Road Haulage and Changing Technology in the UK Transportation Industry

Road Haulage and Changing Technology in the UK Transportation Industry

Road Haulage is constantly evolving in terms of internal planning, given an increase in urgent demand and the emergence of new technologies. Predictive logistics, which is based upon constant streams of load data, is playing an increasingly important role in this revolutionary shift from traditional phone calls to online transport planning assisted by platforms such as the leading online freight exchange in the UK.


Planning and Prediction of Fleet Data

With data analysis, predictive logistics can now identify patterns for road haulage vehicles and transform them into a useful tool managing the entire supply chain, including road transportation. Predictive logistics improves the efficiency of the haulage carried out in each area of the supply chain in various ways.


Management of your Fleet

What does risk management of a road haulage fleet consist of?  Knowing at exactly what time of year the demand for your logistics service will reduce and what time of year the demand increases. Knowing the most likely areas of heavy traffic and how to avoid them. Also being aware of goods that require particular care during packaging because they are fragile. Also knowing which areas of the country offer more backloads and which areas of the country offer less. These are all examples of how predictive management, also known as predictive management, can reduce direct and indirect costs ensuing from undesirable situations.


Planning Fleet Capacity

Aligning your logistical capacity with the exact demand makes it possible to predict an increase in capital, as well as adapt human and material resources to different situations so as to eliminate gaps. Predictive algorithms help to avoid financial tensions ensuing from undesirable situations. For example running a smaller fleet of your own and sub-contracting excess loads may be a better and more efficient way of coping with the peaks and troughs of the demand for your services. This can be achieved through membership of freight exchanges like which enables its members to easily find sub-contract hauliers to cover work they cannot manage on their own fleet.


Maintenance Planning through Technology

Data analysis will tell a company when to carry out maintenance and when to maintain or switch vehicles, whether they are responsible for the warehouse or road transportation. In this way, action protocols are established, minimizing vehicle problems and extending the useful life of vehicles. The regular maintenance of critical machinery is crucial to prevent costly operational breakdowns which result in letting down customers. The same applies to maintenance of handling machinery which operate within a warehouse situation. Again to avoid over exerting your own handling machinery it is now possible to sub-contract warehousing enquiries when you are at full capacity through platforms such as


Vehicle Scheduling

Scheduling deliveries in advance improves road transportation, because it speeds up the entire process from the outset. Data analysis makes it possible to set up a more dynamic, efficient management model through freight exchange membership. You can schedule return loads in advance now through use of the platforms available online.


18 years of Road Haulage Data

Road Haulage, backloads outbound freight and direct deliveries generate vast amounts of data in the course of a day, a week a year or even 18 years that Returnloads has been in operation as the UK’s leading road haulage marketplace. After due analysis, geolocation, sensors, databases and integrated fleet management promote more efficient real-time decision-making. Ultimately, the beneficiary of each improved process is the end user, whether that is another business or an individual. The end use benefits from companies’ considerably improved productivity and their reduced costs. Predictive logistics is also useful for the management of returns within the road haulage supply chain.


Transformation in Road Haulage Technology

The stage on which logistics and road haulage are currently operating is one of transformation, in which haulage data is crucial for the predictive supply chain. The challenge that logistic companies currently face is distinguishing valuable data from data that is of little use for prediction. Only by resolving that challenge can market demand be met and vital profitability achieved.


Road Transport in the Future

Road transport and logistics are so constantly evolving that it is sometimes difficult to make forecasts in the short and medium term. However, those who work in these industries  know the next challenges they will face and that is the one of persuading their traffic management operators to embrace new technology.


Current Challenges in the Road Haulage Industry

The road haulage industry has been described by various logistical studies conducted in the UK as one of the most archaic industries which needs transformation to bring it up to the challenges of the 21st century.


Adapting to Change

It is estimated that in many cases, haulage companies are not flexible enough to satisfy their client’s demands, or hauliers provide a substandard service. Adapting delivery conditions (time and place) to demand is a vital challenge for the new economy. Many haulage companies simply say ‘no’ if their fleet is at full capacity rather than trying to find a solution by working with other hauliers through online platforms.


