|Freight truck on the road|
Photo by VanveenJF on Unsplash
Operating since the early 1940s, Nebraska-based trucking company Seward Motor Freight has received consecutive awards from the Nebraska Trucking Association since 1986. In 2018, Joan Tanderup, CEO and president of Seward Motor Freight was named "Outstanding Woman in Business" in Seward, Nebraska.
Over the past half-century, the company has grown from a small less than a truck load company (LTL) to a truck load (TL) company hauling general commodities across the continental United States; as the demand for shipping increased, so too has the trucking industry—specially the rates that truckers are compensated for hauling the shipper’s commodities .
As pay structures evolve, more truckers are being selective about the types of routes they prefer to drive. A recent poll published by the digital truckload freight marketplace DAT Load Boards found that most truckers would rather drive home empty, or “deadhead”, than take a low-paying backhaul load. A minority said they might consider a cheap backhaul if it could be accommodated within their schedules. Normally, rates for outgoing trips (or “headhauls”) are higher than the rates for return trips. For instance, a headhaul trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix has a higher rate than the return trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles. The same is true with headhaul trips from Philadelphia to Boston; these also pay higher than the return routes. Truckers solve the issue of lower backhaul rates by charging fees that are high enough to compensate for both the headhaul and the empty backhaul. This way, the trucker can avoid wasting loading and unloading hours, and burning more fuel on a cheap backhaul.