7 ways carriers can survive an economic downturn

Tractor truck drives down the highway.

Resilient carriers know technology is crucial for surviving economic downtowns.

Automation and increased efficiency save money when great-paying loads are harder to find. Whether your business has been around for decades or has just seen rubber hit the road, you can always improve your chances of weathering the storm ahead.

In this post, we’ll share the top 7 ways your business can make it through even the worst economic downturns looming just over the horizon. 

1. Reduce order entry time

Spending too much time entering orders leads to missing out on freshly posted profitable loads or missing calls from potential customers. When the trucking sector is teetering on the edge of a freight recession, every minute – and dollar – counts.

Axele TMS reduces the time spent manually building loads and speeds up order entries. Customers save up to 7 minutes per load with our rate confirmation extraction tool.

2. Optimize load scheduling

Finding the right loads for the right drivers is often like assembling a puzzle blindfolded. Navigating across multiple browser tabs and menu screens of various load boards causes headaches even for even the most seasoned dispatchers. And just when you think you’ve found the right load, a more profitable option for your driver shows up on another load board.

Axele TMS lets users search multiple load boards at once without ever leaving the service.

Booked loads are then built using:

  • Posted pickup and dropoff locations.
  • Dates
  • Equipment types.

Users can also search the load boards for the best options while considering the deadhead from previous loads and the empty miles drivers will accept on the backend.

3. Monitor progress

Knowing your drivers’ locations at all times is important to you as well as your customers. And when economic turmoil is just over the horizon (or you’re in the middle of a recession), that knowledge is crucial for your operational efficiency – especially for newer carriers.

With Axele TMS, dispatchers can send unique track and trace links to customers for each load.

Track and Trace links let customers follow the progress of the load at every step, reducing the number of calls dispatchers must make to update customers on load progress.

Axele customers have been able to reduce customer calls by as much as 50%.

4. Stay on the same page with drivers

Dispatchers can save time lost to phone calls with a simple text message or two. Wasted time adds up and cuts into your bottom line – but the information exchanged is critical to your operations, which become a mess without constant communication.

Axele’s driver mobile app lets dispatchers send information directly to drivers and track progress along routes. Drivers also even make time-off requests and review their settlement statements within the app.

You can also use the app to scan and upload related documents, including receipts for reimbursement on each settlement.

The driver mobile app makes sure you’ll always be on the same page with your drivers.

5. Streamline your accounting processes

Managing crucial documents is one of the most frustrating and time-consuming aspects of the transportation industry. There are better ways to spend your time than keeping track of all your company’s paperwork.

Axele’s advanced document management and invoicing workflow lets drivers scan bills of lading, proofs of delivery, and more. Scanned documents are transmitted and stored as part of each load so that the back office team can then review those documents for accuracy, make modifications, and approve them for invoicing.

Axele also integrates with most factoring companies, meaning you can get paid for loads within 24 hours of delivery. If you don’t use a factoring company, you can still email the invoice directly for a more rapid payment. Reducing the lag between completed loads and received payments improves your cash flow in uncertain times.

6. Master preventive maintenance

You lose money any time your trucks aren’t on the road. Breakdowns are especially costly: The average breakdown service costs five times the amount of a preventive maintenance service.

Axele helps trucking companies manage their preventive maintenance schedules to keep trucks on the road. Consistent on-time preventive maintenance will reduce the money spent on fleet maintenance. Our service provides automated notifications based on time and/or mileage for an unlimited number of schedules. And we include a full ledger for maintenance expenses so you can run reports and determine which trucks and trailers cost you the most.

7. Get the most from QuickBooks

Without the right software, handling your taxes at the end of the year can be a disaster. And when the outlook for the global transportation industry is in question, you may start to wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into.

Software like QuickBooks exists to make life easier. And life is even easier when you pair software with Axele TMS.

Axele connects to QuickBooks and pushes customer and invoice information directly onto the QuickBooks service, reducing the amount of time you spend worrying about reporting your income to the IRS.

Conclusion

During a freight recession, you must prepare for the unexpected while keeping your costs as low as possible. That’s why every aspect of the Axele TMS was designed to help you reduce the need for additional hiring, managed cash flow, and keep your equipment at peak efficiency year-round.

 We charge only for actively working drivers, meaning you’ll never get stuck paying upfront for unused capacity. And you don’t have to worry about committing to long-term contracts, which often come with huge penalties that could present you with a large monthly bill for capacity you either don’t need or can’t use.

When economic disaster strikes, make sure you have Axele TMS in your corner to help you weather the storm. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you make your transportation operation more efficient.­


Want to learn how network optimization can impact your business?