A trucker’s empty journey is one of the most frustrating aspects of the profession. It is also one of the most widespread. Not only are some trucks filled with no cargo or a few empty pallets, but it is rare to have a day without an empty journey among long-haul drivers.
In fact, it has been estimated that American trucks travel empty for 50 billion miles each year.
Why are empty journeys an issue?
An empty journey is a costly expense for the owner of the truck and causes a great loss in fuel and wear of the truck. It’s not only cost and wear and tear that is a problem – but there is also a cost to the environment in terms of extra emissions and congestion causes adds to poor air quality and increased greenhouse gases.
These issues, combined with strict legislative rules, have led many companies to utilize incentives to encourage drivers with empty trucks to reduce empty journeys.
Load consolidation is the process of reducing the number of empty trucks on a single route and having the driver switch between multiple trucks. The biggest drawback to load consolidation is that it often requires new scheduling, which results in a loss of income while a driver has to switch between routes.
Utilize load boards
What is a load board? When truck drivers are looking for work, they can turn to truck brokers that can bring an individual or company requiring a truckload to be delivered with a transport service together. For example, Shiply provides a platform that allows companies to advertise loads for truckers that they can bid on to complete the delivery.
The advantages of reducing empty miles traveled by truckers include:
Reduced empty truck miles
Not only are empty vehicle miles reduced, but companies are also able to reduce their costs by finding the best price for their delivery. Companies can keep their trucks in demand and do not need to wait around for work.
Reduce environmental impact
Reducing empty truck mileage also reduces their environmental impact. It’s not only the delivery of goods that are reduced but also the emissions of greenhouse gases.
The number one pollutant blamed on air pollution in the United States is carbon dioxide, released by burning fuel. Truckers have been known to have trucks running all day and all night – consuming significant amounts of fuel and emitting a significant amount of pollution.
Traffic is a major issue in most cities across the US. Anything that can be done to reduce the number of miles traveled by empty trucks will help to improve traffic for all road users.
Reduced delivery costs
Cutting down on empty truck journeys will help to reduce transportation costs which in turn will reduce the cost to the end-user. This has the effect of increasing competition, benefiting the consumer.
As well as the reduced pollution, traffic, and delivery costs, a lower carbon footprint will also lead to a more positive corporate image for companies that are serious about their eco-friendly credentials.