How a Freight Exchange Solves Haulage Industry Problems
Freight exchange platforms are changing the haulage industry for the better by bringing greater efficiency to every step of the process.
When it comes to online freight exchange platforms, they offer one advantage that clearly stands out: efficiency. Online exchanges help haulage companies, self-employed drivers and freight forwarders maximise their resources with up-to-the-minute load and vehicle postings. The improved efficiency brought on by online haulage exchange platforms is even helping to remedy some of the industry’s most pressing problems, such as dead mileage, rising fuel costs, and driver shortages.
Empty Return Journeys
Many haulage companies lose money from so-called “dead mileage” on the road. Dead mileage is the industry term for journeys that are made with no load, usually the return leg of a completed delivery. A freight exchange can help fill these empty legs with thousands of posted available loads. Drivers can arrange their deliveries in such a way that once they arrive at their destination and deliver their load, they can take on another one immediately for the trip back. A freight exchange can help turn dead mileage into profitable mileage, as filling empty-leg journeys makes better use of time and fuel. With real time postings, online exchanges can help ensure that a truck will never be driving empty.
Higher Fuel Prices
Higher fuel prices put pressure on haulage businesses to streamline their operations to make the most of every drop, and that’s exactly what a freight exchange can help them do. With a wide range of vehicles, exchanges give haulage companies and freight forwarders the ability to choose the right-sized vehicle for the job, rather than wasting fuel with trucks that are larger than needed. With online exchange platforms, haulage companies don’t have to increase the size of their fleet, but can instead contract drivers and vehicles as needed. This flexibility helps to keep down fuel costs for both haulage companies and freight forwarders.
The UK is currently in the middle of a driver shortage crisis, which the Freight Transport Association attributes to an ageing workforce of professional HGV drivers, as well as a lack of new entrants. According to the FTA, young people may be disinclined to consider driving as a career option, for a number of reasons including, “the cost of licence acquisition, lack of understanding of the sector, poor sector image, driver medical requirements and low quality driver facilities.”
Freight exchange platforms can help allocate the shrinking driving workforce more efficiently, by putting haulage companies and freight forwarders in direct contact with available drivers. Some exchanges can even send notifications to drivers’ phones through a mobile app, notifying them of potential loads while they are already out on the road. Haulage exchanges are making it easy for drivers to find work, something that might attract potential new drivers who will see how exchanges are rapidly changing the haulage industry for the better.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for haulage work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.