A backhaul is the load a driver takes on a return trip. Backhaul loads are ideal because when a trucker deadheads—or returns with an empty truck—they lose money. Finding a load to haul back to the driver's origin point or home town is cost-effective and can earn the driver more money. Backhaul loads may be full truckloads, partial truckloads, less-than-truckloads, or even oversized loads taken for the return trip.
Backhaul Benefits and Challenges
As mentioned before, the primary benefit of backhaul trucking is cost. Backhaul offsets the cost for the return trip, ensuring the driver does more than break even, or worse, that they don't lose money. However, finding backhauls can be challenging because the driver is looking for a load that goes to a specific destination. Coordinating with shippers and logistics companies can increase the chances of a driver finding a backhaul load to the destination they require.