The trucking industry is the backbone of an economy in any country. As you must have probably heard the famous saying, “if you bought it, a truck brought it”; the trucking industry is responsible for delivering the raw materials and the finished products.
Since you cannot overstate the importance of the trucking business, it should not come as a surprise that there is a stiff competition in the trucking business itself. There is a high demand for trucking services, and there is an even higher number of candidates to deliver those services.
To outrun your competitors in the longer run, you must be ready to make necessary changes. However, you need not make groundbreaking changes for the same. You can observe considerable improvements in your services by making little but crucial changes.
Here are five simple practices through which you can improve the efficiency of your trucking business.
Use Of ELD
Electronic Logging Devices, or simply ELD, are devices used to record the driving hours of vehicles. The US government implemented the ELD mandate in 2017, making it mandatory for commercial motor vehicles to use ELDs. ELD observes the engine of the motor vehicle and collects data such as whether the motor vehicle is moving or not, the distance covered, and the driving hours.
You can use ELDs to your advantage in many ways. Using ELDs, you can avoid the hours of service violations. ELDs provide you with stats that otherwise would be extremely tiresome to collect.
With ELDs, you can manage the unassigned hours, track driving hours, ensure safer driving habits, and make changes accordingly.
One of the easiest ways to improve your efficiency is to organize an efficient and digitized scheduling system. Such a system will provide flexible pickups and deliveries, ensuring faster delivery and reduced costs. Accordingly, you can also plan your shipping to avoid peak traffic hours.
The other way to improve delivery time is to navigate the best possible routes. Modern GPS technologies help in doing precisely that. Samsara’s GPS tracker for trucks allows you to monitor a fleet of vehicles and find the most optimized routes. Optimized routes ensure that you are covering fewer miles, saving both time and fuel consumption.
Manage Your Assets
The longevity and efficiency of any business depend heavily on how well the organization looks after its assets. Your assets include the infrastructure, the equipment, as well as the personnel in your organization. The better you treat these assets, the better will be their efficiency.
Fuel is one of the most crucial resources in the trucking industry and often requires a substantial investment. Thus, reducing your fuel consumption can considerably reduce your cost. Using ELDs, you can significantly improve your fuel consumption. However, you should also implement a strategy to buy fuel at the most economical price possible.
The other vital assets are your trucks and truck drivers. While performing regular maintenance can significantly reduce maintenance costs, you may want to spend more on your drivers to retain them. Although some people may consider it as a means to save cost but providing better wages and facilities to your drivers, along with ensuring driver safety, is more profitable in the longer run. According to a study conducted by ATA, replacing a driver can cost up to $5000.
Keep A Healthy Client Base
Finding clients is never easy in any industry, especially if you are new in the scene. You can usually find clients through load boards, brokers, or contact directly with shippers. However, you must be selective while choosing your clients.
Due to the stiff competition, you may have to charge a low cost per mile. It, however, does not imply that you should accept any load. Being selective with customers that provide profitable shipments will help you in the longer run. Right-minded clients often make payments without delays, which helps maintain constant cash flow.
While it may take months to find a good client, it only takes seconds to lose them. Thus, you need to maintain a healthy relationship with your clients. Having direct contact with shippers saves you the cost of paying brokers or using load boards. To ensure client satisfaction, you must charge reasonably and provide secure and fast shipments.
An efficient way to strengthen your relationship with clients is by taking in feedback and interacting with them regularly. It will also help you improve your services by working on your shortcomings if any.
Create A Brand For Yourself
To best way to outshine your competitors is to create a brand that towers over theirs. The only catch is that it is easier said than done. It can take years to make a reputable name of yourself in the trucking industry and requires even more effort to maintain that name.
Your reputation depends significantly on your relationship with your current and past clients. You can, however, use other means to further your reach in the scene. You can use both digital and traditional marketing to aid your cause.
Creating a social media presence is an efficient way of reaching a wider audience. You can use any of the social media platforms and create content that could attract potential clients. Additionally, you can also build your website. Along with these practices, ensuring great performance by using techniques like a fleet tracking app can go a long way in building your brand.
Traditional marketing methods such as newspapers, magazines, flyers, and billboards can prove to be equally efficient as well. The goal is to reach your potential clients, and all these methods can help you achieve the same.
To Wrap It All Up
The trucking business is a very competitive one, and you should look for every possible way to not only improve your efficiency but also stand out among others. Samsara is a fleet management solution that aims to provide you the best technology to aid your cause. Samsara presents a variety of services, regardless of the scale of your business. Using the latest technology, you will surely observe a significant improvement in your efficiency.