Five freight exchange benefits
In his debut article for FleetPoint, Richard Newbold calls upon thirty years in the Transport and logistics industry to analyse the benefits you can attain from using a freight exhange
The immediate benefits of using a freight exchange network may be quite obvious, however there are a number of less obvious benefits that, if you are not currently a member of a freight exchange, may surprise you.
Here is a run-down of some of the key ones:
Finding delivery work
This is the most blatant of benefits to being part of a freight exchange. Having access to thousands of delivery jobs every day can help your business increase revenue and profits. With a freight exchange you will have access to thousands of loads every day, and with the diversity of loads that are available (part loads, full loads, courier loads and truck loads) you will be able to choose the best delivery job for your business in terms of suitability, route and rates.
Turn ‘Dead Mileage’ into ‘Revenue Mileage’
An issue that still faces many transport companies today is their vehicles often return back from delivery jobs empty carrying nothing but fresh air. After goods are delivered they would spend hours on the road burning fuel on the way back to their depots. This waste in fuel is known as ‘Dead Mileage’ and is very common within the road haulage industry, 28.6% of all trucks on the road today are empty.
In the past, transport companies had to take on work not knowing whether they would find a back load for their return journey or not. Thankfully, since the arrival of freight exchange networks, it has become much easier and quicker to find back loads for return journeys.
When using a freight exchange you can work proactively to find a back load firstly by advertising your available vehicle capacity and route to all of the loaders then secondly by looking through the available loads to see if there is anything suitable. Joining a freight exchange will vastly increase your chances of finding a back load.
Improve time management
In business time is money, the only real difference between the two is money can be earned back whereas when time is gone it is gone for good. Efficient time management can be found at the center of any successful business. Those companies that use a freight exchange will tell you just how much time it can save. The days of making endless phone calls to find out if your contacts have an available load or spare vehicle capacity is all but over. The ability to access so many loads from a wide range of companies all in one place in real time can save you hours every day, hours which could be spent on other areas of your business.
Take on more customers
Most transport companies at one time or another have had to turn business away due to their fleet being busy or not having the correct type of vehicle for the job. With a freight exchange you no longer need to turn that business away as you can call on the resources of other members and utilise their empty vehicles by sub-contracting out any excess loads.
Long-term business relationships
A freight exchange gives you a variety of industry contacts at your fingertips. If you are looking for delivery work, back loads, empty vehicles or drivers you can find them all. All the opportunities are there to contact and work with key industry players while building lasting relationships that could help grow your business.
When considering the minimal costs of joining a freight exchange the financial returns can heavily outweigh the cost. Although freight exchange rates and prices can differ from exchange to exchange there really are so many benefits that the cost is usually absorbed quickly. Feel free to read some case studies from members of the Returnloads.net freight exchange.
Richard Newbold is CEO of Triple A Transport and has spent thirty years in the Transport & logistics industry