With COVID-19 pandemic meeting the ageing driver population, truck driver shortage has reached a crisis level. It is therefore crucial to distinguish short-haul and long-haul trucking before making any crucial logistics decisions.

Long-haul trucking


Short-haul trucking

Requires drivers to spend more time away from home, as they ride on the road for weeks or months at a time.

Away from home Away from home

Requires drivers to spend less time away from home, as they can come home every night.

On-road expenses are higher in long-haul trucking as drivers spend a longer time on the road.

On-Road Driver Expenses On-Road Driver Expenses

It has fewer on-road expenses like showers and meals, as drivers usually stay at home.

In order to make a single delivery, long-haul truckers drive for more than 250 miles.

Distance covered Distance covered

The distance covered by short-haul trucking approximately covers a 150 mile to 250 mile radius on a maximum.

Long-haul trucking requires larger vehicles like tractor-trailers for carrying huge loads of goods.

Truck types Truck types

Short-haul trucking operates with smaller vehicles that are easier to operate on city roads.

Long-haul drivers ride trucks for a longer period of time. But their frequency of unloading freights is lesser than short-haul trucking.

Frequency of unloading freights Frequency of unloading freights

As short-haul drivers make multiple stops, their frequency of unloading freights is higher than long-haul trucking.

As long-haul drivers travel longer distances, the operating expenses are extremely high.

Operating Expenses of a truck Operating Expenses of a truck

Travel expenses, truck maintenance costs and fuel charges for short-haul drivers are lower than long-haul drivers.

Long-haul truck drivers take on hazardous weather conditions, unexpected detours, drive on dangerous terrains and ride through new highways. Hence, their risk and uncertainty is higher.

Uncertainty and risk Uncertainty and risk

Short-haul truck drivers are familiar with terrain, weather patterns, traffic, etc. Hence, their risk and uncertainty is minimal.

It is an expensive goal for long-haul drivers to become an owner-operator for their vehicles, as the maintenance, fuel and insurance costs are higher.

Cost to become owner-operator Cost to become owner-operator

As fuel, maintenance and insurance costs are lower for the short-haul trucks, they are economical to purchase. Because of the economical costs, drivers can easily purchase short-haul trucks and become owner-operators for it.

Drivers who want freedom on the open road, and love to travel on long stretches away from home, prefer long-haul trucking.

Quality of life Quality of life

Drivers who want to follow a daily schedule and go home at the end of the day, prefer short-haul trucking although it requires driving on crowded roads and some physical activity.

Long-haul drivers should be good at cross-border driving and well-aware of inter-state regulations.

Driving expertise Driving expertise

Short-haul drivers require skillful driving on city roads, with narrow laneways and sharp turns.


Prioritizing long-haul and short-haul trucking is a huge decision and that decision should be made with due consideration. Whether drivers ride for long periods or short periods, it is crucial for them to stay productive and efficient. A delivery logistics software turns out to be critical for tracking and improving fleet productivity.

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How can Locus help manage your logistics?

  • Locus’ proprietary geocoding engine converts the fuzziest of the addresses into precise geographical coordinates thereby helping your on-ground executives locate addresses easily.
  • Digitize all your operational variables such as fleets, delivery persons, etc to come up with the best route plan every day.
  • Track your orders in real-time with the Locus Live Dashboard. Locus’ last-mile delivery app Locus On The Road (LOTR) helps delivery partners process orders.
  • Visualize and tweak your scheduled plans via three key metrics— geography, time, & vehicle(fleet)—with a birds-eye view of your entire operations.
  • Build your own reports and analyze important parameters that you need to make key decisions.

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