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Top 3 Ways Haulage Companies Can Thrive

On any given day, haulage companies may be locked in fierce business competition with their rivals in their operational area. While conventional thinking leads you to the conclusion that competitors a...

On any given day, haulage companies may be locked in fierce business competition with their rivals in their operational area. While conventional thinking leads you to the conclusion that competitors are bad for business, some clever rethinking may point you to the not-so-obvious: sometimes, competitors can be your allies - your partners, in fact, in the achievement of success. It takes a realignment of one’s thinking to realise there may be better ways of doing business.

The Rail System Is your Friend

Haulage companies rely heavily on their most prized equipment: the trucks or other heavy vehicles they use. But some experts believe that this over-reliance may be working against hauliers and the driving public in the long run, especially with the UK’s worsening traffic congestion situation, fluctuating fuel prices and other challenges. The clever solution seems so simple you’ve got to wonder why more hauliers are not utilising it: the rail system. With a few well-timed adjustments in your schedule and operational methods, you can take full advantage of the rail system and even enhance your company’s efficiency.
To illustrate, it's possible to use rail to ship containers to a hub in the north of the UK even on a daily basis, which would help you avoid having to leave trucks sitting in long queues at the major ports in the south of the UK. The strategy’s benefits are obvious: you stop wasting the driver’s time and reduce carbon emissions—everybody wins.

‘Drop and Swap’ is Better than Unloading

Established haulage companies—especially those that have been in operation for many years—can be set in their ways. It is important, however, to rethink the usual methods in the pursuit of that extra bit of efficiency. The usual method is for a driver to deliver a container of goods, unload the cargo, reload (if there is return cargo waiting at the destination), and then drive back to the depot. But much would be saved in terms of time if a driver, instead of unloading, could merely swap vehicles waiting at the drop-off point. This of course means multi-depots, but in many cases this can be feasible depending on the companies routes and clients.

Work with Others

While most haulage companies are usually out there to beat the competition that should not always be the case. Sometimes, depending on the specific situation, collaborating on certain jobs can be beneficial for both parties. When a haulier delivers to a destination, the truck usually returns empty. But if you strike a deal with other companies, allowing you carry their load back to your depot for a certain compensation arrangement, then not only do you make good use of your vehicle and driver, but you also enhance your fleet’s cost-efficiency. It may take some effort to find others who may be willing to strike a partnership deal, but it is not unheard of. Try finding potential partners on an online freight exchange networkFind Article, for instance. You may also find long-term customers this way.

Article Tags: Haulage Companies, Rail System

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Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry in the UK and Europe. It provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work in the domestic and international markets. Over 3,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.

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