Empty Running in Logistics Assignment Sample

Discover the critical initiatives to combat the issue of empty running in the logistics sector. This comprehensive report explores the role of information and communications technology (ICT), collaborative transportation methods, and cooperation levels in mitigating empty miles

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Introduction Of The Empty Running Assignment

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Empty running is difficult to prevent in certain circumstances and inevitable in others. Some specialized fleets have fewer options for pickup or backloading certain types of loads than others. But with online cargo connections, multi-client third-party logistics providers (3PLs), and a variety of intelligent technology products available, the 29% rate of empty backhauls appears excessive, especially given that lower levels have previously been reached. The present report also presents mitigation measures that can be used to prevent empty running in logistics sectors. FedEx is one of the organizations which has faced empty running issues in its organization. The issues of FedEx have been briefly discussed in the report.

Part 1

1.1 First Key initiative for empty running

The term "information and communications technology" (ICT) is an allowance of the term "information technology" (IT) that emphasizes the importance of combined infrastructures and the integration of communications (phone lines and wireless indications), processers, as well as necessary creativity software, middleware, packing, and audio-visual systems, which allow operators to admittance, store, convey, and operate evidence. It has been determined that ICT-based applications have the potential to lower road vehicles' CO2 emissions.

Telematics and other forms of technology, like routing and scheduling software, are essential for aiding transportation management in increasing efficiency. Vehicles at several locations may be managed as a single combined conveyance resource thanks to multi-site route optimization software (Hvolby et al., 2019). As a result of the collaboration between various fleets, route plans with effective backloads are produced, allowing movements to and from various depots to be merged into enhanced ways that decrease total empty running. For instance, by autonomously scheduling the coordination of many fleets utilizing technical software. Additionally, more complicated processes, such as those connecting factories or warehouses that produce a variety of goods for the same client base or integrated main and secondary distribution activities, may now be planned daily centrally thanks to technology. The mobile phone presentation software service is known as "freight apps" offers freight stakeholders distribution, management, and other services. The Electronic Transport/Logistics e-(ET/LM) Marketplace's developing applications are known as freight apps and are classed as ICT-based applications that use moveable announcements and Internet technologies.

1.2 Second key initiative

Logistics sectors globally have been contributing to the decline in empty running levels, but there is still room for improvement. The logistics sector depends largely on transportation. The performance of the supply chain can still be enhanced by emphasizing cooperative transport methods. Many top merchants in the logistics industry have effectively adapted these methods, boosting the volume of items delivered annually by truck, lowering the number of miles driven per vehicle, and thereby lowering fuel transportation costs. The logistics sector is one of the sectors that has proposed efforts to boost transportation effectiveness. The cooperation between businesses has been essential to the accomplishment of these efforts (Islam, 2018). Relationships that are collaborative go beyond those that are only commercial. By concentrating on reducing fuel usage and trip distance, individual businesses can become more efficient. However, greater outcomes may be obtained when supply chain participants choose to use collaborative transport techniques. Due to the high levels of underutilization, road freight transport efficiency has to be improved.

The collaboration not only helps in reducing empty running but also helps logistics companies in consuming financial resources and reducing financial wastage (Islam et al., 2019). Functioning together with a source sequence companion in logistics enables logistics companies to spread higher moral and conservation ethics, struggle towards more source sequence transparency, and have more effect over source sequence fundamentals that are hard to alter.

1.3 Third initiative for mitigating empty running

The phrase level of cooperation is used when the logistics company offers all necessary logistical services while delivering the goods to the customer who is identified as the second party. When delivering goods to a second party, all relevant logistical activities are assigned to the logistics service provider that has the requisite material resources.

Since the first party is not always able to assign the obtainable investment required for conveyance properly, especially when considering time and place, forwarding is also distinguished from transportation in the transportation sector (Sanchez-Diaz et al., 2020). As a result, alternative methods of transportation are needed, such as the use of relationships related to logistics cooperation and the employment of various services delivered by other service providers. In such cases, a level of cooperation is required from the end of both parties. Level of cooperation is a vital element in logistics as this leads to the proper and smooth delivery of the goods to the customers and the clients (Islam, 2018). On the other hand, the level of cooperation is not only established between the customers and the logistics organization but also between two logistics organizations. A high level of cooperation between logistics companies can help in mitigating the issues of empty running in the industry.

Part 2

2.1 Background of FedEx

FedEx is one of the logistic delivery companies founded in 1971. The commercial extended quickly, and by 1983 it had proceeds of $1 billion, which was uncommon for a unexperienced commercial that had not contributed in unions or attainments in its first ten years. In 1984, it grew to comprise Europe and Asia. It bought Flying Tiger Line, one of its major opponents, in 1988, establishing the world's chief full-service merchandise carrier as a result (Van Mieghem, 2018). FedEx operates in more than 220 countries including Canada, Russia, Us and many more. Empty running has been one of the biggest concerns for FedEx as it leads to huge financial losses for the organization. When FedEx tries to redeploy unloaded equipment without having enough cargo to make a return journey economically viable, a problem arises (Zhang et al., 2022). Each trailer costs around $2,000 to transport, and according to Martinez, 1,500 trailers leave FedEx's Southern California operations every day. Operating empty trucks entails both a financial burden and a problem with service.

