It goes without saying that to succeed in business, you’ve got to maximize your revenues while minimizing your expenses. When it comes to the latter, an often-overlooked area is transportation. It’s common for companies to dismiss these costs as necessary and static and then turn their attention to other expenses.
That’s unfortunate since there are several ways to lower your transportation management costs. In some environments, transportation cost reduction initiatives result in small savings. In others, a company can save many thousands of dollars annually. Either way, it’s all money that goes to the company’s bottom line or that can be channeled to other programs or projects.
Consequently, every business should periodically assess its transportation management expenses to avoid common mistakes that can adversely affect its finances.
Preventing Transportation-Related Errors Is Easy and Financially Advantageous
In our conversations with clients in many industries, we’ve learned that there are six common errors they’re prone to making regarding transportation management. And when they identify and correct these mistakes, they subsequently enjoy significant cost savings.
Do any of these apply to your operations?
1. You don’t really know your shipping capacity. This isn’t to say that you “don’t know your business.” No doubt you do. But if your transportation capability has never been pushed to (or beyond) its limit, it’s difficult to identify that outer limit. That’s why it’s a good idea to spend a little time and effort determining your maximum capacity. That way, if a spike in shipping volume starts pushing you in that direction, you have time to react and, for example, secure rental semi trailers to prevent missed deadlines and the resulting cascade of consequences.
2. You’re still using spreadsheets. Time is money. If you’re using spreadsheets to coordinate your transportation operations, you’re spending more of it than you should on this function. And the fact that you’re “staying on top of” your shipping requirements doesn’t mean you’re operating as efficiently as you could if you were to implement a transportation management automation solution. Plus, while doing so can save you money, it can also reduce stress levels for you and your team—and you can’t put a price on that!
3. You undervalue industry relationships. Cutting transportation costs is a good thing, but only if doing so doesn’t hurt your business in other ways. Companies that go with product and service providers simply because they offer the lowest fees, without regard to the quality of the offering, frequently regret that decision. Value is an integral part of the transportation expense equation, too, and relationships with organizations that have deep industry knowledge and a commitment to understanding your business can be priceless. Those providers are the ones that will “have your back” when problems arise.
4. You aren’t addressing your risks. From the risks of injuries or property damage to those affecting your operations (natural disasters, etc.), they can all negatively impact your overall transportation costs if you don’t identify and mitigate them. And often, the solution is as simple as, for example, having a basic plan for how to work around a severe weather emergency.
5. You aren’t optimizing your shipments. In busy transportation departments, it’s common for people to send something out the door just so they can cross an item off their to-do list without considering whether the company could save money by changing its shipping cadence. Aligning transportation requirements and capabilities can save a company a significant amount of money.
6. You have too much equipment. You may not see big green dollar signs floating up and away from idle semi trailers on your lot, but that’s essentially what’s happening. Whether you own those trailers outright or are making payments on them, they’re costing your company money. And if you aren’t using them, it’s money wasted. It’s typically much more cost-effective to operate “lean,” with just enough equipment to meet your average needs and augment your shipping capability as conditions warrant. Referring back to the item on relationships above… If you have a provider you’ve worked with and trust, renting or leasing a semi trailer to address volume spikes is easy and affordable. Then, when the surge subsides, you can return the semi trailers until you need them again, knowing that your cost when they’re not in your possession is zero!
Rental Semi Trailers: Putting the Emphasis on “Easy”
Many companies hesitate to use the solution proposed in item #6 above because their prior experience with renting or leasing semi trailers was frustrating and time-consuming. And it’s true that type of interaction is common.
For that reason, finding a company that has a fast, efficient process for getting you the semi trailers you require is essential. Whether that means dry vans, reefers, flatbeds or other types, the equipment is only valuable to your business if you can get it with maximum convenience and minimal hassles. For example, at Boxwheel Trailer Leasing, our 3-step process puts the emphasis on “easy.”
All it takes to get a professionally maintained semi trailer perfectly suited to your needs is a quick phone call with one of your trailer experts to discuss your requirements, a one-page application and a trip to our lot to grab the equipment. And if your challenges are around storing rather than transporting products or materials, keep in mind that semi trailers can serve as secure mobile mini-warehouses to expand your storage capacity quickly and affordably.
Reduce Your Transportation Costs With Readily Available Semi Trailers
If you have an immediate need for semi trailers or may not for several weeks or months, it’s wise to learn about your options for obtaining high-quality equipment from leading manufacturers like Wabash, Utility, and Great Dane. Contact Boxwheel Trailer Leasing today, and learn about our large inventory, extensive industry experience, efficient processes, and attentive service.