How Haulage Companies Can Better Deal with Traffic
Busy intersections and congested roads are the banes of haulage companies' lives. But proper measures can be taken to lessen the problem.
Knowing how to avoid and effectively deal with traffic is a must for the drivers and management of haulage companies. Diving headlong into traffic can – and will – cause deliveries to come in late. If clients start to lose confidence, they may start looking around for someone else to get their transport completed on time.
Rush hours vary in different towns and cities
Just because rush hour in one place starts at 6:00 am doesn’t mean that all rush hours start at 6:00 am. Plan ahead and check what time morning and evening rush hours start (and end) in the various points along a route.
Avoid routes with merging lanes
Whenever possible, instruct drivers to plot out routes that avoid intersections or merging lanes. Fewer turns and vehicles squeezing into traffic will help keep the traffic flowing instead of clogging up.
Find and monitor traffic radio stations
Both small and larger scale haulage companies will benefit from tuning into traffic radio stations. Knowing which routes are starting to get congested due to repairs or accidents is a boon when it comes to avoiding traffic. CB radio operators can monitor these stations and then inform their drivers about any congested routes.
Invest in route planning software
GPS navigation software will not only help drivers weave through unknown roads, but it also helps by offering alternative routes when the main thoroughfares are bogged down in traffic. It is an investment that pays for itself in the long run.
Combine defensive driving with high morale
Keep track of city and community events
A minor parade or festival in a small town can spell disaster for haulage companies running on a tight schedule. It is worth checking up on the community websites of towns to be aware of events that could delay deliveries.
Long-distance hauling, when drivers need to stop and rest for the night, will be impossible if they can’t find a good designated parking spot. Encourage drivers to park early in a stop – around 3-4 pm – and then to leave early – 2-3 am – to reduce
Keep in close contact when stuck in traffic
Management needs to go into damage control mode when drivers get stuck in traffic that will delay them enough to affect their schedules. Providing regular updates to clients will help ease their frustration and help them better estimate when their cargo will arrive.
Offer compensation options when late
If your deliveries arrive much later than intended (whatever the reason), make sure you have policies in place to compensate disgruntled clients. Discounting a percentage of the delivery fee for each hour delayed or waiving the fee in its entirety is a good way to regain the good will of the customer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.