At times, it’s more economically feasible for a driver to run an empty truck than wait for back loads. However, many transporters are missing out on opportunities to make more money while being on the road.
In the busy haulage industry, this ‘freight waste’ caused by trucks traveling empty leads to unnecessary traffic congestion, higher fuel consumption and more carbon emissions. Those empty kilometers come with an economic and environmental cost. In Europe, that cost is high: more than 25% of trucks on the road are traveling empty.
While reducing empty kilometers is a challenge, online freight exchange platforms such as XPO Connect are making great strides in helping carriers optimize loads on return journeys and avoid empty trucks.
Improving truck fill rates with online freight exchange
So far this year, carriers with loads booked on XPO Connect have hauled freight an average of 700,000 kilometers per week. Using real-time data and advanced analytics, XPO Connect dynamically matches shippers’ loads with available trucks. From a central platform and single sign-in personal dashboard, carriers can find loads that match their routes, equipment and preferred freight profile. Carriers then place a bid, negotiate price or book instantly through the online portal or Drive XPO app.
To help reduce empty loads on return journeys, carriers can View Reloads to help plan their next loads. This means carriers can view all available loads near their delivery location and bid on potential loads that fit their needs. With Plan Your Next Move, carriers can find backhauls near their destination and reduce expensive empty running.
Benefits of online haulage exchange platforms
An empty truck is a missed opportunity. The digitalization of the freight exchange ecosystem helps prevent this by responding to the needs of all parties in the transport supply chain.
Online freight exchange platforms are growing in popularity as an increasing number of carriers realize their many benefits, including:
- Helping drivers optimize loads and monetize return journeys while reducing empty miles. This helps reduce the carbon footprint of the whole road transport industry.
- A complete overview of a carrier’s activity-related trends thanks to key engagement metrics and advanced analytics, all via a personalized dashboard.
- The ability to book loads on the go (in the case of XPO Connect, via the Drive XPO app).
- Reducing the administrative burden by eliminating check calls and paperwork. Carriers save valuable time by uploading documents directly to the platform, which can be checked and authorized within minutes. The technology enables real-time communication between shippers and carriers.
More than 20,000 carriers are registered on XPO Connect in Europe. These carriers have access to over 20,000 load opportunities each month.