What is Short-Haul Trucking?

Short-haul trucking, also known as short-distance trucking, is a type of trucking in which drivers need to transport goods and products within a 150-mile or 240-kilometer radius. Unlike long-haul trucking, drivers operate on short routes and transport smaller equipment that is less expensive and easier for usual trucks to handle. Since routes are shorter, drivers can complete multiple shipments per day.

Short-haul trucking can also be defined as a complex operation that comprises logistics and administrative tasks. It generally involves transporting goods in local or regional areas, like moving groceries from a warehouse to neighboring markets, while ensuring the safety of goods during the process.  

Types of Short-Haul Trucks

On the basis of distance traveled short-haul trucking can be further divided into local and regional trucking. Their detailed description is given below:

  • Local Trucking: Local trucking is restricted to smaller shipments, i.e., traveling distances less than 100 miles or 160 kilometers. They pick up the shipment where long-haul or regional drivers leave off and transport it to local endpoints. These truckers have a regular schedule, serve their immediate community and complete multiple daily deliveries. The local drivers prefer to operate with small trucks as they are easier to navigate in city traffic. 
  • Regional Trucking: Regional trucking involves traveling around 100-250 miles or 160-240 kilometers to complete the shipment process. The regional truckers have predictable schedules and regular routes. Like long-haul truckers, they enjoy freedom on open roads and often cross state lines for the transportation of goods. The regional drivers prefer to operate with large trucks as they can hold a large amount of equipment. 

How does Short-haul Trucking work?

The working of short-haul trucking depends on many things, such as safely loading and unloading cargo, choosing a suitable truck for delivering goods, the ability to travel long periods of time on roads, completing multiple shipments per day, being a good driver who can navigate on any type of road, handle city traffic pressure, and deliver cargo safely to the destination, being comfortable in any weather conditions, maintaining hygienic conditions inside the truck, and being ready to face new challenges every day.

Benefits of Short-haul Trucking

Short-haul trucking is a demanding job in the market since it provides a flexible career with lots of benefits. Some of its benefits are:

  • Financial Security: It is a financially secure and stable career option. Aside from a good salary, other perks like health and dental insurance, paid vacations, and good bonuses are also offered.
  • Ease of Entry: It is easier to start as a short-haul driver because the barrier to entering the trucking industry is low, but the growth opportunities are unlimited. 
  • Flexibility: Short-haul trucking provides flexibility to drivers. The drivers have predictable schedules and regular routes. The truckers can change routes as per their availability and enjoy home time almost every day.
  • Familiarity: It generally involves operating on local routes. There is no need for drivers to search for fuel stations and meals in a place they have never visited before. This familiar route condition attracts many drivers.
  • Work-life Balance: It is the highlighting feature of short-haul trucking. Since routes are shorter, drivers can complete multiple shipments and enjoy home time at the end of the day. This helps in improving mental and physical health. 

Challenges of Short-haul Trucking

Before choosing short-haul trucking as their career, the drivers must know its challenges or difficulties. Some of these challenges are:

  • Route Issues: The biggest nightmare of short-haul trucking is route issues. Since they operate on local routes, they encounter issues like heavy traffic, malfunctioning roads, etc, that eventually lead to delays in shipments.
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Vehicles are the lifeline of short-haul trucking, so regular checkups and maintenance of vehicles are a must. This maintenance also costs a good amount of money and, if not done properly, can cause shipment failure.
  • Skilled Drivers: Finding a skilled driver is a challenge in the short-haul transportation business. The driver must have physical and mental stamina to transport goods over hundreds of kilometers, maintain hygienic conditions inside the truck, and drive carefully in city traffic.


As discussed, short-haul trucking is a reliable and profitable career option but only suitable for some. There are a lot of challenges and risks involved in this business. In order to make a shipment successful, truckers need a tool that provides correct navigation and does live tracking of their vehicles. NextBillion.ai’s Navigation API and Live Tracking API can assist drivers, thereby increasing the productivity of short-haul transportation.