“Today’s economic uncertainty has brought transportation and distribution operations back to the boardroom,” observed Brad Wyland of the Aberdeen Group in a recent issue of Global Logistic and Supply Chain Strategies. For companies of all sizes, transporting goods has become a major economic issue. Rising fuel costs and the need to tighten cost control across the board make transport a key concern for manufacturers.
Backhauls can be a significant factor in reducing transport costs for ground freight.
When a truck carries product to a destination, and then returns empty to its starting point, the cost for transport is nearly double the cost of merely sending the product to its destination. When a manufacturer or distributor can find a way to bring a product back instead of having the truck make an empty backhaul, it’s like sharing the transport cost with another distributor.
Using backhauls to cut costs and increase efficiency has other benefits:
- Reducing empty backhauls is the green choice, reducing overall use of fossil fuels.
- Cutting costs in this way helps companies avoid cutting corners in areas that affect quality, service, or safety.
- With proper logistics management, carriers as well as distributers benefit from backhauls, which may not be the case with other cost-cutting measures.
How can companies encourage backhauls among their manufacturers and distributers? Simply suggest it. How can distributers find backhaul opportunities?
- Check with your carriers and see whether they can use backhauls to cut your costs. Carriers often use online backhaul boards to find opportunities of this kind.
- Load-matching services can help high-volume users, though some of these services charge high suibscription fees.
- Contact a backhaul broker. These specialists can make the arrangements for you at no cost to your company.