Taking aim at empty miles and freight waste

Total Quality Logistics dedicated to decreasing deadhead trucking  

Empty trucks are a costly issue in the logistics industry.  

Empty miles, or trucks driven with no freight, are problems for roadways and the environment. When drivers drop off loads but don’t have replacement goods to haul on return trips, these empty trucks rack up billions of deadhead, or non-revenue, miles on freeways.

Freight waste expends time and money while taking a toll on the environment. Trucks driving empty miles spew 76 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.

The unavailability of nearby loads lead to losses of money and productivity. Most drivers don’t make money if they aren’t hauling freight, yet trucks require maintenance and fuel regardless of cargo.

Empty trucks can be hazardous to drive because they are so light. Drivers must be mindful of extra safety precautions when navigating roadways with zero cargo, especially in inclement weather.

Simply put, deadhead miles create supply chain inefficiencies and expose the disconnect between companies’ quests for sustainability and the realities of moving freight.

Solutions can increase sustainability

What can be done to solve this complex problem?

Some trucking companies are giving drivers more time to find loads to transport on digital boards while others have reduced their fleets to lessen their environmental footprint. Consolidation, freight pooling and route optimization also have the potential to eliminate excess empty miles.

Teaming up within the industry can make a significant dent in freight waste.

TQL’s pledge to decrease deadheading

As the second-largest freight brokerage firm in North America and one of the largest global third-party logistics providers, TQL is dedicated to improving business practices to make a positive impact on the world.

We are committed to doing our part for our environment and industry by driving smart, responsible solutions. That’s why we pledged to reduce 45 million empty miles by 2025 through our Empty Miles Reduction program.

By incorporating technology to identify nearby carriers, utilizing our vast 160,000+ carrier network and offering multiple modes and services that are less carbon intensive, we are committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and using less fuel.

We target high empty-mile shippers and set goals to reduce their impact as part of our sustainability strides. Empty miles and greenhouse gas can be reported by shipper and broken down by lane. We then use these reports to set goals with customers, identify opportunities for efficiency and decrease deadheading.

We also focus on environmental sustainability through industry groups and certifications, operational efforts and collaboration with our customers and carriers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named TQL a Smartway Partner in Logistics every year since 2010 for promoting environmental health, safety and sustainability.

Downsizing deadheading is a team effort that spans the world. We’re dedicated to doing our part to improving the industry and the environment, one mile at time.

Speak with a Sustainability Expert now: Sustainability@TQL.com

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