The trucking industry is a prosperous one. From fresh food to eCommerce shipments, countless deliveries are made each day across the United States. It is also an industry that isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.
In fact, to meet the demand, there are currently over 500,000 trucking companies in the US alone. While this highlights the importance and size of the industry, it also emphasizes another aspect: competition.
Along with established trucking businesses that have been in the game for decades, thousands of newcomers join the party each year. When you add in rising fuel prices and other challenges, trying to run a profitable company in the trucking sector is a tough task these days.
Yet it’s not impossible. With a few savvy strategies under your belt, not only can you stay afloat in the trucking industry – you can thrive and enjoy the lucrative profits available. To make that a reality, here are five ways to improve profit margins for your trucking company.
1. Focus on branding
Branding is an aspect you shouldn’t overlook when it comes to your trucking company. When you think about how many different businesses exist in the logistics sector, it’s essential to utilize everything you can to stand out from the competition.
A strong brand begins with a strong logo. If you decided to cheap out on this aspect previously, it’s time to give your logo a revamp. There are many freelance designers and agencies that are capable of producing professional, eye-catching logos at competitive prices.
When you think about how the logo is the basis for your branding – which includes all marketing materials – it’s more than worth the investment. It will leave a lasting impression, and this can make all the difference in potential clients selecting your business.
Colors, symbols, and typeface are key elements when putting together a logo. Also, think about how these will affect your branding in general. For instance, the colors you choose can impact everything from your business cards to truck wraps.
2. Remain up-to-date with transportation technology
Running a transportation business is tough. You’re responsible for a wide range of tasks on a day-by-day basis. Fortunately, a lot of this work can be streamlined – and even eliminated entirely – by utilizing specialist technology. In the trucking industry, there are solutions that help with everything from managing your finances to planning out routes.
Regarding the latter, you can find specialist GPS software that allows you to plan out the best routes in real-time. Information such as traffic and weather are considered, and this helps to optimize journey times and reduce fuel usage.
There’s also modern technology that can be installed directly on your trucks. As an example, TruckLabs has developed a tractor-mounted aerodynamic device called TruckWings. This solution automatically reduces the cab and trailer gap. It might not seem like this makes much of a difference, but it improves stability, reduces drag, and enhances fuel efficiency. With up to 6% saving on fuel costs, you can reduce your expenses by thousands – and instantly boost your profit margins.
3. Supply the best service
When you’re up against the big boys of the transport industry, it’s difficult to find any areas where you can gain a competitive edge. It’s likely they will be able to provide their services at more competitive prices, as well as complete deliveries with greater efficiency. However, there is one important element where you’re able to surpass industry leaders: customer service.
As a small company, you naturally have a smaller list of clients. That’s not ideal on the surface, true, but it does mean you are able to commit more time and resources to each customer. It gives you the potential to treat every client like they’re the most important person in the world.
This type of premium service, where you’re always available and ready to go that extra mile, means plenty of customers are willing to pay a little extra to work with your business.
4. Take your digital marketing to the next level
To grow your client list, it’s imperative you take the necessary steps to enhance your organic visibility. This can be achieved with a robust digital marketing strategy.
The most important element is your website. As well as being a central point of information for potential customers to learn more about your business – including services and contact details – it’s also the foundation for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Furthermore, a site is able to portray your business in a positive light. If it features a modern, professional design, visitors will feel your company matches these characteristics on the whole.
Beyond a site, there are numerous digital marketing techniques you can opt to use – all with their own pros and cons. One of the most effective options, however, is undoubtedly social media. Whether you decide to use Facebook, Instagram, or even TikTok, an active social media platform is an excellent promotional tool. You can use it to keep customers up-to-date with the latest news about your business, reply to inquiries, share industry developments, and more.
5. Fill gaps with load boards
Even if you work with a lot of different clients, your business is always going to suffer from some lean periods. What do you do when you have empty trucks just sitting around? This is when you take the initiative and try to find work for your company.
The good news is that load boards exist. With load boards, you can search for different delivery tasks in your local vicinity. Simply put, in a bid for a job, and if it’s accepted, you can get straight to work. If you are traveling with half-full trucks, these additional jobs are also suitable for filling up this extra space – maximizing your transit revenue as a result.
Load boards aren’t just great for when you need to fill gaps during slow periods. They’re also an excellent route toward building up new connections and relationships with clients.