Backloading Basics: Lowering Your Company Costs and Carbon Footprint
In today’s economy and environment, it’s not enough for companies to just try and cut costs. You also need to be aware of your carbon footprint. One way you can cut down on both when transporting goods, equipment or other freight is through backloading.
Backloading: A Double Definition
For those of you who don’t know what backloading is, there are two different definitions:
- The first is when a removalist or transporter pack two or more jobs into the same truck. Usually from different customers that are having goods or equipment transported from the same or similar locations to the same locations or somewhere on route.
- The second definition of backloading is when a transport company takes a shipment to one town, then brings back a different load to the original location.
- The alternative to backloading is known as direct transport or removals, also called single consignments. This is where one customer’s goods are moved from one location to another and then the truck is returned empty.
Advantages of Backloading
There are both pros and cons when it comes to backloading. The advantages of using this method are:
- It’s less expensive. It’s a lot cheaper for those shipping goods as you don’t have to cover all the costs of the transport company.
- Increased frequency of trips. Being able to take multiple loads on one return trip makes it easier for transport companies to take these trips more frequently.
- Decrease your carbon footprint. More goods packed into one truck means fewer trips, less petrol being used and less pollution in the air, which is good for everyone on the planet.
Disadvantages of Backloading
It’s not all good news, though. There are some disadvantages to choosing backloading. They are:
- More flexible time frames. There are more variables and varying schedules and timings to think about with backloading, which means companies cannot guarantee precise arrival times. There will often be a delay somewhere in the process, which has a knock-on effect for everyone else.
- Tighter packing. With backloading, almost every truck will be completely full, meaning you will need to make sure your goods are tightly packed to help save space.
- Goods can get mixed up. If you don’t use a reliable transport company, sometimes your goods can get mixed up with other people’s. Not every company has a good inventory process, so make sure whoever you choose does.
Backloading is not something used just for people and companies making a one off move. You can make it a regular part of your business model. Interstate consolidation is a similar concept to backloading. Companies who regularly ship large, bulky or cumbersome items interstate can combine with other small companies shipping interstate to all save money. This can dramatically reduce your overall business costs and streamlines your logistics managements.
Reducing Your Risks with Backloading
When you choose to backload or consolidate your regular interstate shipments with other companies, there can a certain level of risk involved, like goods being in tight quarters or mix-ups; so here are some ways to reduce them:
- Make sure you’re using a local, reputable and reliable transport company.
- Ask your potential transport company what solid inventory systems they have in place to ensure nothing gets lost.
- Get some advice from your transport company on recommended packing methods or pack your items for shipment themselves.
If you do your research and enlist the services of a reliable transport company, then backloading can be a cost-effective and environmentally responsible option for transporting your goods. Being able to save money while ensuring your shipments get to their destination in time and in good shape is a win-win for everybody.
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