Kill empty running* – Van der Wal B.V.



Company Name / Department

Van der Wal B.V.

Contact Person

Henk van der Wal, Anne-Louise Roosen


Nijverheidsweg 33, Utrecht

Study programme(s)

Innovation Management

Community ESCF full member
Start Date September 2022
Housing arranged by company No


550 EUR per month


Company Description

Van der Wal is a logistics service provider with offices in The Netherlands, England, Poland, Romania, (Russia*), Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Our mission is to offer the best possible sustainable transport solution based on honesty and respect for people and society.
*business with the Russian branch has stopped until further notice

Project Description

There is around 33% of empty running* right now in the road transport business.

*Empty running qualifies the trips when the truck rides with no load. For example, a return trip after unloading. 

This is caused by multiple factors but one major issue seems to be awareness and the lack of acknowledgment of a shared responsibility.
Henk van der Wal has tried to tackle this subject for many years because he is convinced that collaboration between the right persons (on the customer’s side as well as the transports partners) and the proper technical means (efficient planning tool) should help lower the percentage of empty running.

This project consists of two steps, namely evaluating the deterrents towards reducing empty running and analyzing causes for empty running. 

Rockwool, DHL Supply Chain and Kimberly-Clark Europe are major customers of ours that would be involved in the project.

Step 1:
A qualitative analysis has to be set with relevant parties in the industry through in-depth interviews. We want to involve our customers and maybe our customers’ customers in this attempt to find out why empty running is not an issue that keeps supply chain professionals busy. 

Is the pricing too low?
Do customers have limited insight into the empty running their transports generate? Does this problem seem too complex to tackle?

Step 2:
Give a clear insight about the complexity of the problem. How is empty running created, what are the constraints creating it?
Many variables contribute to empty running. We would like to have a clear image of everything involved, and how it works.
For example:
a list of most frequent reasons for empty running based on the assessment of empty running together with our planning department and interviews with customers to understands the reasons for the constraints.

The student needs to analyze a fair number of empty running occurrences in our planning to have gather reliable information.

Goals of the Project

In this project, a qualified student provides qualitative insights into causes for empty mileage running from an organizational and a qualitative standpoint.

The goal is for us to get a plan with possible strategies to reduce empty running using some real life data. We would like to implement a pilot project together with a customer.


A report with interviews analyses, data analyses, and a plan with potential strategies aiming at reducing empty running. 

Essential Student Knowledge

Road transport and constraints

More information: