The key to running a successful business, of course, is keeping expenses under control while maximizing revenue. For many owner-operator truckers, the cost of doing business has been on the rise as of late due to a variety of factors. Fuel costs are high, extreme weather events appear to be increasing, inflation is putting a dent in purchasing and financial markets are uncertain. As a result, the cost of a (or multiple trucks) is becoming more onerous. More than ever, it’s critical to keep expenses under control to keep profit margins healthy.
There are a number of ways truck owner-operators can keep a lid on expenses.
Consider using a TMS. A transportation management system (TMS) is a logistics platform that uses technology to help trucking businesses plan, execute and optimize the physical movement of goods, both incoming and outgoing and make sure shipments are compliant and proper documentation is available. TMS solutions offer some important cost- and time-saving benefits, including the elimination of repetitive data entry, streamlined accounting thanks to integration with accounting software, better truck utilization, improved visibility and communication between dispatchers and drivers, improved customer service, the ability to manage more difficult (but higher-paying) freight, better driver management, DOT regulatory compliance, simplified IFTA fuel tax reporting, and strong business intelligence with robust KPIs.
Pay more attention to budgets. By keeping a very detailed budget, it’s easier to figure out where you’re spending too much and take steps to reduce costs. Keep careful track of all incoming and outgoing dollars so you can make it easy to determine your costs per mile. Consider employing an accountant to prepare a detailed profit and loss statement at the end of each quarter so you can analyze trends in your spending and uncover unnecessary expenses that can be dropped.
Protect against cargo theft. Cargo theft – the disappearance of cargo between dispatch and arrival – is a costly problem. The FBI has estimated that as much as $30 billion is lost yearly to cargo theft. Additionally, about 61 percent of cargo theft loss occurs at a truck stop or official rest stop. Ensure you have up-to-date antitheft devices and systems on all cargo.
Carefully plan routes and stops in advance. While some elements, such as weather or unexpected traffic jams, may be beyond your control, you can plan the best routes by staying up to date on road construction projects, toll and bridge costs, weather forecasts, and more. There are many phone apps and navigation solutions that will allow you to plan the best possible routes.
Ensure maintenance is current. Minor problems can become large, so be certain you’re carrying out timely maintenance on all trucks before little fixes turn into expensive ones. Ensure that oil levels are checked before every load, that the tires are in excellent condition (with the correct tire pressure, which can also save on fuel), and that all fluids are topped up before embarking on a trip.
At Status Transportation, we assign each owner operator a dedicated freight coordinator to help them develop a business strategy to ensure their profitability. Owner-operator loads are carefully chosen to align with your strategy. We strive to build profitable partnerships by delivering the highest quality services through continuous education of employees, development of systems, and best practices. We are here to give you the support and resources you need, such as a dedicated dispatcher, fuel cards, advances, etc. Status Transportation works with the most common types of equipment such as dry vans and flatbeds. To learn more, visit our website or call us at 407-574-7990.