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The United States Census Bureau has estimated that more than 351,821 carriers are self-employed and managing their own business. The most successful companies are efficient and well organized. When you improve your business’ operational efficiency you can turn a better profit and grow.

Running an efficient trucking company requires maintaining regulatory compliance to ensure your business is always up and running. Staying on top of regulatory compliance not only boosts efficiency, but can also help cement your reputation as a reliable and trustworthy carrier.

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Without proper planning, expenses can quickly eat away at profits, and compliance violations can cost you quite a bit in fines, lost freight opportunities, and could lead to potentially getting pulled off the road altogether. Working as a carrier requires planning and strategy.

Running a trucking company can be extremely profitable if you know how to strategically plan your time on the road, negotiate rates, and stay compliant. Owner-operators and carriers can run efficient trucking companies when they learn to manage the following key components of their operation.

Know Your Operating Costs

When you start to calculate all the fees that add up into your company’s total operating costs, things add up quickly. There are two types of expenses that factor into your total operational cost – fixed costs and variable costs.

Fixed costs don’t change, no matter how many miles you drive or hours you log on the highway. These costs include things like vehicle payments, insurance, permits, ELD contracts and more.

Variable costs change according to how much time you spend on the road. The more miles you drive, the higher your variable costs. These costs include things like fuel, tires, tolls, hotels, professional services, food and drinks.

Once you know your fixed and variable costs, you can determine how much it costs to drive per mile. When you subtract this figure from the rates you charge your clients, you end up with your total profit. You can use these numbers to determine whether or not a particular haul is worth picking up. Based on the negotiated terms of each haul compared to your total costs per mile, you’ll be more clued into which hauls make the most financial sense for your business.

Understand the Market

No one expected the transportation market to shift as quickly as it did in 2020 when owner-operators worked overtime for weeks on end to meet consumer needs across the globe. While it would be nearly impossible to predict this kind of seismic shift, there are certain things that owner-operators and independent carriers should consider.

To maintain a successful, efficient small business in this industry, you need to understand what’s happening in the market at all times. This knowledge can help you set the best rates, plan for the future, and make adjustments to your business plan. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on what’s happening in the market by reading trade magazines and other online industry publications and working closely with industry connections to make the best choices for your business at all times. If you work with an experienced and reputable broker, they will know what rates to negotiate for based on market conditions.

Stay Compliant With All Local and Federal Regulations

Maintaining compliance in the transportation industry is no small task. There are countless practices to follow, registrations to file, Hours of Service (HOS) mandates to adhere to, and many other compliance requirements to stay on top of.

It can be hard to stay efficient with so many rules and regulations to follow. It can be difficult to juggle keeping track of changing regulations, finding and delivering freight, and all the other small details that go into running your business.

But an efficient business is also a compliant one. After all, carriers with penalties and violations could end up with tens of thousands of dollars in fines and may even end up sidelined as a result.

These regulations don’t have to be a hindrance to your business. HOS rules mean that carriers are well-rested and fresh for a full day’s work, preventing accidents from drowsiness or exhaustion. With the proper knowledge of how HOS rules work, you can even maximize your efficiency to make the most of your time on the road.

Run a Smooth Operation with Xpress Technologies

Staying organized and efficient are key parts of running a profitable business, especially if you plan to expand your operation. Xpress Technologies is dedicated to providing carriers with the tools they need to efficiently run their businesses.

Xpress Technologies is a technology company that was built by truckers, for truckers. We’ve learned what compliance and other operational issues carriers face by leveraging over 40 years of trucking industry experience; we’ve developed the tools that can help resolve those efficiency issues. We offer an intuitive hybrid load board, which lets you book loads through self-service software and brokerage services. So whether you prefer booking loads yourself or coordinating with a broker over the phone, with the Xpress Technologies load board, you can book loads your way.

Using the Xpress Technologies App, you can connect with our experienced and reputable brokers and take on new loads at any time, track mileage, and more.

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