UK freight carriers and shippers could save as much as £6.5 billion annually by taking advantage of online commerce, according to David Jennison, UK managing director of online freight marketplace OnTruck.
Speaking at the Commercial Vehicle Show at Birmingham’s NEC last month, Jennison said: “Nowadays, most of us are used to looking online to find the best suppliers, lowest prices or the best tool. However, many business practices in road freight remain tethered to manual, offline processes such as phone or fax.
“Most matching of shipment to haulier is done this way and routing is typically manual, or left to the haulier to figure out. As a result, at least a third of UK trucks on the road are empty at any one time and the remainder, on average, are only 68 per cent loaded.
“This means that for over 50 per cent of the time a truck is on the road it is not earning money. Our analysis suggests that a technology driven approach to pricing, shipment matching and routing would drive a 25 per cent improvement in efficiency, resulting in immense savings for UK road freight businesses. This is money that UK businesses can ill afford to waste.”
OnTruck, whose home market is Spain, attended the CV Show as part of its UK market growth strategy. The company’s cloud-based booking platform and mobile app is said to connect shippers and carriers quickly and easily, improving price-competitiveness and flexibility for those sending freight and boosting vehicle utilisation and convenience for road hauliers.
The elimination of market inefficiency is central to how OnTruck works, says Jennison.
“The key is our routing algorithm, which matches demand with available supply and optimises routes for each journey. Carriers can complete more jobs in a day, greatly reducing the number of empty miles.
“There’s now no need for a carrier to travel 50 miles with an empty truck to pick up a couple of pallets, when we can build them a route that picks up multiple jobs along the way. Our long-term goal is to kill the concept of the empty truck.”
Since launching in the UK last September, OnTruck says it has completed well over 1,700 shipments and more than 120,000 loaded miles, shipping palletised goods for manufacturers, retailers and freight forwarders via a rapidly growing base of more than 250 carriers.