The Logistics Terminal

Cutting Costs And Carbon

Cutting Costs And Carbon

Richard Newbold, owner of Returnloads.net, says online haulage exchange companies can reduce costs and carbon emissions.
The evolution of online haulage market places across the UK is enabling hauliers to locate loads on the move remotely, improving the efficiency of the supply chain process for distributors of building materials, such as timber products.
In the past those in the trade would be forced to phone around to engineer a relatively modest, yet trusted, network of hauliers with necessary space and within close proximity to transport and retrieve timber goods.
However, as an innovative supply chain solution, online haulage marketplaces move far beyond traditional logistics and transportation services to offer suppliers and hauliers added value.
For timber and forestry firms, the ability to use a haulage exchange site to cover their loads is potentially a significant cost-saving attraction. They cut out the need to use local hauliers at outward-bound rates or agents who may sub-contract loads on their behalf.
In the timber trade, success in getting loads covered quickly by reliable haulage companies is undoubtedly the name of the game. Timber companies can take advantage of online haulage exchanges to make new contacts, while saving overheads.
The latest technology used in our haulage exchanges makes covering loads easy by using notification systems and apps so haulage companies can monitor real-time information and can even locate loads while on the move.
For the first time, those in the timber trade will be empowered to control the delivery of their products by allowing hauliers to view available loads on a daily basis on an Android, iPhone or iPad.
In order to account for consumers buying timber products demanding a consistently quicker delivery of goods, these online exchanges mean timber companies will be able to offer a just-in-time delivery service to their clients by finding available trucks on the day they take the order, thus offering a next-day delivery service to customers.
The benefits of an online haulage exchange to the timber industry are arguably two-fold – the cost-saving element and the environmental aspect.
Colin Tetley, operations manager of Altripan Ltd, believes more timber companies should consider these exchanges.
“As a major importer of forest products to the UK we bring sheet material and timber into various ports around the country and find that using online haulage exchange facilities helps us move our cargo efficiently at a cost-effective price,” he said.
“We are also conscious of the environmental aspect of heavy haulage and, as a company, we always look for ways of distributing our goods in an ergonomic way and find that by helping to fill up vehicles that would otherwise run home empty that we are helping the environment.”
Similarly, The Logistics Terminal (TLT) based in Tilbury, Essex, is fast becoming the major ‘portcentric’ operation within the area. The company uses haulage exchange to transport thousands of tons of forest and timber products on an annual basis.
“We started using online haulage exchange a year or so ago and have saved over £20,000 so far by using backload haulage directly,” said TLT managing partner Mike Brown.
The government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions to 50% of 1990 levels by 2025 also fits nicely with the use of online haulage exchanges.
Fuel represents nearly 40% of all operation costs and every pound that the government takes on tax is a pound that can’t be spent on new vehicles or technology to reduce emissions.
Subsequently, Returnloads.net alone has already saved more than 150,000 HGV journeys in the past 12 months. Further estimates suggest the UK haulage industry as a whole could save more than 40 million miles of empty journeys by making use of spare capacity in vehicles en route back to base.
In this day and age when everyone is wholly aware of emissions and carbon usage, the ease of access to an online haulage market place is evidence to customers and clients that your business is concerned about saving the environment.
This is not achieved just by planting new trees for every tree that is cut down but also by helping to fill trucks that would otherwise have been returning home empty, drastically reducing wasted emissions.
These revamped networks herald a new benchmark for logistic excellence in the timber trade and beyond.