The rapidly deteriorating state of the economy, and the rise in fuel prices that it inevitably brings along, have been placing the haulage industry in increasingly dire straits. Runs are no longer as profitable as they would have been a short few years ago, and hauliers and haulage companies are having to come up with ways to make their businesses more profitable.
In this regard, groupage and return loads have been gaining increasing importance as a means for hauliers to make their journeys a touch more profitable. However, these practises are not exclusively beneficial for individuals – companies can benefit from them as well, namely to save on transport costs and booking fees.
‘Groupage’ is the practice whereby any number of smaller or lighter items are combined together into one larger shipment, rather than shipped separately one or two at a time. The advantages of this service to both drivers and enterprises are immediately apparent. The former make more money on a single delivery, while saving up on the fuel that would otherwise be needed for the several trips back and forth. Companies, on the other hand, only need to book and pay for haulage services once, which considerably reduces the hassle while allowing the business to save the money required to cover repeat booking fees and haulier journeys.
Return loads are any loads picked up by a driver on their way back from another delivery. So, if a driver were to take a shipment from Portsmouth to Newcastle, he or she could then pick up another delivery on the way back, thereby making their journey a ‘2-for-1’ in terms of deliveries and getting better return on investment for both themselves and the company.
Picking up return loads is a perfectly legitimate, and very cost-effective, practice and it is often logged by the companies themselves. This way, they can save up on fuel while still providing top-notch services and answering all their calls. At the business end, this practice is not really impactful (unlike ‘groupage’), but for a haulage company, it may well mean a few more pounds saved at the end of the month.
It becomes evident, then, that ‘groupage’ and return loads are important instruments in a haulage company’s struggle for survival in present-day economy. It is therefore unsurprising to discover that more and more of them are adhering to these practices as a rule of thumb.