Transport can be Profitable if run well

Risks in road transport have decreased in recent years due to less empty running through the use of online freight exchange platforms, but they still exist. Being able to keep a close eye on your fleet through tracking systems and fleet management systems, which can pinpoint each vehicle at any given time are both useful for efficient management as well as cost savings.


EU and UK Road Haulage Regulations

European road transport is subject to different regulations in each country. The lack of harmonization between the members of the European Union penalizes hauliers as it implies a certain cost in keeping up with each government’s requirements. It is also the cause of avoidable administrative errors. However it is predicted that after Brexit the UK will be able to control its own regulations and assist UK hauliers with regulations that only apply to the UK.


Planning within Haulage

To avoid extra costs, it is crucial to coordinate and plan transport so as to benefit from inter-modal platforms. If road transport operators form an alliance with each other through membership of online platforms everyone stands to gain.


Staff Training

Developing a comprehensive training plan for both drivers and office staff would foster different levels of technical requirement across the supply chain. It would also guarantee access to the new technologies now available in the industry and set in motion training initiatives.


Saving the Environment through Efficiency

Another challenge is to bring about more environmentally sustainable road transport. Route optimization, the use of clean fuel, sustainable urban distribution and the employment of fleet managers all contribute to reducing the amount of polluting gases released into the atmosphere by HGV’s. Through membership of freight exchanges such as returnloads road haulage companies can save many wasted empty journeys thus contributing towards ways of saving the planet and producing less CO 2.


Basic Truck Maintenance

No transport company likes to experience breakdowns. Besides the setback that can leave them high and dry, repairs mean a financial cost. Preventive maintenance can forestall many problems.


Fleet Maintenance

Hauliers and Couriers are the cornerstones of goods transport. Keeping vehicles in the best possible condition goes beyond passing the regular maintenance tests required by law. With some advice on basic preventive maintenance, you will not have cause to regret costly break-downs that would not only end up in you letting clients down but would cost heavily in towing vehicles back to base or having repairs done by the roadside.


Driver Daily Checks

Drivers should always inform the office when having problems in engaging gears, strange sounds when changing gear or periodically “slipping out of gear” etc.
Such problems can be avoided by ensuring that the oil used to lubricate the transmission is sufficiently viscous. Oil thins over time and driving with thin oil can cause dangerous overheating and eventual breakdown. Drivers should check the oil level daily to ensure that there are no leaks. The oil should be checked when it is cold, with the engine turned off and the handbrake on, and with the truck parked on a level surface.


Checking Under a Truck or Trailer

The suspension not only supports the weight of both truck and cargo, it also ensures stability, and braking force, connects the wheels to the frame and reduces the shocks and vibrations caused by road travel. If the suspension is in poor condition, your truck could lean to one side or the other, directly contributing to the wear of tyres and other vehicle systems and components. Driver should look at the shock absorbents to detect cracks or damage of any kind and ensure there are no oil leaks.Every month, your driver should check the lubrication of the chassis, replace bolts that are old or in poor condition and inspect the bushing in each torque arm. Each quarter you should check whether any components need tightening and whether the joints are rusty or dirty. These precautions are compatible with other long-term maintenance such as lubricating and readjusting the suspension every 5,000 km, or realigning and balancing the wheels every 10,000 km.

Other maintenance Suggestions

The state of the tyres is extremely important for the safety, fuel consumption and pollution of any vehicle, but even more so for a truck used for pallet transport. Check that tyres still have the proper shape and that tyre pressure is right. Check they have no bulges and that the tread is not worn down on one side or on the inside of the tyre. Also pay attention to lights. Firstly, check their condition and replace them if necessary. Secondly, ensure that they are neither too dim nor too bright. You should also pay attention to the truck’s fluid levels and the condition of the windscreen and windscreen wipers, which should be replaced at least once a year.

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