The trucking business is very lucrative with the amount of freight in transport every day. However, it is also incredibly competitive given the many trucking companies that are already established. If you are an up-and-coming trucking company owner, competing with these big fish may seem like a challenge. You don’t have to worry; these five ways will help your firm stand out and thrive in this industry.
Take Advantage of Technology
Incorporate the latest technology trends in your trucking company to stay relevant and run your company more efficiently. Here are some technological innovations to consider:
Look for mobile apps that provide truck company owners with a one-stop-shop for real-time shipment visibility, freight matching, document management, and trip planning. Small-fleet truckload carriers benefit from it because of the automated booking tools it provides.
These tools help trucking companies automate basic administration processes such as carrier invoices and billing customers while offering automated document management services. With this service, you spend less time carrying out administrative tasks and more time looking for ways to grow your company.
The dispatch process can get confusing, especially when handling a large fleet. Dispatch software helps to automate the process, hence making it faster and more organized. You won’t have to worry about missing documentation or delayed dispatch.
Know Your Numbers
To make a decent profit, you ought to have clear records of all expenses in your company. This means keeping an eye on all truck-related costs, including all those incurred when the truck is in transit. This way, you minimize your chances of bleeding cash through unwanted expenses. It also enables you to find a way of lowering your operational costs and maximizing profits.
Rate/Mile & Cost Per Mile
The only way to optimize your fleet and make more profits is by knowing your trucking cost per mile. A lot of money is spent on keeping a single truck on the road. You have to take care of fuel, insurance, repair, driver per diem, and other special equipment costs. To minimize such costs, choose a route where your trucks can move most efficiently. Reduce the costs further by taking advantage of fuel discounts.
Not all miles your truck makes are for profit. You must factor in deadhead miles, which are the total number of miles your truck makes from unloading to the point where new cargo is ready for pickup.
Most of the time, deadhead miles are a small matter of concern. However, where the point of pickup is too far, these miles may start cutting into profit. Plus, deadheading is dangerous. An empty truck has little weight and is, therefore, less stable. Strong winds may easily sway it and cause accidents.
Repair and maintenance are critical when your truck is on the road. Every mile it covers translates to a cost in terms of care. Choosing a good route will help minimize such costs.
Compare Your Rates with ATA/ATRI
Trucking associations such as ATA and ATRI have a standard rate for each of these expenses. It will benefit your company if you compare them with your rates and adjust accordingly. You also get tips on how to keep your operational costs low and optimize your profits.
Get Professionals for Back-Office Work
You can run your trucking company better if you have qualified personnel to handle all your billing, collections, cash applications, and fuel lines. An accountant will balance your books and keep track of your expenses better than you would. Hiring qualified personnel ultimately saves you money.
Factor Your Invoices
Invoice factoring will ensure that you get paid quicker. You can get paid as fast as 24 hours after you deliver. For a small trucking company, this is a lifesaver since it helps you generate cash flow immediately.
A seasoned trucking company owner will tell you that freight bills are often paid 30-45 days after delivery. During this time carriers incur expenses such as fuel, insurance, and truck payments. Factoring streamlines your cash flow allowing for better planning and less stress.
Provide Excellent Service
Premium customer service draws more clients to you faster than any other form of advertisement. If you own a small trucking company, aim to provide excellent service. Once you impress your first clients, they are likely to refer you to other people. Let freight brokers and shippers know where you are and where you are going consistently and concisely, and they will remember you.
Running a trucking company may be challenging, but these 5 tips will help you run it more efficiently. The more you see to improve and implement positive changes to your business, the better it becomes. This will result in good systems for your fleet and an increase in profits.
The England Carrier Services (ECS) division offers a variety of services for carriers ranging from maintenance to support. As ECS members, carriers have access to nationwide discounts on fuel and tires from dedicated team members who are committed to finding the best price. ECS also provides factoring services with benefits such as same-day funding to a bank account or fuel card. These options allow carriers the freedom to focus on growing their business while saving time and money.