The world of logistics is a tough nut to crack, even for the most seasoned entrepreneurial veterans.
This is partly due to the dynamic, ever-evolving landscape that is the trucking industry. It’s an industry that promises an immense reward to those who can establish a foothold there, but it’s not without its own unique set of trials and tribulations to overcome.
If you’re hoping to expand your own trucking enterprise any time soon, you might be in luck – much of the world is desperately calling out for new and improved logistical solutions, so the stage is set for those wishing to chase down innovative new business techniques.
While every business is unique, many of the key fundamentals required to expand operations remain somewhat unchanged. What does this mean for your trucking company? It means that you’ll need to master the basics. Once you have some solid foundations in place, you have a reliable jumping-off point, one that can support you through the ups and downs of the trucking world.
Here are some top tips to help you get started.
Keep Up with Modern Tech
Modern technology is consistently changing and evolving, which, in turn, shapes and transforms the trucking industry on a fairly regular basis.
From the onboard truck tech to the software you use in the office, there’s a lot of tech to trip over, so make sure you keep your eye on the latest releases and upgrades.
Technology can help you retain your competitive edge, and if it’s leveraged properly, it can shrink the gap between you and a much larger organization. For example, a well-designed database that allows you to analyze real-time data collected from your trucking routes can improve your decision-making and help to inform the best routes in the future.
Dynamic routing is a must nowadays, as are driver alert systems and reliable accounting software solutions.
Alongside the core accounting functions, modern software solutions for the trucking industry tend to boast a wealth of neat extras, including automation tools to help you speed up your day, free up your staff and save some money.
Utilize Reliable Load Boards
Once you find a great load board, you shouldn’t ever find yourself without work. For those of you looking to expand your horizons, a good load board can help you widen your profit margins, find regular work, and possibly even get connected with some important prospects.
You can set your parameters to suit your specific needs, so you never need to worry about taking on the wrong kind of work.
This can be a great way to net yourself some extra work while your company grows. It can look great for your resume too, and it couldn’t be easier to set up; all it takes is a few clicks.
The more work you’re doing, the more visibility you can give your trucking company. More visibility hopefully translates to a larger customers base, resulting in more money, a wider reach and a reliable, growing bedrock of loyal brokers.
Consider Leasing New Trucks
Your fleet is integral to your entire operation, yet new trucks (and fleet maintenance in general) can be extremely expensive and not always a viable option for companies trying to expand their borders, especially if money is a major stumbling block.
You could always consider leasing trucks if you need to increase the volume of jobs you’re taking on at any given time. This could be a good go-between to bridge the gap while your company grows.
Once you’ve grown your customer base, you can start to think about swapping the lease in favor of buying your own trucks. There are pros and cons to both sides, so make sure you have a think about how it affects your budget before you make any big decisions.
Finding New Drivers
Drivers are in demand at this moment in time, so if you find one you like, make sure you try your best to keep hold of them!
It’s certainly worth investing in a driver before you buy a new truck, too, as you wouldn’t want to be stuck with an expensive new vehicle and nobody to drive it.
Look Out Further
It’s true that cross-country trucking can be incredibly tough, particularly once you start to consider the many, many rules and regulations involved with it.
It can be the perfect way to expand your company, too, as it essentially widens your scope and takes it to an international stage.
Again, load boards can help you break into this area, so they’re definitely worth exploring if only to enable you to test the waters.
Organize Your Finances
A badly organized financial infrastructure is often the silver bullet that sinks entire operations, no matter the industry.
In trucking, however, it can be utterly disastrous, preventing even the most promising plans from reaching fruition. This is partly because there’s so much to keep an eye on, from the wages to the cost of fuel in relation to the weight of the load, taxes, road tolls, import/export fees, and plenty of others.
Once you get your finances organized, other areas of your business start to become crystal clear. Great software can help you do this, as can the right specialist. However, you do it, mastering your finances should always be among your top priorities.
Getting organized can help you determine where your money is going, where it’s coming from, and most importantly, which areas it can be increased in.
Fuel is expensive. In fact, it’s never been so expensive, and it’s a key part of trucking. Optimized fuel buying can save you a huge amount of money in the long run, allowing you to bolster your budget and put it toward growing your business.
Good drivers can help you with this part of the business, but it’s worth using a data system to improve this, too, as this will likely supply you with a more accurate representation of your fuel budget.
The trucking industry is experiencing a transition of sorts, and it requires a great deal of tenacity to navigate. With the right tools, tech, and infrastructure, growth is certainly possible in today’s world.