Road freight transport is a significant sector of the economy, without which other sectors would come to a standstill. This kind of transport is currently used to carry virtually anything, starting from raw materials to highly processed commodities. As a rule, the route goes from the place of loading to the destination point and back, making the so called round (bilateral transport). However, this solution is not optimal, effective or economical. The solution, which is much more interesting and which gains more and more popularity are the so called cross-trades performed within the Western European countries.

What are cross-trades?

Cross-trades are a kind of transport operations, taking place usually within the European Union and assuming that the driver does not go to the base between trips. Undertaking transport orders within other EU countries limits the number of trips to the country of origin. Moreover, freights in Western Europe are better-paid than the ones made within the country. Particularly profitable trips are the ones made from industrialized regions of Germany to the highly developed markets of Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as to France, Austria, Denmark and then back to Germany. Owing to that, following the unloading of goods from Poland in Germany and loading of other goods intended for farther markers, the effective route of a vehicle is extended. Cargos transported using cross-trades are better paid than transfers from Poland to the West, thus generating greater profits for carriers. Some clients pay for flights to the place of loading and guarantee full truckload transport thanks to which neither drivers not owners of carriage companies have to look for additional goods to carry.

Conveniently and timely

Distances between the points of loading and unloading differ but, as a rule, they are rather small, thus making it possible for an experienced driver to perform many carriages within a short time. Certainly, there also exists demand for long routes, especially since a longer stay in Western Europe will give forwarders a chance to find cargo that can be transported to Poland on the way back and at the same time limit the number of empty runs.

Cross-trade transports are supervised by a client and its forwarders and they are usually settled within three business days following the delivery of a set of documents.

Organized cross-trades are the most beneficial for experienced drivers working according to 3/1, 4/1 or 6/2 shift patterns. Long working periods help generate high income from performed carriages, whereas the shift system makes drivers flexible and enables fast response to the needs of clients.

Carriers willing to cooperate must hold a license for international carriage and vehicles with semitrailers with load capacity of up to 24 tons and optimal length of 13.6 meters. Drivers performing cross-trades work in systems assuming a several-weeks’ long stay on route, i.e. 3/1, 4/1 or 6/2.