Our economy depends on the transportation of freight, and, in large part, we have trucks to thank for keeping things running smoothly as 71% of the nation’s freight by weight is moved by trucks. Trucks and the carrier companies that run them play a vital role in the economy, and it’s a role that comes with challenges. Carrier companies in the trucking industry face roadblocks (yes - pun intended!) every day. Here are the top five challenges carrier companies face on a daily basis and ways to combat them:
- Costs: The burdens of labor, fuel, insurance and equipment costs can be overwhelming at times for carriers. One way to get started on cost reduction is to make fuel efficiency at your company a priority. Operating in higher gear, using cruise control, staying up-to-date on maintenance (alignment, tire pressure, etc.), and braking in moderation can help to reduce your fuel costs.
- Cash Flows: The industry is fast-paced, and to keep your business running you need to have cash available. Getting paid 60 and 90-days out is not atypical for carriers, and payment terms like these can make it hard to operate your business. Working with 3PLs for your freight needs can solve this problem by ensuring you get paid more quickly and on your own terms.
- Staying Loaded: Carriers often struggle with finding and ensuring they always have a load lined-up. Finding loads that require your particular equipment at your truck’s specific location can be a time-consuming and frustrating process that prevents you from doing what you should be doing – keeping your trucks moving! Establishing a relationship with a 3PL can ensure you always have a load lined up and are never in a position where your trucks are off the road and waiting around until a load match is found.
- Driver Health: The sedentary nature of the trucking profession can have negative effects on the health of truckers. Encouraging your drivers to go for a walk on their breaks and/or teaching them stretches that will prevent stiffness and stimulate blood flow can help ensure your drivers stay healthy on the job. Drivers also struggle with not being able to find healthy food options on the road. There are many guides available that teach meal prepping for over-the-road travel, and sharing these resources with your drivers will provide them with food options to keep them operating at their best.
- Driver Shortage: The driver shortage has become even more critical in recent years due to baby-boomer retirement and high turnover rates. To combat this problem, many carrier companies are implementing programs that make the job more attractive such as pay increases, comprehensive benefits packages and tuition reimbursement programs to help increase retention rates and attract new drivers.
You’re familiar with how these challenges prevent you from operating your business in the most effective and efficient manner. We hope this list of potential solutions will help you overcome these top carrier challenges to grow your business even further and help increase its impact on the industry!