Top tips to finding return loads for HGVs

Improving efficiency, creating less time between loads and increasing productivity are all vital to the long-term success of haulage; especially for independent workers or small companies. One of the best ways to ensure no journey is wasted, no matter the distance, is by securing a return load for your HGVs – you can ensure that all costs are covered. From cross-continent travel to in-country deliveries, return loads can help to mitigate those costs and ensure you’re getting the most use out of your vehicles as possible. 

How do you find those return loads when you get where your delivery is due? Here are some tips to ensure you’re rarely left with no cargo, whatever your current requirements are: 

1. Speak directly to the company you’re dropping off a load to

It may seem like the most obvious option, but many individuals forgot to consider their current customer as the potential source of their next job. But in the case of many HGV owner driver jobs, especially between set points, there is plenty of opportunity for return loads from the same source. The best way to ensure you have a return load from the same company is to talk to them in advance, to confirm if there are any return loads required. Return loads can even be planned as part of the work you do for the company, making it more reliable for you and more cost-effective for them. 

If there’s nothing available at the time, it’s still worth checking on arrival to confirm if plans have changed and they have any last-minute requirements. While this requires slightly more flexible working, it can pay off in the long run by proving your reliability to that company, as well as keeping your HGV full at all times. You don’t know until you ask. And asking is probably one of the best ways to gain access to work that might otherwise be unavailable. Speak directly to the company you’re working with, and you’ll be able to get a yes or a no then and there. 

2. Network with other haulage companies in the area

Networking is vital for a wide range of roles and industries today, and haulage is no exception to these rules. Contacting companies in the area that you have a good relationship or a history with is the ideal way to gain access to potential jobs from businesses, as they will already know the quality and standard of your work. While, again, it’s better to schedule return loads in advance once you have that initial load confirmed, you may also find plenty of last-minute work on the cards if you take the time to call. If a company is familiar with the work that you do, they’re far more likely to hire you for haulage even at the last minute. 

For areas where you don’t have many connections to call on, networking with new haulage companies can be an effective alternative. Using Google, it’s possible to find a wealth of information on businesses in the area that may need your services. Don’t be afraid to drop them a line and find out if they require some urgent help, or even to schedule a return load in for a few weeks. 

3. Sign up to a haulage exchange to find return loads quickly and easily

An innovative and practical way to find return loads on a fast turnaround, a haulage exchange is specifically designed to find work on an intentional professional platform. These exchanges can provide a whole wealth of information to drivers and businesses alike, with anything from extra capacity on HGVs to load quotes available in moments. Even better, every driver is fully compliant and trustworthy, meaning that businesses will know they can trust you with their loads.

Other functionalities included in haulage exchange platforms include integrated telematics, perfect for partnered companies, as well as time-saving features such as electronic POD and a real-time ETA. Handy for both drivers and haulage companies alike. The addition of the new Freight Vision app provides even more functionality to the system, making it the ideal place to find return loads professionally. Signing up to haulage exchange offers excellent benefits, and makes it easy for you to be seen by businesses of all shapes and sizes.

While the other methods on this list require specific additional effort and input, haulage exchange makes the process streamlined and smooth. For drivers with little time on their hands, this often makes a platform like a haulage exchange the ideal choice.

If you’re struggling to find return loads for HGVs, then the top tips above might provide you with the insight you need to work as efficiently as possible.

If you would like to find out more about how the Haulage Exchange can help and your business please give us a call on 020 8993 7100. Looking for a specific location? Find return loads in Devon, as well as return loads to Scotland, and London.

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The article was published on . It was updated on 30 April 2024 to make it more relevant and comprehensive.