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Road vs rail: Which freight transportation should you choose for your deliveries?


Road vs rail: Which freight transportation should you choose for your deliveries?

With Canada’s geographic distances, freight transportation is a necessary part of the country’s economic development. However, weather conditions, environmental impact and regulations influence the choice of transportation. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of truck and rail transportation.


Trucking: advantages and disadvantages

Road transportation is the main mode of transportation in Quebec with 50 kg of goods transported per day and per person in the province. This makes it a mode of transportation that plays a major role in economic development.


Truck transport advantages

With its many advantages, trucking can be used to transport large quantities of goods. This dedicated mode of transport uses the roads as a trusted means of international freight delivery.


Delivery times

The ultimate goal is to deliver quantities of goods in a timely manner. Road transportation service companies make every effort to provide rapid delivery times. Truck transport is extremely useful for optimizing transit time, regardless of the distance.



This mode of transport can deliver both small and large quantities of goods. You can also use delivery truck services to have goods delivered to homes, warehouses or international destinations. Moreover, road transport directly sends the goods without any intermediary.


Freight shipping options

Trucking companies have the advantage of using different freight management techniques for different types of cargo. Each type of road transport has its own features that meet the needs of each customer. Types of truck transport include:

  • Bulk,
  • Full truckload
  • LTL transport
  • Courier service
  • Intermodal transport


Truck transport disadvantages

Despite the advantages, truckers are subject to regulatory or environmental hazards that may reduce interest in this type of delivery.


Environmental considerations

Road transport generates pollution by using a lot of fuel, especially due to the long distances it has to cover. While there are options for making truck transport more green, it remains difficult to fully reduce its carbon footprint.



Transporters must share the road with other vehicles. This can have consequences for their safety. Especially when certain modes of transport are larger than normal depending on the type of goods transported.




Weather conditions

Due to weather conditions and mandatory thaw periods, truckers cannot always complete their deliveries. These factors are beyond their control and influence the cost of transporting goods.


Work conditions

Laws governing compliance in trucking are strict. Truck drivers are required to have a designated driving time and rest time to compensate for driver fatigue at the wheel. These break times can have an impact on the transit and delivery time.


Rail shipping: advantages and disadvantages

Rail transport is an efficient mode of transporting goods over long distances.


Rail transport advantages

Since the development of the railroads, freight transport by rail has developed and established itself as a trusted mode of transport.


Environmental awareness

One of the advantages of rail transport is that it consumes less fuel than road transport. This allows this mode of transportation to reduce its carbon footprint and CO2 emissions. Conditions that make it an eco-friendly mode of transportation.


Transport time

Rail transport allows for long distance travel without the need for road transport and avoids urban congestion. This can reduce transit time.


Security of goods

Depending on the number of cars and its loading capacity, train transportation can increase the safety of goods. This mode of transport can handle any type of goods, regardless of their classification.



Customers who choose to transport their goods by rail will see a reduction in their fuel costs, depending on the distance involved.


Rail transport disadvantages

Despite the advantages listed above, this transportation service has some disadvantages.



Among the disadvantages of rail transportation is the maintenance and upkeep of the cars. Like circle checks, train maintenance is an essential element in the transportation of products and anticipates breakdowns.


Dependent on road transport

Before the goods can be sent by rail, a trucking service must be used to transport and store them before final delivery.


Less flexibility

Departure and arrival times are more difficult to predict. In fact, it is common for goods transported by train not to respect transit or delivery times. Moreover, this mode of transport is not suitable for short distances, which poses a problem for certain companies located near transportation routes.


Population safety

Like road transport, rail transport is affected by weather conditions. Subject to natural hazards, it has less capacity to adapt than road transport and can cause more accidents in winter weather or when transporting dangerous goods.


Trust Transport Econo Nord’s experience for the delivery of your goods

Mode of transportation is not to be taken lightly. You need to consider your needs as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the most commonly used transportation services in Quebec.

Transport Econo Nord’s experts offer road transport services to transport your goods anywhere in Quebec, ensuring that you make the best choice.

Ask for a quote to benefit from our professional services.