Trucking Strategies to Keep Your Freight Business Moving

Trucking remains a key player in the global supply chain network. Due to the expansive demand for truck shipping, this industry offers many business opportunities in every market niche. However, the trucking industry has faced challenges, with the limited capacity of the freight network being the biggest issue.

Although you can’t address the macroeconomic issues of the trucking industry, you can use various strategies like free load boards to keep your freight business running. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to support your company.

1. Leverage Helpful Technologies

Technology is your friend in the dynamic and continuously changing freight industry. Adopting assistive technologies can simplify and speed up the supply chain, enhancing the efficiency of your operations. That can be a boon given the hassles of delays from processing and arranging paperwork, communication, and orders.

Your freight business will be able to meet the demand and be ready for the next surge when you spend less time securing cargo and containers.

Free load boards are one of the most vital of these aids, as they help to find the carrier to haul your load without paying a dime. With free load boards, brokers and shippers post the available loads with the goal of matching up with a carrier that has the capacity to transport their load. Implementing this technology enables you to find the most profitable loads to keep your freight business moving.

Other freight matching platforms create a digital network where supply chain business owners can instantly see and reserve available shipping containers. What’s more, these technological tools facilitate administrative work by issuing automated orders and reports on behalf of customers.

In addition, consider implementing dynamic routing in your freight business to save time and costs. This technology constantly updates and adjusts delivery schedules and route planning to meet customer demands. Integrating dynamic routing in your daily business can reduce overhead and fleet costs and optimize routes to meet deadlines.

2. Prepare for Container Shortages

Container shortage is an ever-present challenge for the logistics industry, but that challenge is not insurmountable.

For a start, consider making the most of your available containers to improve efficiency. Make every shipment count by filling up your containers with business-critical loads. If your load is below the maximum capacity, consider adopting less-than-container-load (LCL) shipping to share a container with other shippers.

While LCL shipping may seem inconvenient, it’s a cost-effective and reliable way to ship smaller cargo volumes. This shipping method helps you achieve the profitability every freight business desires by cutting shipping costs and relevant taxes and duties.

Another option is to find local producers that often make shipping containers. Besides being more budget-friendly than oversea producers, sourcing containers locally can be more reliable. So, purchase some containers from your preferred local producer and allocate them to your company’s distributors to prepare for shortages and emergencies.

Make it a routine to book your shipping containers in advance to avoid delays. While you can’t guarantee the availability of shipping containers, reserving offers a cushion against unforeseen circumstances in the freight business.

3. Establish Reliable Forecasts and Lead Times

Accurate forecasting is essential in keeping your business running, considering the capacity-constrained nature of the supply chain environment. Forecasting takes into account even the most uncontrollable circumstances faced in the freight business. Look at your business’s historical data and unexpected external factors to estimate demand accurately.

The most-effective forecasting model is the one that updates its projections to account for new clients and other shifts in the business environment. Share your projected numbers with your distributors, providing information about the potential of your business operations. They will better manage your load capacity needs with a clear projection of your shipping operations.

Without a reliable forecasting model, your freight business risks reduced profit margins from unnecessary expenditure. Your company will incur increased costs when running on a lower load capacity and inefficient operations. A solid forecast model triggers business actions based on data-driven analytics, optimizing business operations and minimizing overall costs.

4. Invest in Truck Driver Retention

The shortage of trucking drivers has been an ongoing concern for many freight businesses, with the industry facing a shortage of 80,000 drivers in 2021. While new drivers are joining the trucking industry, most shift jobs in search of better working conditions and pay. The struggle to keep drivers has arisen from a lack of work-life balance.

Therefore, investing in retaining your truckers is paramount for your freight business. One of the easiest ways to retain truck drivers is by offering incentives, including better working conditions, improved pay rates, and upskilling opportunities. Although you can’t buy loyalty, providing people with more favorable deals and working benefits increases the likelihood of keeping the most talented drivers on board.

You should also update your recruitment tactics to get new truck drivers into your team. Finding great truckers can be daunting with the high demand globally. But you can overcome that by reaching the right audience for your truck driver recruitment process.

To do so, consider using social media, contacting trucking schools, supporting commercial drivers in training, or visiting job fairs. With a multifaceted approach to recruitment, you’ll boost your chances of getting the right mix of drivers you want for your business.

Wrap Up

Regardless of your background or expertise, continuously growing and running a successful freight business is a constantly evolving process. After all, the industry has to navigate several challenges, from economic volatility to container and driver shortages. Technologies like free load boards, efficient management, and knowledge of current market trends can help you overcome the obstacles in the industry and keep your freight business moving forward.

The fundamentals of keeping your freight business lie in saving resources and limiting downtime. Always anticipate and prepare for unexpected circumstances and keep up with the freight business’s ever-evolving legal, global, and internal dynamics. If you can do this alongside the insightful strategies above, you’ll have a thriving freight business with steady profits, reliable distributors, and satisfied clients and staff.

Joshua Loong is building machine learning products on top of the messy world of logistics data. He brings extensive experience creating data products in industries ranging from ecommerce to non-profits to politics and public policy. He loves to solve problems through a systems perspective, and is always trying to better understand the intersection of business, software, and data science. He’s passionate about using data in ways that leave tangible, positive impacts on users and the world.