How Stone is Transported Around the World
As you can probably imagine, careful consideration must be taken when transporting bulk rock from quarries and gravel pits. Stone is one of the heaviest types of freight transported in the world, and since different types of stone can be mined and quarried from locations all over the globe, providing customers with the perfect decorative stone for their landscaping project may require multiple modes of transportation before reaching its ultimate destination.
Intermodal freight transport is a term that is used to encapsulate transportation of freight in something called an intermodal container that will likely encounter more than one mode of transportation. These containers reduce the need for any excessive cargo handling, thus improving security while reducing loss and damage to the stone. Intermodal containers are standardized, which means that they can be easily transported from the quarries onto ships, trains, and trucks.
Stone Comes from Afar
Many of the most popular bulk stone products used in the United States must be mined or quarried from locations on opposite sides of America. Since stone is a natural product, stone suppliers like Home Depot and Lowe’s familiarize themselves with the natural offerings of mines and quarries in other countries, as their landscape products often differ greatly in price from the stone products produced within the United States. For instance, Belgian blocks are carefully mined in India and transported on large cargo ships before being packaged onto pallets. Additionally, many beach pebbles may be hand-picked and palletized in South America or Mexico by hard-working laborers to compile the most attractive stone combination. Eventually, those pallets would be loaded into intermodal containers or flatbed and then transported to their destination. Trucks are used for the majority of the time to transport intermodal containers to their final destination.
Larger suppliers, like Pebble Junction in Florida, use rail to transport their stone from point A to point B. However, trucking stone using tri-axle dump trucks or bulk material trailers like end dumps and belt trailers is the route that many smaller suppliers use to transport stone if it does not need to be hauled in great distances or large quantities.
Eventually, stone is delivered to the door of the homeowner or project leader via truck. The stone can be dropped and applied with hand tools like shovels and metal rakes across the desired area like flower beds and water features. At this time, the stone has reached its final destination, producing the perfect aesthetic for landscaping projects all over the United States.
Keep in mind that many of our stone products at Carolina Stone Supply often travel thousands of miles from their source, making them a unique addition to any properties landscaping and outdoor atmosphere. Some of our unique gravel and stone products are great conversation starters, like our aquamarine line of stone, found deep in the Rocky Mountains. New England River Rock(TM) is a beautiful option to give your backyard some character. We stock this stone in bulk quantities at our Oakboro, NC yard and is available for wholesale purchase throughout the year.