2.2Mitigating measures for empty running

Route optimization is one of the ways through which FedEx can mitigate the issues and challenges of the empty running of their vehicles. Route optimization is crucial for reducing delivery routes and, by extension, for environmentally friendly logistics. Empty miles are to be avoided since they are the best and most sustainable last mile. Today, time-window delivery is likewise taking on a bigger and bigger function (Wiktorowska-Jasik et al., 2021). This benefits both sustainability and convenience in addition to sustainability.

Using electric cargo bikes is one of the ways of mitigating the empty running of trucks for FedEx. On the other hand, electronic cargo bikes are also favorable to the environment. Renewable energy is used to power e-bikes. This is how ecologically responsible direct delivery allows FedEx to deliver the products timely to the clients without the issues of the empty running of their vehicles. For transport and logistics enterprises, a CO2 reduction might result in a competitive advantage. Additionally, a high degree of flexibility for returns and deliveries reduces empty running, which in turn also reduces unsuccessful deliveries and increases customer satisfaction. Collaboration with other logistics organizations from the destination port will help FedEx in reducing the issues of empty running in its organization (Zió?kowski and L?gas, 2018). FedEx Freight will improve its partnership with FedEx Ground as part of the "Network 2.0" plan of its parent firm. The collaboration will help in reducing the problems of the empty running of vehicles in different regions and countries. The strategy calls for more coordination between the intermodal operations of the two FedEx firms (Cichosz and Pluta-Zaremba, 2019). More options for Freight's tractors to pick up available Ground trailers and cut down on empty miles traveled were discovered through a dashboard created by FedEx Dataworks. FedEx may reduce "bobtail miles" on intermodal containers by around 8 million with stronger company-wide collaboration.

2.3 Barriers faced by the logistics company

In case the packing and drops are finished on schedule, unreliable delivery can still happen. An array of topographies and climatic conditions result in barriers for FedEx while delivering products to its customers and clients (Petrushov, V. and Shander, 2018). Traffic bottlenecks, many inspections, and toll booths cause logistics companies to lose time and money. There is still room for a greater backlog even after accounting for additional delays. Shortage of drivers is also one of the factors that result in barriers for the organization (Wadhwa, 2020). The shortage of drivers in logistics corporations also fails in delivering high-volume products to customers. This results in huge financial losses to the logistics corporations.


Empty running has been one of the biggest concerns for the logistics industry and FedEx. To mitigate the issues of empty running FedEx has collaborated with other companies. It can be concluded that the organization can prevent the loss of finances due to empty running in its organization. It has been found that the shortage of drivers is one of the reasons the logistics companies face empty running issues in their respective organizations. It has also been found that electronic cargo is one of the ways through which FedEx can reduce the issues and problems of empty running in its organization.


Cichosz, M. and Pluta-Zaremba, A., 2019. How to improve freight transport emissions' management?. LogForum, 15(1).

Hvolby, H.H., Steger-Jensen, K., Neagoe, M., Vestergaard, S. and Turner, P., 2019, September. Collaborative exchange of cargo truck loads: approaches to reducing empty trucks in logistics chains. In IFIP International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems (pp. 68-74). Springer, Cham.

Islam, S., 2018. Simulation of truck arrival process at a seaport: evaluating truck-sharing benefits for empty trips reduction. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, 21(1), pp.94-112.

Islam, S., Shi, Y., Ahmed, J.U. and Uddin, M.J., 2019. Minimization of empty container truck trips: Insights into truck-sharing constraints. The International Journal of Logistics Management.

Islam, S., Uddin, M.J., Shi, Y., Sharif, T. and Ahmed, J.U., 2021. Exploring shippers' motivations to adopt collaborative truck-sharing initiatives. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management.

Petrushov, V. and Shander, O., 2018. Study into conditions for the interaction between different types of transport at intermodal terminals. ????????-??????????? ?????? ????????? ??????????, (6 (3)), pp.70-76.

Sanchez-Diaz, I., Palacios-Argüello, L., Levandi, A., Mardberg, J. and Basso, R., 2020. A time-efficiency study of medium-duty trucks delivering in urban environments. Sustainability, 12(1), p.425.

Wadhwa, S.S., 2020. Optimization of Regional Empty Container Supply Chains to Support Future Investment Decisions for Developing Inland Container Terminals (Doctoral dissertation, North Dakota State University).

Wiktorowska-Jasik, A., Filina-Dawidowicz, L., Cernova-Bickova, A., Mo?drze?, D. and Bickovs, D., 2021. Integrated electronic systems for acquisition of customers for transport and logistics services. In Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2020 (pp. 521-530). Springer, Singapore.

Zió?kowski, J. and L?gas, A., 2018. Minimisation of empty runs in transport. Journal of KONBiN, 48(1), pp.465-491.

Van Mieghem, J.A., 2018. FedEx: aligning operations strategy to the company’s mission. The Business & Management Collection.

Zhang, G., Wang, Y., Dong, N. and Feng, S., 2022, April. The Research on the Countermeasures to Improve the Core Competitiveness of China’s International Logistics Enterprises. In 2022 7th International Conference on Social Sciences and Economic Development (ICSSED 2022) (pp. 18-26). Atlantis Press.


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