Transporting steel pipe by barge is the primary shipping method when importing or exporting pipe out of North America. Barges can hold, on average, up to 1500 tons of material. This enables shipment of a large quantity of product at an economical price point. Barge shipments are also used within the USA and Canada to move large product quantities to locations on or near water.
Trucks are the most common shipping method of steel pipe across Canada and the US. In Canada, trucks can haul a payload of approximately 46,000 to 80,000 lbs, depending on the source and destination of the product and the type of trailer being utilized for shipment. Tandem trailers can haul 46,000 lbs payload, triaxle trailers can haul 60,000 lbs. Quad axle trailers can haul a total payload of around 80,000 lbs.
Rail transportation is a good option when moving large quantities of pipe across North America, especially in longer lengths, which can be expensive when shipping by truck as they often require pilot cars and permits. There are two types of cars that enable hauling of steel pipe. The first, is a gondola, which is a car with sides that pipe can be loaded into loosely. The second type is a flat car; the base is flat and it has no sides, allowing pipe to be stacked and loaded in layers with contoured dunnage between.