Finding return loads

Return loading, also known as back-loading, is the practice of making use of spare capacity on the return leg of a delivery journey. This means finding loads that need to be transported between areas close to those being visited by a returning vehicle. Return loads make more efficient use of resources, such as fuel and driver time.

Collecting return loads for an empty or partially loaded return journey of an outbound delivery improves fuel efficiency and removes the need for an additional journey. Reducing the numbers of partially filled vehicles by collecting return loads also has operational and commercial benefits for transport companies. As well as improving operational efficiency, there are environmental benefits that can improve the image of your company. Carbon dioxide emissions and road congestion are both reduced when you take on more return loads.

Fuel represents around 30% of total vehicle operating costs, therefore even small reductions in fuel use can result in large savings for transport companies. Making the best use of a vehicle has the potential to reduce your costs far more significantly than by reducing fuel consumption alone. Increasing your miles per gallon will save a percentage of the fuel cost of all journeys, but reducing the mileage done to carry out a job will save will save 100% of the fuel and operating costs for those avoided miles.

Many large transport companies and individual couriers use online marketplaces such as to find return loads. It is free to register and there are no monthly fees; we only charge a small success fee on work secured through our site. You can bid for free on hundreds of delivery jobs every day, using our Route Search function to find additional jobs on your return route. Make sure your vehicles are running at full capacity by registering with us and finding return loads today.

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