Many products ship by rail, including items we use every day, like clothing.

Rail 101: What Can You Ship by Rail?

Released June 22, 2021


If you are new to shipping by rail, it can feel like there is so much to learn. We are here to help! Loup works diligently to develop transportation solutions that best solve your supply chain challenges, and oftentimes, we include rail in those shipping solutions. Through our intermodal and transloading solutions, you can take advantage of the economic benefits of rail while leveraging the flexibility of over-the-road trucking. So, what can you ship by rail? We’ve got your answers here.

What Can You Ship by Rail?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to shipping by rail. Trains can transport almost anything, from raw materials to finished goods — and everything in between. Let’s take a look at the major categories of items that can ride the rails:

Raw Materials:

  • Sand
  • Plastic pellets
  • Soda ash
  • Flour
  • Rock

Building Materials and Component Parts:

  • Lumber
  • Pipe
  • Metals
  • Rebar
  • Metal coil
  • Bricks


  • Packaged food
  • Canned goods
  • Frozen food
  • Produce
  • Seafood
  • Cheese
  • Chocalate

Raw Materials:

  • Sand
  • Plastic pellets
  • Soda ash
  • Flour
  • Rock


  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Tequila
  • Orange juice

Liquids and Fuel:

  • Corn syrup
  • Ethanol
  • Biodiesel
  • Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF)
  • Petroleum
  • LPG

Household Goods:

  • Shoes
  • Clothing
  • Toys
  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Carpet
  • Floor tiles
  • Boxes
  • Parcels

Finish Vehicles and Auto Parts:

  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • SUVs
  • Auto parts

Oversized Items:

  • Machinery
  • Transformers
  • Wind turbine blades
  • Military vehicles

And More!

  • Irrigation equipment
  • Paper
  • Solar panels
  • Christmas trees
  • Grain
  • Feed products
  • Fibers
  • Minerals
  • Coal

These commodities can be shipped using various rail car types, including boxcars, center beams, covered hoppers, open-top hoppers, flatcars, gondolas, tank cars and more.

What Can’t Ship by Rail?

If you are interested in exploring a logistical solution combining both rail and truck or have questions about if your products can ship by rail, contact us.

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Want to learn more about the economical, efficient door-to-door shipping solutions Loup can offer you? Contact us.

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Watch the Shipping by Rail Product Overview Video