What Is Drop and Hook Freight in Logistics?

There are a few ways cargo carriers handle the freight process. They fall under three categories: touch, no touch, and drop and hook.

Traditionally, when truck drivers arrive at each destination with a shipment, they wait on-site or help load and unload cargo. The driver shows up for a live load at an assigned dock. As they pull up, the warehouse distributor starts unloading and loading. In this example, the driver waits for the facility to handle the cargo. 

More recently, drop and hook freight has become popular across the industry.

What Is Drop and Hook Freight?

Live loading and unloading require significant time and labor, which can be less than ideal for drivers’ tight schedules. 

Drop and hook freight lets drivers arrive and hook a pre-loaded container to their truck. Drivers unhook one fully-loaded container and hook up a new one. Or, in some cases, they drop off an unloaded trailer and pick up a loaded one. 

Drop and hook freight eliminates wait time for loading or unloading cargo. The next container is already ready for pickup. It also means you, the driver, do not handle materials.

4 Benefits of Drop and Hook Freight

Drop and hook shipping lets you focus on driving from location to location, increasing efficiency. Here are some of the main benefits of drop and hook freight:

  1. Turnaround times. With no time spent waiting on loading, drivers usually have a faster turnaround time for each trip. You’ll couple or uncouple the trailer to the truck’s fifth wheel, and then you can get right back on the road.
  2. More hauls. Drivers can haul more cargo across the country within the same amount of time. You can do more when you don’t have to wait for the loading and unloading process.
  3. Cost-effective. This freight type is more cost-effective for a few reasons. It reduces truck idling and saves hundreds of gallons of fuel that would be wasted during idle times. It also reduces the number of trips for each load, benefitting both shippers and drivers.
  4. Flexibility. Drop and hook allows for a bit more flexibility. If you’re running behind schedule, no one is waiting for you to show up to load cargo. The trailer is ready for you when you get there. 

What Is No-Touch Freight?

All drop and hook freight is no-touch, but not all no-touch freight is drop and hook. Live loads can be no-touch if the driver does not do any loading or unloading. At Prime Inc., all freight you haul is 100% no-touch. 

While waiting for no-touch freight, you have an opportunity to rest before setting out again. The benefits and risks of using any type of no-touch freight are generally the same.

What Is Touch Freight?

Unlike no-touch freight, touch freight jobs require over-the-road drivers to handle cargo. Drivers unload what they’re transporting once they reach the destination. You may manage the loading process or help the facility’s workers.

3 Benefits of Touch Freight

Touch freight may not appeal to everyone, but it has its own advantages. These are a few of the benefits of touch freight: 

  1. No outsourced services. With touch freight, companies don’t need to outsource lumper services to a third party, giving them more control of their operations. Drivers train how to handle cargo safely, and they get to use their own trailers and equipment. 
  2. Change of pace. Some people like the change of pace from driving. You may enjoy getting out of the truck and moving around. Loading offers a break from sitting in the driver’s seat. 
  3. Personalization. Drivers work with facility staff and have the chance to make a great impression. If you work with the same customers regularly, you learn about their preferences and can build strong relationships. 

3 Drawbacks of Touch Freight

Like no-touch freight, touch freight comes with its own set of drawbacks. Here are a few ways touch freight can be less than ideal:

  1. More training. Drivers don’t just need to know how to operate a tractor-trailer. They also need to know how to handle cargo safely. Drivers must use proper techniques to avoid injuring themselves or others. 
  2. Takes more time. Generally, handling cargo takes more time than picking up drop and hook. You’ll spend time and labor packing things up or moving things out of the trailer. This reduces the total time you can be on the road.
  3. Liability. You may think about accidents happening in traffic. Yet, if you’re loading freight, accidents can happen at customer facilities, too. There’s more liability when you, the driver, handle cargo. You and your trucking company are often held responsible if cargo is damaged.

Become an Over-the-Road Truck Driver

Being a truck driver is a fulfilling career, and driving for Prime ensures you only haul no-touch freight. Are you ready to take the next step? Start your journey with truck driver training

Prime, Inc. offers a Class A CDL training program that prepares future truck drivers for successful careers. Training starts at the permit process and leads up to real-world over-the-road driving. At the end of the program, CDL holders can join Prime, Inc. as company drivers or choose to become independent contractors. 

If you’re ready to start your OTR driving job, apply online today or call our Recruiting Department at 866-290-1568. We’d be happy to answer your questions.

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