Empty miles weigh heavily on the minds of both shippers and carriers who are involved in the transport of truckload cargo. Not only do empty miles fail to generate revenue, but they increase transportation operating costs, and omit unnecessary carbon emissions into our environment. Knowing that transportation is a costly and critical supply chain component, finding ways to reduce waste [empty miles] will help reduce cost while saving the environment.
Empty miles occur most often after a truck delivers a full shipment to the intended location, and then heads home or heads to the next pickup location with no cargo on board. According to the Bureau of Transportation, more than a third of the heavy-duty vehicles on the road move empty. So what can be done to reduce, or eliminate empty miles? According to Dean Corbolotti, Sleek Technologies VP of managed services, “Shippers need to embrace a new automated way to procure freight.”
Routing Guides Provide Rates, Not Trucks in the Right Place
Shippers spend hours meticulously planning out the routing guide, which on paper illustrates the perfect transportation plan with limited deadheading. But as transportation insiders know all too well, routing guides provide rates, not trucks in the right location. “As the typical waterfall routing guide operates, the likelihood of having a compliant carrier readily available at the perfect time and place to help avoid empty miles is unlikely,” said Corbolotti.
To overcome routing guide pitfalls, innovative shippers have embraced breakthrough automation software that dynamically expands compliant truckload capacity when needed most. “Shippers who have not yet advanced freight procurement operations, will continue to struggle to achieve both financial and sustainability goals,” said Corbolotti.
The New Way Forward: Freight Procurement Automation
Award-winning automation software utilizes AI/ML algorithms to dynamically match shipper loads to compliant, asset-based carriers at the right time, the right place, and the right price. When loads are matched to a carrier at the perfect time and place, empty miles are virtually eliminated. Not only does a shipper’s transportation efforts become more sustainable, but shippers also experience reduced truckload cost and stronger service levels (OTD).