There’s a massive amount of freight moving across U.S. highways to various destinations—including construction job sites, manufacturers, and the like.
A 2019 survey from The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) noted that the U.S. trucking industry hauled 11.49 billion tons of domestic freight in 2018 which is 71.4 percent of total domestic freight tonnage shipped.
Why is trucking spend a critical portion of overall transportation management and transportation spend for heavy building materials suppliers and haulers, and why would you want to monitor it closely?
Mainly because trucking costs often represent a hefty percentage of operational costs.
How to lower trucking-related transportation costs for better transportation management
Trucking-related costs come from fuel, truck ease or purchase, repair and maintenance, insurance, permits and licenses, tolls, and driver wages and benefits. ATRI notes that these costs rose from $1.548/mile in 2010 to $1.821/mile in 2018, which equates to $61.90/mile in 2010 to $71.78/mile in 2018. Fuel costs were the most significant increase of all trucking-related expenses from 2017-2018.
So, what are your best options for reining in trucking’s operational costs in 2020 and beyond? Consider tools and techniques that give you real-time visibility by letting you:
- Track your fleet in real-time, mapping trucks exact locations by using GPS truck tracking and telematics. With real-time statuses and alerts, you’ll always know what drivers are doing, where they are and have updated information about your fleet’s performance. You can monitor driver habits and vehicle performance, uncovering risky behaviors like hard braking, speeding, and sharp turns, and improve safety.
- Get proactive reports that increase your efficiency as you analyze fuel usage and driver performance, monitor vehicle health, identify causes of nonproductive time, and optimize your results. One 57-truck fleet recently showed an impressive 25% average increase in fuel economy after only two months of monitoring engine events.
- Automate timekeeping for load counts and cycle times—including for trucks you don’t own—so you can get real-time visibility into trucking and job costs, all without additional devices.
Whether you’re using your dedicated fleet or another firms’ trucks, there are both supply chain and operational benefits to keeping an eagle eye on your truck-related costs: you’ll know when orders leave the plant; get a better handle on material flows, orders, and deliveries; and improve customer responsiveness, enhance efficiencies, optimize processes, and improve business metrics.
Ready to get up-to-the-minute insights into your trucking/operational costs? Command Alkon’s single telematics platform TrackIt 3P extends the power of TrackIt’s workflow management beyond owned fleet to third-party drivers. Dispatchers can now manage all the trucks working for them the same way, whether those trucks are company-owned or from a third-party. TrackIt 3P compiles data generated from drivers’ haul sheets for use by the back office of both buyers and sellers of hauling.