As the channels for international cargoes, ports and terminals can only ship those goods and products that have made it to the quayside in plenty of time before the ship is scheduled to depart. This is where the integrated network of rail freight operators and Road Freight Operators that works around the clock to get cargoes to and from the ports comes into its own. When clothes from China arrive by ship at an entry port, the shipment has only completed part of its journey, all be it generally the longest part. It will then need to be transported from the quayside to a depot to be sent out to your local shops.
The road freight, or haulage, sector is concerned with the movement of goods by road and as a market is generally split into two groups: own transport and hire or reward. An own transport operation means that the owner of the goods being moved also operates the transport. A hire or reward operation (also called third party) means the operator is on contract to the owner of the goods for the movement of freight.
In the UK alone, there are estimated to be around 108,000 transport operators employed in road freight transport, in jobs ranging from Logistics Managers and Light Goods Vehicle Drivers to Warehouse Managers. The term haulage, or cartage or drayage, can also refer to the charges made for hauling freight on carts, drays or trucks.