Welcome to week four of the Carrier Issues Series. This week, we are exploring optimization in the freight industry. With the recent complexities of supply and demand chains, this has never been more crucial. Logistics companies have been experiencing a tug of war since COVID-19 hit; therefore, to not only recover from this pandemic, but to fully maximize business potential stems from freight optimization.
To optimize means to make the most of a situation, or resource. To relate this to logistics, optimization begins streamlining all areas of transportation. A beneficial way to go about this is investing in a system that does the strategic work for you, also known as a load planning software.
A load plan is to streamline all areas in the transportation process; from the shipper to consignee. This is designed to increase trip efficiency, allowing carriers and owner-operators to capitalize on the freight market. While many transportation management systems (TMS) have been developed to cater to load planning, oftentimes they fall short, not accounting for vital areas for ultimate optimization. The following are the critical variables for load planning and logistics management in order to stay ahead of the pack: weight, lanes, price, fragility and most importantly (and least recognized) backhaul. Whether it be one truck or 100, load plans are essential for transportation companies to succeed to new heights, especially during this unprecedented time.
This is a major factor that many carriers or load planning software do not take into account, and it is critical for optimization. Backhaul is categorized as the return trip for a carrier. If a backhaul is not planned after a drop off, this can leave carriers deadheading; which means to drive a truck with an empty trailer. While this seems like an easy step to avoid, deadheading is a common misstep in freight and puts carriers at a disadvantage in the long run. For example, a rate for a long haul from Miami to New York City is tempting with a booming rate, however, incorporating a backhaul is what is critical for the return trip home. Absence of a planned backhaul may leave carriers sitting at the consignee’s destination waiting for a new load or deadheading. Either way, this is a practice that can be avoided in order to increase profitability and productivity for the carrier.
Planning a backhaul is essential for freight optimization, therefore, it is important to plan delivery and pickup routes accordingly. Planning to utilize every mile traveled requires innovation, and FreightWeb is here to with a solution to help this.
As mentioned previously, many carriers do not plan backhauls; therefore, finding a transportation management system that reminds them of this opportunity is beneficial. While previously, backhauls and load planning were in the hands of brokers; now, FreightWeb has placed this power back into the hands of carriers. FreightWeb’s innovative software system is dedicated to optimizing all areas for carriers, which starts with load planning. Our Carrier Hub has embedded backhaul into our load planning process, making it very advantageous for our users. This accelerates carriers’ ability to keep trucks full and moving on their routes. Not only that, but a variety of tools are also available such as pricing tools, shipment management, and reporting; creating a stronger, more stable way of handling a volatile transportation industry.