The 3 top benefits of trucking fleets benchmarking financial and operational performance

Adam RobinsonFreight Market Blog

trucking fleets

Benchmarking standards within trucking fleets are continuously changing. While the industry moves toward more cohesive programs to track performance, including profitability per load, the need to boost benchmarking through freight KPIs is absolute. At this time, the benchmarking space gets often relegated to the area of safety improvements. As reported by DC Velocity“the 2020 Fleet Advantage Industry Benchmark Survey noted, “11% of transportation fleets estimate they have saved more than $1 million in crash avoidance by upgrading to newer trucks with advanced safety features.” While valuable for advancement, the rest of the equation rests on ensuring that financial and operational performance continues. In other words, the need to boost safety can only go as far as the ability of the company to expand and remain profitable. So, it’s important to know the top three benefits of trucking fleet benchmarking.

1. Benchmarking trucking fleets promotes RFP accuracy and avoids unnecessary rating losses

Benchmarking trucking fleets promotes RFP accuracy and helps avoid unnecessary rating losses. The different benchmarks for trucking fleets help ensure that the company operates at an optimal level at all times. Benchmarks assist with the organization and visibility of many aspects. Tasks such as annual freight rate discussions and contract bids are more productive and accurate. Instead of wasting resources to guess at which lanes and shippers meet minimum load requirements, capturing real-time freight data helps carriers identify their top performers, review eligibility for shipper-of-choice status and ensure everything runs more smoothly. Additionally, freight market participants find themselves better prepared to enter rate discussions, especially once they are armed with the data from these performance benchmarks. The increased visibility of data for trucking fleets makes for an excellent resource that assists with trucking RFP accuracy and unnecessary rating losses. Companies that use this resource can maintain a high reputation and draft more accurate proposals.

2. Better contract and spot rates amount to lower driver turnover and attract fresh talent

The benefits of benchmarking trucking fleets also include better contract and trucking spot rate pricing, which means lower driver turnover for trucking fleets. This also means increased availability of fresh talent for the fleet. Remember that today, the capacity crunch is in full effect, and it’s only a matter of time before carriers begin rejecting loads at record highs. That’s especially true when considering the state of the economy and hopes for growth in 2021. Why? 

Increased confidence and consumer spending will have the effect of boosting e-commerce. The sudden surges of 2020 are not one-off scenarios. They will recur and create a new index for measuring industry growth. Remember the “guns or butter” measure of economics that was taught in high school. Everything expanded despite the state of emergency. And in turn, this makes benchmarking an excellent tool for combating issues that come from truck driver shortages. Lower driver turnover and fresh talent mean companies will have the best available people on their team. The data from benchmarking trucking fleets provides companies with a wealth of information. This information will help to reduce costs and allow companies to make better program decisions that benefit the company.

3. Financial insight feeds into equipment purchasing decisions

Trucking fleet benchmarks not only assist with increased carrier revenue and profitability. The benchmarks also provide necessary financial insight for making equipment purchasing decisions. Increased financial insight feeds into equipment and purchasing decisions for trucking fleets. Therefore, trucking fleets that have access to better financial insight find themselves more financially stable. They are also more prepared to improve fleet asset allocation and maximize their profitability. 

Money is saved from increased financial insight. This is money that can then assist trucking fleets with many things, including new truck and trailer orders, maintaining existing trucks and avoiding potential losses. This helps to ensure that any business can survive economic hardships, especially with unforeseeable crises such as the COVID pandemic. Trucking fleets with better financial insight can maintain greater capacity while also increasing driver morale. Trucking fleets also can make better decisions about which markets to focus on. Purchasing decisions accompanied with operating trucking fleets’ data to support all activities result in strategic cost savings and better asset allocation. Greater financial insight is an invaluable tool.

Tap the value of benchmarking and freight analytics with the right data platform

The wealth of information from benchmarking and predictive freight analytics has its true value within the right data platform. Trucking fleets benefit the most from this information when partnered with the right platform to meet their needs. Request a FreightWaves SONAR demo to get started.