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Intermodal for Coil Steel Shipping via Mobile Transport Tray

November 28, 2023 Kevin Baxter

Forklift Container Yard

Coil steel is awkwardly sized, and its large, especially heavy and (of course) round status leads some to think the oversize load flatbed trucking route is the only way to transport it. But with the right equipment, intermodal provides an often better option for steel coil shipping. What is the right equipment? It involves steel in another form that's designed especially to handle - and containerize - difficult freight known as the Mobile Transport Tray (MTT).

What Is a Mobile Transport Tray?

It could be described as a steel sled, or a steel chassis, but the makers of the Mobile Transport Tray go with steel platform to describe this unique equipment. The Mobile Transport Tray is described as a steel platform on rollers that can slide in and out of a container or trailer - allowing its use on trucks, trains and ocean liners. These trays come in a variety of standard sizes to fit typical domestic intermodal and trucking applications, as well as several ocean container sizes (and even custom options).

The trays allow shippers to maximize container and trailer space, loading at the point of origin with integrated tie-downs, which eliminate the need for specialized packing materials (like shrink wrap and airbags) and crating. The only equipment required to move MTTs around a manufacturing facility, rail yard or port is a forklift, as they roll in and out of the container when unlocked. That means no need to wait for special unloading equipment that can lead to demurrage charges.

Once on the move, the cargo is additionally secured with integrated steel bulkheads - a requirement to move via intermodal (and generally a good blocking and bracing practice anyway). Any worries about the rollers causing movement inside a container are addressed by a fixed mechanism that locks the cargo in place. The MTT can hold up to 27 tons in a variety of shapes and sizes - allowing shippers to containerize difficult freight typically thought of as flatbed-only territory and move between modes.

These platforms are durable as steel, allowing heavy repeat uses and long life. They're additionally stackable - up to 15 tall - which allows not only for simple, out of the way storage but also for easy return transport by rolling the stack of empties right back into the container. In sum, they allow those shipping oversize cargo like steel coils, large pipes and more to take advantage of the many benefits intermodal has to offer - or at least benefit from the flexibility to choose their mode.

Are you moving difficult freight and interested in a better way? We can help. Just fill out our request a quote form, and we'll get back to you to go over your shipping situation. For more information about InTek, or logistics and supply chain issues in general, check out our Freight Guides.

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