To say an excessive amount of work goes into managing a freight company would be an understatement. In addition to recruiting personnel, negotiating with vendors and drawing up workable timetables, freighting managers have to deal with a wide assortment of unknown variables on a daily basis. While there’s no denying that these multi-talented individuals have a lot on their plates, not all freight managers are able to handle the pressures of the job in an equally resilient manner. Freight managers looking to step up their game and build a stronger fleet can benefit from the following pointers.
Utilize Spending Management Solutions
In order for any freighting company to continue trending upward, spending management solutions need to be employed. Overspending in some areas while underspending in others can have a tremendous impact on the quality of your services, as well as the satisfaction of your clients and workforce. With this in mind, make a point of investing in comprehensive supply chain finance tools. Developing a better sense of where your money’s going will enable you to make smart investment decisions and allocate your resources accordingly.
Avoid Overworking Operators
While overworking employees isn’t recommended in any industry, the consequences of overwork can be particularly brutal in the world of freighting. If an operator is sleep-deprived, exhausted or stressed, their attention is liable to waver – and given the size of the vehicle they’re operating, this stands to compromise both the driver’s safety and the safety of other motorists. This is why it’s never a good idea to send operators on multiple long trips in rapid succession. An operator who’s just driven across the country needs at least a couple days of rest before getting back in the saddle. Overwork commonly leads to burnout, which can prove fatal when one’s job involves controlling a massive vehicle.
In addition to preserving the safety of your drivers, an avoidance of overwork can help them maintain a healthy mindset and ultimately increase employee loyalty. If you habitually overwork your operators, you’re liable to have trouble retaining dedicated drivers for long periods. Furthermore, if your company develops a reputation for overworking operators, you’re likely to see a decrease in interest from skilled applicants.
Don’t Commit to Unrealistic Deadlines
In the same vein as not overworking your operators, you should also avoid committing to unrealistic delivery deadlines. In order to stay competitive, many freight companies tout speedy deliveries. While emphasizing timely deliveries is understandable for a company that earns its livelihood through transporting goods, committing to excessively short delivery times can put a tremendous strain on your operators. If a driver has a very small window of time to transport cargo across a very long distance, they may feel the need to cut back on sleep or ignore certain precautions, which can pave the way for potential safety hazards.
Not only should you avoid committing to unreasonable deadlines, you should also instruct drivers to prioritize safety over timeliness. Additionally, you can avoid late deliveries by setting delivery windows that are manageable and mutually-agreeable.
Put Extra Effort into the Packing Phase
If there’s one thing clients won’t abide, it’s damaged cargo. Although cargo damage can occur for a variety of reasons, improper packing is among the most common culprits. As such, it behooves every freighting company to put extra effort into the packing phase. A little bit of forethought at the outset of the journey can ensure that your drivers don’t waste time, fuel and energy transporting cargo that clients won’t accept. As any longtime trucker can attest, packing cargo is far from a “one size fits all” affair. Depending on what’s being transported, special considerations may need to be made with regard to packing method, packing materials and climate.
Even in these ever-changing times, the freighting industry has managed to stay robust and essential. Although most people outside of the industry seldom take the time to consider its importance, large swaths of society would be unable to function without dependable freighting services. Many medical facilities, grocery stores and retail chains would find themselves in a tough spot in the absence of reliable freight companies. Of course, this isn’t to say that all freight companies are created equal. While some companies represent fully-functional, well-oiled machines, others leave a lot to be desired in the management department. Putting the measures discussed above to good use can help ensure that your company doesn’t fall into the latter category.