With more competition than ever before, rising fuel costs and ongoing uncertainty with the pandemic, the New Year brings new challenges for UK hauliers. Vee Kaur Bal, Director of JHL Transport, tells us what being a DigiHaul carrier partner means for her owner-operator business and why, now that they’ve embraced digital freight, they’ll never go back.

Vee and her husband started their haulage business, JHL Transport, in 2017 with one vehicle and have since expanded to ten vehicles covering the whole of England and Wales.


When did you first become a DigiHaul carrier partner?

We started working with DigiHaul in early 2020 and it’s been great. Kamal from the Carrier Engagement team got in touch with us via LinkedIn, we did the training in January and by February we were on the system.


How did you find the onboarding process?

It took a while to learn the new system because it’s very different to what we’ve been used to, but now it’s really straightforward – I can do it with my eyes closed!

The system is very user-friendly – we can choose which jobs we want to pick up and on which days – and the team is always really helpful. We’ve had no problems at all, I wouldn’t change it now.

As soon as we were up and running with DigiHaul last year we started working with a major UK retailer and throughout the rest of the year the work was there for us seven days a week, night and day. In comparison the work we were doing in 2020 was much more ad hoc, so it’s really helped us – it’s been the best thing for our business.


How has the work that you’re doing changed since you became a carrier partner?

Having consistency of work is very important for any operator which owns their own vehicles, particularly as there’s so much competition in the haulage industry now. The most difficult part is looking for work and trying to find two jobs in one day – DigiHaul takes care of that for us which means that our drivers are happy too. They all enjoy building relationships with shippers and seeing the same faces.

The DHL work that we’re getting through DigiHaul is fantastic – the work we’ve been doing for one of the big UK retailers is always a round trip, so we don’t have to worry about backloads.


Are there any other key benefits for your business?

DigiHaul helps owner-operators like us who are having to manage the transport side of the business as well as the paperwork. The fact it’s all digital takes all the pressure off and saves us a huge amount of time and stress – I don’t have to send PODs out or chase invoices, it’s fantastic.

The self-billing feature is great – payment always comes on time and the invoices are all on the system, there are no hard copies.

If you ever get stuck there’s always help at hand – the team is all very friendly and they understand the challenges that we’re going through. Communication is key in any business and they do that really well.


How is DigiHaul helping to support your business strategy for the future?

There’s a lot of scope out there for two and three-year contracts which gives us peace of mind for the future. We’re going through the tendering process at the moment and are hoping for another great year with DigiHaul, with more work during the quieter periods. If there’s no traction work we’re able to use our own trailers for DigiHaul work as well.

I’d like to stay with DIgiHaul for the years to come – I think they’re only going to get bigger and better.


Do you have any advice for other carriers who are thinking of moving to digital freight, or may be nervous about making the move?

I’ve been working in the transport industry for a number of years and the most important thing is to have work – if there’s no work, transport doesn’t exist. There are a lot of hauliers out there looking for work – with so much competition is can be a struggle, but DigiHaul takes care of that.

As an owner-operator it makes sense to partner with DigiHaul for the two and three-year contracts. Being DHL’s preferred subcontractor means that they have the loads, the work is there for businesses like ourselves.


Do you run a carrier business? We’ve got the loads you’re looking for. Find out more on our Carrier page.

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