Guide to Efficient 53’ Dry Van Trailer Freight Shipping

How To Ship Freight in 53’ Dry Van Trailer

Posted on:
Mar 01, 2022

If you’re shipping goods via less than truckload or full truckload, there’s a big possibility you’ll be booking a 53’ dry van trailer.

Dry van shipping with 53’ trailers is the most common way to transfer non-perishable cargo goods on the road.  Because of its large size (53′ x 8′ 6” x 8′ 6”) it can accommodate large quantities of goods at a time as well as oversized cargo.

To ship freight in a 53’ dry van trailer, you need to figure out whether FTL or LTL shipping will suit your needs better, depending on the type of cargo, its dimensions, quantity, and how fast you want it shipped. With an online freight marketplace, it’s easier to get freight quotes, book a carrier, and ship your package.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of everything you need to know to ship freight in 53’ dry van trailers.

What is dry van shipping?

Dry van shipping involves transporting goods in an enclosed trailer with no temperature control or other climate alterations. Because it provides protection from the elements and ample capacity for a wide range of industries, dry van shipping is the most in-demand trucking option. Some of the world’s largest corporations rely on dry vans to transport their inventories as it guarantees convenience, security, and a low price tag.

Who uses dry van shipping?

Since you are planning to ship with a dry van, you should be familiar with the transportation options available with dry van trailers: Individual shippers and businesses can benefit from dry van shipping through full truckload (FTL) or less than truckload (LTL) freight services.

FTL shippers pay for the entire trailer and fill it with their cargo. Since FTL freight is a point-to-point service, it’s a more secure option than LTL because the trailer won’t be opened at any point between loading and arriving at the final destination.

Meanwhile, LTL shippers can benefit from lower rates because of freight consolidation. This means that shippers will only pay for the space that their cargo occupies. Since dry van trailers under LTL service contain cargo from multiple shippers, it will go through a lot of handling as it passes through checkpoints.

What is a 53’ dry van trailer?

A 53’ dry van trailer is the most common type of trailer you’ll find in the trucking industry. If you’ll be shipping in a 53’ dry can trailer, it’s critical that you know about maximum weight capacity and volume. The dimensions of 53’ dry van trailers are 53′ x 8′ 6” x 8′ 6”. Trailers of this size can carry up to 45,000 pounds of cargo and can fit up to 26 standard pallets across its floor space.

Unlike flatbed trailers that leave cargo exposed, dry van trailers reduce the risk of theft and damage because it is sealed and locked. Dry vans also do not have climate or temperature control so they can only accommodate non-perishable goods. However, because of its popularity, 53’ dry van trailers can be difficult to book.

What can be shipped in a 53’ dry van trailer?

Before you can ship cargo in a 53’ dry van trailer, you should know what types of content it’s allowed to accommodate.

Many businesses rely on dry van shipping because of its security and versatility. Inventories carried by various industries include but are not limited to:

  • Non-perishable food items
  • Electronics
  • Consumer and household goods
  • Various liquid commodities
  • Automotive equipment
  • Machinery
  • Clothing and retail products
  • Healthcare products

What are 53’ dry van trailers unsuitable for?

It’s also important to know what you can’t ship in 53’ dry van trailers:

  1. Size and weight restrictions

Since dry vans are enclosed, 53’ dry van trailers can’t accommodate cargo that exceeds these dimensions:

  • Height: 8’6”
  • Length: 53’

Shippers also can’t ship items that are more than 45,000 pounds.

  1. Loading dock restrictions

Dry van trailers can only be loaded/unloaded through the rear, so cargo that needs to be accessed from the side of the trailer or through an open deck is not ideal for dry van trailers.

  1. Temperature restrictions

And as mentioned in the previous sections, 53’ dry van trailers aren’t temperature controlled, so you won’t be able to transport temperature-sensitive food & beverage, liquids, and pharmaceuticals.

How To Ship Freight in 53’ Dry Van Trailer?

Booking a shipping carrier for your dry van needs can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. Granted, there are many lots of things you need to research to get reasonable rates and book the best carriers.

Get the specifics of your parcel

Before you can ship freight in a dry van, get the specifics of your parcel, including the:

  • Dimensions
  • Weight
  • Ease of handling
  • Class
  • Fragility

Depending on the dimensions, weight, urgency, and handling of your parcel, you can choose the load type: LTL or FTL.

Look for a reliable carrier

The next step is to look for a reliable shipping carrier to do the job. It’s important that you verify the authority and credentials of the carrier, of you can risk damaging or losing your cargo.

Make sure that they are a reputable carrier by looking up customer feedback, their transaction history, and checking review sites like the Better Business Bureau. Check if they have reasonable rates, good customer support, and secure shipping methods. Another thing to check is what type of freight insurance they offer.

Get quotes and book a carrier

After you get a shortlist of potential carriers, it’s time for the difficult part –– getting quotations. Inexperienced shippers will usually talk with freight brokers or, worse, message each carrier to ask for their rates.

Considering everything you have to look into, save yourself time and effort by using an online freight marketplace like With the 24/7 online calculator, will provide a shortlist of the best carriers that will accommodate your specific delivery needs.

You will also be given an instant quotation of the most affordable rates in your area.

The final step is to book a carrier and finalize the pick-up date.

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