For small and medium-sized businesses that operate domestically, road freight offers numerous benefits. There’s much less capital outlay compared to other modes of transport, and it’s the best option for door-to-door service.
Plus, road freight services are flexible as timing can be easily adjusted, and individual requirements are more likely to be addressed.
However, road freight transportation has many challenges too, and industry leaders are always looking for ways to make improvements. In this article, we’ll talk about the unique problems of road freight, and more importantly, about the specific efforts to make things better.
When discussing how to make road freight better, fuel management and efficiency are the first issues raised. The majority of domestic goods are transported by freight trucks, so there are genuine concerns regarding carbon emissions.
While the concern about climate change and the effects of road freight are relevant, better fuel management is also essential from a business perspective.
Platforms such as the Green Freight Europe initiative are an excellent example. They monitor and report road freight carbon emissions and help shipping companies use best practices.
However, while these initiatives make a lot of difference, we’ll likely need technology-specific mandates and subsidies from the government and other complementary regulations for greater fuel efficiency.
Better and more intelligent transportation systems, exclusive truck lanes, congestion pricing for road tolls are some of the changes we might expect in the future.
Finally, investing in driver training can have a significant impact as well. Learning about how to minimise speed fluctuations, engine braking, and manage heavy diesel engine vehicles in idle mode can make a meaningful difference.
Road freight services have a few downsides as well, one of which is that trucks tend to break down from time to time. A flat tire or something more serious can cause shipping delays and consequently affect the supply chain.
Frequent delays, expensive repairs, and shipping penalties can all be mitigated with regular vehicle maintenance. Trucking business owners with a savvier mindset know how important it is to prioritise proper care.
It’s vital to check the oil, tires, air filters, and every part of the truck as often as possible. These conscious efforts will save money and energy and ensure the safety of drivers and the cargo.
Not to mention that improperly maintained trucks are not fuel-efficient and can shorten the lifespan of the vehicle.
Fleet Tracking Tools
In the road freight industry, tracking the vehicles and shipments in the fleet is essential. But that can become quite challenging if you have to keep track of hundreds of vehicles at a time.
It’s not just the whereabouts of the vehicles either, but the cargo they carry. It’s imperative to know where it is and how long before it arrives.
That’s why fleet tracking tools can be immensely helpful to achieve this goal. For example, an efficient GPS tracking system can allow carriers to keep an eye on multiple things simultaneously, such as the truck’s speed, the interval of breaks taken, and the idle time of the vehicle.
Updating Security Measures
Perhaps a less talked about issue in the road freight industry is thefts during the shipping process. The cargo is particularly vulnerable while at the dock when the trucks are typically unattended.
When it comes to security, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It all depends on the type of facility in question and how big of a problem the thefts are.
Security cameras, freight tracking technology, and impeccable paperwork are one of the most common preventative measures.
Moreover, ensuring the loading and unloading process is faster and more convenient will lessen the chances of any incidents.
Guiding trucks to the dock using mirrors, wheel guides, and bumpers will save a lot of time and make the entire loading and unloading more efficient.
Making the Road Freight Better for Everyone
Indeed, everyone benefits from having a more fuel-efficient and better-organised road freight system. Cutting carbon emissions has already been a priority for many road freight shipping companies and freight forwarders.
While we might have to wait for bigger changes, there are steps trucking businesses can take to move road freight to a higher level. Partnering with freight forwarder companies is often the best approach.
GenX Freight has the experience and expertise to manage all road freight services and is in line with the Green Freight Europe initiative.