The supply chain industry is constantly evolving, and the trucking industry is no exception. Freight planning can get complicated, especially if you are juggling multiple trucks and drivers. Thankfully, there are a few ways to stay organized and get everything where they need to go in a timely and efficient manner.
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the shipping and logistics industry. As a result, several innovative and inspiring apps and tools can help improve your business.
Here are some tips for your freight planning.
1) Business Plan
Whether you are the sole proprietor of your freight business or you are in a partnership, you will need to map out a business plan to ensure the success of your company. You will want to map out things like the cost of office expenses (if you are purchasing a space), the price for the trucks and insurance, and the wages you will pay your employees. You will also want to map out the products you want to haul and where your trucks will travel to most of the time. Once you figure these things out you can estimate how much you will need to start your business and how operations will work once it gets created.
2) Mobile Apps
Our phones have unique capabilities, and several freight applications can help you manage many of your business’s needs. You can use these apps for GPS tracking of your trucks, delivery logs, fuel efficiency checks, shipping labels, pickup scheduling, and reporting. Using your smartphone can help get you far in your business by helping you manage your budget and your time.
3) Market Locations
If you are diving deep into the freight business, you will eventually want to expand. And, to grow, you need to be aware of the different locations you can haul products to and what market of products are popular. Simplex Group recommends looking at other states that have a demand for food, vehicles, and furniture. Plus, you will want to see where people are relocating and buying homes in large quantities. Of course, whether you mainly haul niche products or not will affect whether you can expand in certain areas. For example, if you only haul hazardous items, the locations you can expand to may be limited.
4) Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to get the word out that you have a business that can fulfill people’s needs for various products. You can hire a digital marketing firm to build or optimize your website. They can help you show up on the first page of search results when companies search for keywords related to your trucking business. The marketing agency will make sure that you have a great website and informative content on there with easily clickable contact information. Word-of-mouth is a great way to gain business, but sometimes you need a little push to help get you started.
A great way to gain more business is to network between suppliers and companies requiring your services and products. You can easily network with other companies at events like a supplier day event where different companies can come out to explore their options for who they want to transport their products. You can have a presentation at the event where you explain the logistics of how your company can provide the best services for these companies.
It may sound cliche, but communication is vital and a great freight planning best practice. You need to ensure that you are communicative with your employees and your suppliers. Having open communication with your team and suppliers will ensure that your products get to their destination on time and that you have the right amount and right products being delivered to where they need to go.
7) Packing Your Products
You need to research the proper way to pack your products. This best practice is essential because you do not want your products to get to their destination and find out that they are damaged and cannot be used. This situation is not suitable for business and will not get repeat customers. Plus, when the products get to their destination damaged, you lose out on money from hauling the products a long way and potentially not getting paid for these items due to their not being consumable.
Maintaining all of these working parts is essential for successful freight business. Do not be afraid to seek outside help if you have trouble with different things like accounting or scheduling. Since you are the company owner, your time might be best served by attending to matters other than packing the truck properly or producing meaningful content for your business’ website. Therefore, allocating the different jobs needed to other people may be a good idea, so you are not overwhelmed and can focus on growing your business.