The Importance of Optimizing the Use of Road Freight Transport

Posted : 03/18/13 6:12 AM

As freight transportation has become more complex it has become less common for cargo to be shipped from point to point and often loads are using several intermodal methods in one journey. While the cost effectiveness of shipping and rail networks has continued to improve, the cost of using trucks for transport has spiraled upwards. Rising fuel costs and increased awareness of the need for greater regulation of the trucking industry have seen road transport become the focus of calls for greater efficiency in our use of trucks to transport goods. There is a growing need to find the most efficient ways to transport goods from place to place since the volume of cargo that is shipped expected to rise by as much as 130% by 2030 in many places1. Part of the solution to these rising volumes of cargo has been to increase the size of the trucks that transport it. However, this is becoming increasingly impractical as many urban areas restrict their entry. At the same time trucks will remain a vital part of the transport chain and the focus of most studies has been to find the best way to use those trucks within the larger context of the intermodal shipping networks2. It is conceded that the rail networks are often at capacity and there can only be a finite amount of rolling stock and so the key to improving the handling of freight in the future lies in employing methods that improve efficiency. The latest thinking is that the use of modern technologies can be a way to improve the efficient handling of freight through a more accurate tracking of cargo. That will allow its transportation to be better coordinated with other modes of transport. Determining which sort of transport is the most effective and efficient for every leg of the freight’s journey is also an important area of research that is producing tangible results. Logistics managers are now being urged to use new technologies to optimize their freight handling methods to achieve greater efficiency. Ensuring that trucks are fully loaded so that they are returning their full potential in revenue while making sure that road is the best route for a specific load to take requires a sound statistical understanding of the freight transport industry. In the long term optimizing freight transport will also create the most optimal return for the transport company that employs it. References: