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It’s a strange time for the transport industry. On one hand, diminished use of public transport and the move towards remote working have significantly reduced demand in some areas. One the other hand, the supply chain is more important than ever before, with the world of deliveries through online services growing immensely in adoption and popularity.
Overall, then, it’s still perfectly possible to run a successful transport company — but there are various challenges that tend to crop up, and the selection has only expanded during 2020. In this post, we’re going to list some of these challenges, so you should pay close attention if you already run a transport company or are considering running one in the future. Here they are:
Keeping fuel spending under control
Fuel prices change all the time, and since transport companies require huge quantities of fuel, they can easily find their profits severely impacted by slight rises in costs. For this reason, they need to keep their fuel spending under control all the time. That means getting good rates on fuel, but it also means buying as little as possible, something that’s made possible by carefully monitoring travel routes and adjusting them as needed to shorten the ground covered.
To track fuel in this way, you need fuel cards. Presenting each driver in your fleet with a fuel card will make it easier for them to pay for the fuel they need and will allow you to easily track how much fuel you’re using. Examine that result alongside the GPS routes and you’ll be able to steadily improve the fuel economy of your regular operations.
Dealing with changing regulations
Look at what’s over the horizon, however far off. Self-driving cars, of course, and general automation. Before those things can arrive, they’ll need to be factored into transport regulations. Since regulations are already in a state of flux due to pushes towards environmental protections, the near future is only going to see more turmoil in the law.
Accordingly, you need to pay close attention to regulations changing in your area. If you fall foul of the law, it can massively inconvenience your operation. You may want to consult with a legal professional on a semi-regular basis to ensure that notable shifts get flagged up. This can prove costly, but it’s worth it if you can be among the first to adapt to major industry changes.
Hiring competent and reliable drivers
Long-haul driving isn’t the most glamorous of jobs, nor is it among the most comfortable. Add in the varying regulations requiring drivers to meet different criteria and you have a career path that isn’t getting too much attention these days. Especially in the COVID-19 era, younger people are far more likely to want jobs they can work remotely (they don’t want to be sedentary).
This means that the best and most reliable drivers tend to be zealously guarded by their employers: not forced to stay, obviously, but compensated well enough that there would be little benefit in them going elsewhere. If you have great drivers in your fleet, invest in their happiness now to make them less likely to quit down the line — and look for opportunities to bring in total novices so you can train them up. Implement great training and you’ll be a step ahead.