With rates hitting historic highs in 2021 and capacity tighter than ever, it’s certainly a good time to be in the trucking business. Most experts are predicting that capacity will continue to be scarce in 2022 and that rates will remain elevated for most if not all of this year. As an owner operator or fleet owner, you know that eventually the pendulum will swing and rates will come back down to earth at some point. In this blog, we outline what you can do to capitalize on the demand for trucks and maximize your profit margins in 2022. It’s all about using technology to your advantage, increasing efficiency and turning your trucking business into a lean, mean profit-making machine.
1. Target Markets Where Demand and Rates Will Be High
Technology has evolved and now the freight forecasts that used to only be available to the mega fleets are accessible to independent owner ops and small to medium-sized fleets like yours. Trucker Tools’ three times/week predictive freight forecast “Where’s the Freight?” tells you which markets across the United States and Canada will see high demand and rates over the next five to seven day period. With this information about which markets will be hot and cold in the coming week, you have time to get your truck(s) into areas where demand and rates are projected to be high and get out of markets that would reduce your profits.
2. Reduce Broker Phone Calls with Digital Load Tracking
Increasing efficiency in your trucking business reduces waste and makes your operation more profitable, whether you’re an owner op or a trucking company. One of the easiest ways to make your trucking business run more efficiently is to embrace digital load tracking. Answering check calls from brokers or shippers takes time and energy that eats into your productivity. Instead, consider using a digital load tracking app like Trucker Tools’ mobile app. Trucker Tools’ free app reduces check calls from brokers and provides drivers like you with 17+ other tools and features that save time and money on the road.
3. Increase Efficiency with Easy-To-Use Technology
In addition to a transparent load tracking tool, the Trucker Tools app provides drivers like you with real-time info on weigh scales, rest areas, truck stops, parking, broker loads and reloads, routing, diesel prices, Wal-Mart locations and more all in one app. Having all of the digital tools you need in one app ultimately helps increase your productivity. If you’re a fleet, you can use the Trucker Tools app with your drivers, as well as Trucker Tools’ free carrier software platform. With our free carrier platform, your dispatcher can find and book loads and reloads online instead of spending all day on the phone answering calls from brokers asking, “Do you have a truck for this load?”
You must request permission from brokers/3PLs to see their loads in Trucker Tools’ carrier portal or driver app. Trucker Tools does not set broker rates and does not charge any per load transaction fees.
4. Embrace App-Based/Digital Load Booking
Waiting for a rate confirmation from a broker or logistics company also impacts your productivity and ability to keep those wheels rolling. The good news is that now you can search for and book loads digitally and skip the waiting around for a rate con. Trucker Tools’ Book It Now® lets you book loads digitally through the Trucker Tools driver app or free carrier platform. All Book It Now® loads include the broker’s rate. When you find a Book It Now® load that you like, simply tap/click on BOOK IT and the appointment will automatically be scheduled in the broker’s software platform — no follow-up phone calls or emails needed. Don’t like the rate listed on a Book It Now® load? No problem. Simply submit an alternate rate quote to the broker through the app/carrier platform.
5. Update Your Cost Per Mile Calculation
In 2021, many of your operating expenses likely increased, including the cost of truck insurance and the price of diesel fuel. Again, experts don’t expect these fuel and insurance rates to decrease any time soon, so it’s important that you know your current cost per mile. If it’s been a while since you’ve calculated your cost per mile, now would be a good time to recalculate it with your current operating costs. Doing so will help you make sure that you’re covering your costs. To calculate your cost per mile, you’ll need to make a list of your fixed and variable operating costs. OOIDA’s website includes a cost per mile calculator that can help you quickly determine your cost per mile.
If you’re a trucking company struggling to hire and retain drivers, be sure to read Six Recruitment Strategies for Fleets — with Randall-Reilly’s Seth Baker. To download the Trucker Tools app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/web/carriers/. To start using Trucker Tools’ free carrier software platform, visit https://bookaload.truckertools.com/.