Truck Fleet Management: 5 Facts Shippers need to Know

Truck fleet management is a critical component of transportation management

Truck fleet management is critical to transportation management, regardless of a company’s fleet size.

Freight transportation services rely on effective truck fleet optimization. Utilizing an effective TMS system removes much of the hassle that comes with managing a fleet of trucks. From logistics planning and tracking to financial planning and cost negotiation, the right processes make it easier for shippers to manage their truck fleets.

Shippers managing transportation fleets have a lot to balance and negotiate day in and day out. Being effective in this environment requires attention to these five critical facts.

1. Heavy Truck Builds Are Still Uncertain
As local economies and markets continue to recover, there is still a significant backlog across many industries. Heavy truck manufacturing is a market that has been among the slowest to recover. That means continued capacity issues and shipping obstacles.

With fewer heavy trucks, semis, and trailers in production than in previous years, this is a trend that seems to be continuing even into the post-pandemic recovery phase. Shippers have fewer trucks to use, making truck fleet optimization and collaboration with 3PLs and shippers essential.

2. The Gig Economy Will Complicate Truck Fleet Management Too.

Managing a fleet of trucks is challenging enough under normal circumstances.It becomes even more difficult following nationwide shutdowns and supply chain upheaval. Added to the current complexity of transportation management is the struggle to define specifically who counts as independent contractors and how they fit into the modern-day supply chain. How workers and employees get classified can affect pay rates, taxes, fees, expenses, and many other hidden aspects of shipping and freight management services.

3. Trucking Rates Are Going to Increase

Many factors can affect the rates shippers pay for things like fuel, transportation services, and vehicle upkeep. Fuel costs are the most impactful of all the expenses that feed into rate increases for shipping services. 

According to a recent review from FreightWaves, fuel costs dropped between 2019 and 2020, but this trend will be short-lived. Most experts anticipate fuel costs will increase. For shippers to keep up with managing a fleet of trucks, they must give careful attention to freight data.

4. The Trucker Shortage Gets Worse
Truck fleet optimization requires efforts focused on securing drivers and maintaining capacity availability. One significant obstacle facing shippers today is the trucker shortage. This long-known need became painfully obvious at the height of the pandemic.

According to Transport Topics, the American Trucking Association estimates more than 80,000 more drivers are needed to maintain optimal shipping lane services. Things might get even worse in the years ahead, with some estimates expected to surpass 160,000 new drivers needed by 2030.

5. Truck Fleet Management Begins With Optimization.
Optimization is critical for shippers to maximize recovery efforts and maintain a competitive advantage in the volatile market today.

Current truck fleet optimization is the only effective solution when new trucks and drivers are hard to find. It takes a lot to keep up with managing a fleet of trucks, but successful shippers embrace proper optimization and TMS mobility services. Without these tools, continued growth and success are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

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Shippers and LSPs Need Help to Overcome These Barriers

Fleet management is becoming increasingly uncertain due to several conditions, including the heavy truck builds that are still uncertain and the Gig Economy, which will complicate truck fleet management.
In addition, trucking rates will increase in 2022, and the truck driver shortage will get worse. However, improved truck fleet management can begin with optimization. MercuryGate’s fleet management functionality suite can turn those complications into opportunities for improvement.

Discover fleet management results in this case study.


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