Cutting your trucking company’s expenses makes a big difference when it comes to running your business. Some companies avoid real-time load tracking due to the equipment cost and the monthly subscription.
Brands and subscription services vary, but it can cost hundreds of dollars for an advanced GPS tracker and the subscription fees can range from $10 to $50 a month, again depending on the provider. It may seem expensive, but real-time tracking saves a bundle in the long run, so it is a technology you should embrace.
Explore the Benefits of Real-Time Load Tracking
Why would a company want to invest in this technology? It benefits your trucking company in many ways, and each one ends up saving a lot of money. You’ll end up saving more than you spend.
- Better Customer Service
You have brokers and shippers relying on your drivers to be on time. When they call, they want to know exactly where the truck is at that moment. When you can pull up the information using real-time tracking, you give accurate arrival times. Or, you can alert them if your driver runs into an unexpected delay due to weather, traffic tie-ups, or breakdowns.
Knowing that they can get the information that’s needed, your customers are happier. They have to have someone at the loading dock to meet your driver. If they’re short on staff, they don’t want to pull a worker from another department until it’s necessary. Your real-time information ensures they’re able to prepare in a timely manner, which makes them happy and likely to recommend you to others as well as call on you for future deliveries.
- Ease of Re-Routing Drivers
When you have real-time tracking, you can monitor locations and pay close attention to unexpected traffic due to accidents, construction, or inclement weather. You can use this information to re-route drivers to avoid idle times, late deliveries, and frustrated drivers. Plus, it can help protect your drivers if roads are icy or it’s extremely windy. Re-routing them can keep them safe.
You may also want to re-route drivers if you notice that there is a storm at one of the loading docks. The driver has two different loads in the trailer, so you could complete the second stop first and then make the first after that, provided the customer is okay with this. It may be better for the customer as they don’t want to risk their employees’ safety in severe weather either.
- Fuel Savings
Re-routing and careful route planning are also helpful in lowering fuel consumption. A route may show up as fastest on GPS and mapping tools, but there are tolls along the way. Those toll lanes start to back up and create delays that use up more fuel than planned.
Use real-time tracking to carefully plan routes to be more fuel-efficient. While many think shortest routes are best, it’s not always the case if there are going to be issues that increase the amount of time your driver is idle.
- Heighten Safety
With real-time tracking, you heighten safety for your drivers and others on the road. You can use it to monitor your drivers and ensure they’re doing things like obeying the speed limits, taking the required breaks, and not driving longer than is legally allowed.
If you spot heavy rains in a town that your driver hasn’t reached yet, you can let the driver know in advance. Your driver can dodge the weather event that’s leading to flooding and washed-out roadways.
Suppose it’s early morning, and your driver’s position hasn’t changed in an hour. But, that driver had just woken up and started the next leg. You get no response. You can notify authorities and see if they can go check it out. If your driver was in an accident, it helps get emergency services in place ASAP. You might have technology that tells you if the truck was in a crash. It’s easier to get medical attention to your driver quickly.
- Lower Insurance Costs
Because you can set alerts that tell you if a driver is speeding, going off-route for no reason, taking enough breaks, etc., drivers are less likely to be in accidents. This lowers your insurance costs. It’s hard to know exactly how much you’ll save, but it can be significant.
A few years ago, one company added real-time tracking technology to all of the trucks in its fleet. It was expensive for the company to add the technology to all 50 trucks, but it quickly paid off as the company’s commercial trucking insurance rates dropped by nearly 50%.
- Reduce Idle Times
Real-time tracking makes it easy to monitor where a truck is and how long they’ve been sitting idle. If you have a driver waiting to unload, but there are several trucks in line, that driver can’t do much but sit idle until it’s his or her turn.
Fuel accounts for around 60% of a trucking company’s expenses, and the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that heavy-duty trucks use up about 0.8 gallons every hour they idle. If you have a truck that idles for two hours, that’s 1.6 gallons which at current fuel rates (4/24/23) is $3.656 (gas) or $4.077 (diesel) per gallon gets costly.
The other issue is that idling can cause extra wear and tear on the engine. Trucks need to be serviced more often, and that adds to your maintenance budget. In one study, maintenance costs saw a decrease of almost 5%, and gas consumption dropped by 5% when real-time tracking was used.
With real-time tracking, you can monitor how long it’s taking. If there are extreme idle times, you could re-route a driver to take over any loads that the idle driver was scheduled to pick up. It ensures your drivers are in motion as much as possible, and it keeps your brokers and shippers happy as you avoid late deliveries.
Learn More About Real-Time Tracking and Freight Factoring
With Saint John Capital’s Track Loads mobile app, you’ll get updates on your driver’s location every 15 minutes. You’ll know when a delivery is about to arrive at the destination or when it’s left the loading dock. You’ll have the bill of lading immediately upon departure and again on arrival, and you can use that bill of lading to request payment immediately.
Real-time load tracking is helpful, but it’s even better if you pair it with freight factoring for fast payments. If you’re tired of invoicing clients and hoping they pay you immediately, you need to look into the benefits freight factoring provides.
Saint John Capital partners with you to ensure you get paid the same day or within a couple of business days. You never again have to wait for an invoice to get paid, which can take weeks or even months. Sign up for free on our website.