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Freight Exchange Or Baked Beans?

Nov 13, 2007
Truckers and haulage drivers have a tough choice sometimes. And while the sweet taste of a juicy breakfast may seem the perfect end to a job well done, a well planned backload from a freight exchange can create more paid work on completion of a job.

Let me explain.

In traditional haulage and freight transportation a trucker gets a delivery, and takes it from A to B (let's say Aldershot to Basingstoke). Trucker gets paid, company get their delivery - everyone's happy.

Except that the trucker has the trip back to their Aldershot to look forward to, and this time without any pay to cover the distance - or dead mileage. It wastes time, it wastes money and it eats into profits - whether the driver is an owner operator or works for a big haulage company.

And this is where freight exchanges come in.

Think of a freight exchange as a dating service for cargo. Freight forwarders post the loads they want to be delivered and the truckers sign up for loads they want to deliver. Then the two parties agree an appropriate fee and the delivery is made.

But how does this help our friend making the lonely journey back from Basingstoke? Simple - if he's aware in advance that he's going to be running empty back to Aldershot that afternoon, he can visit the 'freight dating' scene and look for any freight forwarders looking to send a package from Aldershot to Basingstoke - or any town en route. If he finds a backload (as they are known in the business), the company get their package delivered in a timely manner, the driver cuts down on his time driving unpaid, and the freight forwarder gets their load delivered. Everybody wins - except as mentioned earlier, our haulage driving friend delays his juicy breakfast reward, but life's a compromise.

Freight exchanges are nothing new, and have been around for decades, but as technology develops we're seeing new technologies in the industry, making things even easier. The freight exchanges I represent, Courier Exchange (http://www.courierexchange.co.uk) and Haulage Exchange (http://www.haulageexchange.co.uk), have their own e-payment system for the quick transfer of invoices, a mobile phone network allowing drivers to be contacted by the freight exchange while on the road and a system of freight alerts which inform haulage companies and owner operators when new loads are posted on the freight exchange which are suitable for them.

It's come a long way from just driving freight from A to B, and no doubt there are some interesting developments for the humble freight exchange in the future.
About the Author
Luke Humble is the Website manager for The Transport Exchange Group. Haulage Exchange, their UK freight exchange for the 7.5tonne and over market is one of the largest and fastest growing independent freight exchanges in the country.
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