Headhaul Vs Backhaul: Do You Know the Difference?

headhaul, backhaulDo you know the difference between the terms “headhaul” and “backhaul”? Perhaps you are unaware that these terms even exist. Don’t worry if you do not since they are mainly relevant to workers in the carrier industry. However, knowing these terms could help you understand shipping fees and industry operations.

What Is a Headhaul?

Dedicated trucks and truckload transports don’t just charge by the distance or day of the week. They also charge depending on whether the load is a headhaul or a backhaul.

Most carriers prefer having an schedule filled with headhaul shipments. What does this mean? This indicates that a shipment goes to a nearby location, usually within the same city or just to a bordering town.

The main reason headhaul shipments are beneficial is that the close destination means a minimum return travel distance. The longer a truck travels without freight, the more money the carrier loses on overhead costs.

What Is a Backhaul?

A backhaul is a shipment made during the trip back home. Having ample backhaul shipments ensures minimal travel without freight. Truckers normally receive a dispatch for a backhaul en route from a headhaul. Backhaul shipment rates are generally lower. This favors customers, though for carriers this means a lower profit margin than a headhaul.

What About Deadheads?

A deadhead is a related term, one that carriers don’t ever want to hear. This is the opposite of a backhaul and means returning with zero cargo. Remember, more miles traveling with an empty cargo bed equals lost money. In some cases, the deadheads also affect the driver’s paycheck, though this depends on the carrier company’s policy.

We Find You the Top Headhauls and Backhauls

You don’t need to understand the detailed specifics of these terms. We will find you a shipper offering the best rate and delivery time. Give Machine Transport a call; we will handle the headhaul and backhaul details and rates.

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