A survey finds that securing backloads is the top priority for small and medium-sized truckers. Convoy, an online freight network, conducted the research which also concludes that 35% of all truck miles may be empty miles.
The survey also found that the regional distance (defined as between 100 and 400 miles) represents the biggest share of loads for both the owner-operator and the dispatcher and driver groups. It is also this distance that drivers drive empty the most.
“A carrier that optimizes its freight logistics can save fuel, time and improve productivity, generating fuel cost savings and additional revenue,” the company says. Trimming just 1% of empty miles from one long-haul truck can save over 100 gallons of fuel.
Because of this, it’s not surprising that 69% of respondents said empty miles are very important to their business. In addition, compared to responses collected in Convoy’s August 2021 survey, a higher percentage of carriers currently believe reducing empty miles is even more important today.
When breaking down the importance of empty miles by role, 63% of dispatchers believe that reducing empty miles is very important, a 5% increase from the previous survey. Similarly, 69% of dispatch drivers say they believe that reducing empty miles is very important, a 3% increase from the last survey.
Looking at the trend towards electric trucks, Convoy found that when judging drivers’ desire to drive an electric truck, the longer an individual has been in the business, the less likely they are to want to drive an electric or even a hydrogen truck.
In 2021, 35% of respondents reported feeling pressure to reduce carbon emissions, but in 2022, this number increased to 38%. While previously the top cited reason for reducing carbon emissions was awareness of their environmental impact, in the more recent survey, respondents pointed to government regulation as the major reason for feeling pressure to reduce carbon emissions.