What is a backhaul?
A backhaul, as it relates to trucking and logistics, is the return trip of a commercial truck that is transporting freight back over all or part of the same route it took to get to its current location. Both freight brokers and motor carriers rely heavily on one another when it comes to backhauls. They are also sometimes referred to as “deadheads” in the trucking industry.
How can I get backhaul rates?
Because technology improves every year, getting special backhaul rates is more difficult. Cargo gets placed more efficiently. Open space for backhauls finds cargo. The supply goes down, and the prices go up. Calling a truck company or truck broker and asking for a backhaul rate doesn’t bear fruit. If it did, no one would buy anything but backhauls.
How can I avoid paying too much for trucking?
It is counterintuitive, but only working with companies that own their own trucks costs more. The reason is that these asset based carriers must cost in the backhaul. Going to a broker means being able to avoid this cost. Brokers go to list boards on the internet to find truckers and hire them for just a specific run and nothing more. Any trucker who costs in a backhaul loses business to the truckers who do not. When a customer works only with truck owners, they have to pay these costs. Little do they know that their truck vendors get backhauls through the internet based load boards. The picky customers who don’t work with brokers end up paying more than those who pay brokers. Cutting out the middle-man, means cutting out market knowledge. Brokers are useful to people who want to pay less, not more.
What technology can I use to find backhauls?
There are a number of load boards one can use. But at the end of the day, technology doesn’t move freight. Trucks move freight. Unless your company is willing to invest in having a full time truck broker in-house, it is better to outsource this to a professional. Sorry, but when moving 40,000 lbs of freight, nope, there is NOT “an app for that.”