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Cross-trade. What is it and why is it profitable?

2 min read

Cross-trade is one of the most popular forms of international transport. It reduces the costs of carriers and allows them to win new customers.

The economic slowdown in Europe, followed by a decline in transport orders, has drawn even more attention to cross-trade shipments. This is because it is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of a transport company. What is cross-trade about? This is a type of transport between two countries in which the carrier does not have a registered company.

Fewer empty trips

According to the European Statistical Office, cross-trade accounts for nearly 30% of all international transport in the European Union. Why is this form of international transport so popular? There are several reasons for this, but the most important one is the improvement of transport companies’ profitability, and thus the possibility of surviving in difficult times for the freight market. Taking up orders in other countries by transport companies contributes to the reduction of empty trips.

For example, if a Polish, Czech or Hungarian carrier transports goods to Germany and then picks up goods for transport from Germany to the Netherlands, the carrier is engaged in cross-trade in the latter situation. But it could just as well be a Slovak carrier that undertakes to transport cargo from Trieste, Italy to Barcelona, Spain. Cross-trade makes it possible to flexibly take on loads throughout Europe, depending on where there is a greater demand for transport.

Cross-trade on the freight exchange

Cross-trade is sometimes referred to as foreign-to-foreign shipments or large cabotage. But in contrast to cabotage, the places where the goods are loaded and unloaded must be in different countries. Despite the limitations of the Mobility Package introduced in 2022. Mobility Package, cross-trade continues to be an attractive way for trucking companies to supplement their offerings. This is because it allows them to make better use of both their vehicle fleet and the available drivers. After all, every carrier knows the hard-and-fast rule that if a truck sits idle, the company isn’t making money.  

As we all know, the most effective way to obtain cross-trade orders is through the freight exchange. Thanks to the Platform you can get such orders quickly and safely. The Platform processes as many as 9.5 million orders per month.

Why is it worthwhile to offer cross-trade services?

  • ✅ Improved profitability, financial liquidity, and thus better economic health of the transport company. 
  • ✅ Fewer empty trips, a real bane of international transport. 
  • ✅ Better utilization of the truck fleet and available drivers. Mind you, payroll is one of the most important costs for the carrier after the Mobility Package has been implemented. 
  • ✅ Expanded portfolio of customers served. A satisfied customer is likely to return to the carrier when the next order comes. 
  • ✅ Brand building in international transport. A well-served manufacturer or distribution company is likely to share their opinion about the carrier or recommend it to other organizations. 

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