Online haulage marketplace returnloads.net has launched the UK’s first fully integrated eBay-style user review system.
The company said that for the first time, thousands of hauliers will be able to benchmark each other’s performance and reliability as third-party distributors on the new returnloads.net site. The relaunch of the service sets the scene for a greater degree of quality and transparency within the marketplace – something returnloads.net owner and established logistics entrepreneur, Richard Newbold, believes is essential to reduce the thousands of vehicles returning back-to-base empty.

“If the road haulage industry is serious about slashing the number of vehicles driving around the UK empty, it is crucial there is a central online marketplace in which hauliers can seamlessly exchange information,” Newbold said. “After all, the carbon emissions, not to mention the cost savings to be made, are phenomenal.

“Some members transact thousands of loads a year on the site. It is not unusual for them to save upwards of £30,000 in administrative costs alone, especially for those with fleets of 11-plus vehicles.

“Before this technology became available, haulage firms would normally have employed a couple of members of staff whose job it was to keep the fleet moving and to find back loads from wherever the vehicles ended up becoming empty in the UK. They would have to phone around a much smaller network of trusted hauliers, often struggling to quickly find a suitable load or having to travel many miles empty in order to collect their next load.”

The firm said it always been the aim of returnloads.net to make the whole process of identifying a load is as easy as possible. Now the loads come straight to the haulier through the site’s notification system. Alternatively, members can simply click on the interactive map of the UK and easily find the nearest load to where their empty truck is located.

The www.returnloads.net review system works in a very similar way to eBay. Once a service has been provided, both parties are offered the opportunity to leave a 1-5 feedback for one another in the form of a star rating, along with comments. This star rating is then displayed against any loads or vehicles placed and on a company’s profile page (subject to the subscribed package). This two-way review system enables both the supplier (the company looking to place a load) and the carrier (the haulier with the empty vehicle) to see how reliable each other is.

According to the firm, in the last 12 months alone the site’s community of hauliers has managed to collectively save over 200,000 empty HGV journeys. With new functionality constantly being added to improve the site, this is expected to rise considerably over the coming months.

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