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5 Steps to Optimize and Balance Your Transportation Business

The road freight market is changing rapidly. Increased expectations from customers — both in the B2C and B2B space — demand fast and flawless service at cheaper rates. Carriers need to learn how to holistically embrace change and make it work to their benefit. That is easier said than done in the fragmented road freight market.

To create a business built for long-term success, carriers know they need a competitive edge and access to dedicated freight opportunities in order to grow their businesses.

To help inform your strategy, we pulled insights from our original research study, The Evolution of Technology + Humanity: Building a Supply Chain For Long-Term Success to create concrete next steps for carriers like you who are just starting to modernize their fleets. These steps are based on three surveys and the insights of hundreds of carriers operating across major European markets. They can help guide your strategy as you set up your business for long-term success in the road freight market.

Step 1: Identify your challenges.

You can’t decide where you’re going if you don’t first establish where you are. Work with other stakeholders in your business to critically evaluate your business strengths and weaknesses.

What are you doing well and where can you replicate best practices? Where do you need the most help?

Considering your biggest challenges (and how well-equipped you are to deal with them) is a good place to start. Here are what 140 other European carriers identified as their biggest challenges:

Once you have a good idea of where you are right now, you can make more informed decisions about where to focus your resources.

Step 2: Invest in technology to improve efficiency.

When most carriers look to grow their businesses, adding more trucks and hiring more drivers are the obvious choices. While these investments are an important element of growth, investing in a tech platform and paying a person to integrate and manage it is also critical. Though it may seem to come at the expense of adding capacity, it is essential for long-term success since today’s shippers require better service and greater visibility than ever before.

Once you identify your challenges and make the decision to invest, it’s difficult to know where to start – that’s where a 3PL like Coyote can help you by considering your top challenges and determining where technology can simplify your operations.

Based on where you choose to explore tech support, it’s crucial to research tools and set expectations. Be sure to identify what your must-haves are and have a standardized method to measure and evaluate performance in place – this is another area where a 3PL like Coyote can support you.

Looking for a free tech tool that makes booking, negotiating and planning for the long haul easier than ever? Get all the details on the new and improved CoyoteLogistics.com in our blog post.

Step 3: Dedicate people to critical thinking and strategy.

In the logistics industry, it’s hard to separate yourself from the fast-paced, day-to-day operational activities and take a look at the big picture. The Coyote Logistics team knows the importance of both tech innovation and human expertise and employs hundreds of knowledgeable specialists across Europe who can help you think more strategically about your fleet growth.

Any technology investment you make should result in improved efficiency, which can free up your people to do more strategic, critical thinking. As their roles evolve, think about areas where people can add greater value to your business, both within your organization and in terms of 3PL support.

Because of the fragmented market, many shippers are working with a larger number of carriers than they would like to, as seen in the graph below.

By thinking long-term, you can ensure that you stand out as a carrier of choice to the shippers you work with and, in turn, get more business.

Step 4: Focus on driver recruitment and retention.

As seen above, according to our MakerStreet survey, over half of European shippers are working with 30 or more different carriers at any given time. At the same time, most would prefer to decrease the number of carriers they’re working with or keep the number the same. How can you stand out in this fragmented market?

Attracting and retaining the best possible drivers is critically important for business growth. This is especially true in the current market environment.

As technology automates more manual processes, dispatchers and fleet managers can spend more time developing driver relationships to improve retention and recruiting.

Step 5: Stay up-to-date on industry news.

The logistics market is evolving every day. New solutions — and challenges — are constantly coming to market. To create and execute your transportation strategy, you need to stay informed on industry trends, market conditions and new technology.

Savvy carriers use a variety of sources – including a trusted third-party logistics provider – to get different perspectives. Here are the top sources that carriers utilize to stay current.

In Summary

Transformation is happening throughout the transportation industry. A sincere commitment to a common-sense business philosophy, combined with a few best practices, can add more consistency to a volatile market.

We used our original research to put together five insights that you can use to guide your strategy as you start balancing your business.

  1. Identify your challenges.
  2. Invest in technology to improve efficiency.
  3. Dedicate people to critical thinking and strategy.
  4. Focus on driver recruitment and retention.
  5. Stay up-to-date on new technology.

Coyote Logistics is uniquely positioned in the European road freight market to help you balance both technology and humanity in your fleet and overcome your challenges. Backed by UPS, our global industry expertise and vast network of shippers and carriers allow us to provide customized business solutions and trusted insights to the carriers in our network.

Want to learn more about balancing your fleet? Read and download Coyote’s research report to see the full results.

 

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