is the main reason why a dry van trailer is one of the most affordable shipping options. Additionally, the fact that it can be used over long distances makes it a cost-effective trucking option.

Goods Protection

One of the biggest advantages of using a dry van trailer is that it provides maximum protection for your freight. The equipment is enclosed on all sides. Therefore, shipments are protected against weather hazards like rain, high winds, or sunlight. The enclosure of the trailers can be locked, providing a layer of protection against cargo theft.

Versatile and Convenient

Dry vans trailers are the most frequently used shipping equipment because they work best for transporting all packaged goods. Dry van trailers are effective across the spectrum. From clothing and furniture to non-perishables and  electronics, you are covered. 

There are also some small drawbacks to every shipping methods, but the list for dry van shipping is minimal:

  • There is no insulation, temperature control, or other climate alterations inside the dry van trailers. 
  • This means that a dry van is not an ideal and proper solution for refrigerated goods and products. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, dry van freight is one of the most convenient and affordable shipping methods in Canada. Dry van trailers can accommodate both regional and short-haul shipments along with long-haul shipments. With the use of dry van freight shipping, you can worry less about the security and safety of your freight. 
If you’re considering dry van shipping, All Freight Shipping offers dry van trucking services for LTL and full truckload shipments. Meet your shipping needs by using our dry vans to move your goods and equipment. Message us at or call (647) 691-5535 today!