Freight exchange platforms have been around for years but, now more than ever, they are becoming essential business generators for drivers, and essential operations tools for haulage companies. The numbers speak volumes as the industry continues to see steady growth throughout, much of which has been attributed to exchange platforms. By consolidating the information needed by companies, both large and small, freight exchange networks have levelled the playing field and opened doors for a more lucrative and cost-effective business model for all. |
The haulage and logistics industry has managed to evolve with the times by embracing new technologies and remaining flexible to change. As the world has grown smaller, logistically, opportunities have opened up for smaller business entrepreneurs enabling them to stay competitive with even the largest and most established haulage companies.
Previously, most operators worked with counterparties based on well-established long- term relationships. Thus each end of the chain knew each other’s needs and practices and their loyalty to each other was what cemented the contract. Carriers hoping to crack into more than just the domestic scene were limited by their lack of knowledge regarding finding orders, by ignorance of foreign laws and by language barriers. Freight exchange platforms revolutionised the system, slowly eliminating these obstacles and opening up foreign and domestic business opportunities for everyone.
How it Works
Now, due to the comprehensive nature of the freight exchange platforms, businesses of all sizes have equal access to all the necessary information needed to build their own connections. The exchange allows end-users to ‘shop’ for prospective loads or vehicles, and most importantly takes the guess work out of verifying the credibility of counterparties.
There is a huge diversity of sources of transport orders and requests allowing enterprises to pick and choose the right job. This detailed source of information provides end-users with points of reference, and opportunities for negotiation. Users can then also place and review comments regarding companies and thus build their brand’s reputation. The risk of returning with an empty trailer is minimised, making the whole business model far more cost effective and efficient.
This openly available database of vital information has levelled the playing field for many small-to-medium haulage companies. By winning certificates or positive feedback for job performance on the exchange even the smallest of ‘mom-and-pop’ style organisations can compete with the giants of the industry.
Proof in the Pudding
The positive effects of exchange networks cannot be denied. Growth rates have been shown to be increasing by an additional 10% since the utilisation of freight exchange platforms began. Haulage companies have benefited from easier methods of establishing new international relationships, enhanced security of cooperation and cost optimisation.
Although the system was designed to overcome existing obstacles it has not been without problems itself. However, as newer technologies come along, including greater access and faster updates to listing information through online and social media networks, it has shown that, yet again, the industry has the strength to embrace the changing future and utilise it for the sector’s benefit.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their online freight exchange, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching loads and with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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