How trucking companies can combat fuel price volatility

A semi-truck at highway speed in evening light.

Fuel prices have risen substantially over the last several months—making fuel costs a bit overwhelming for trucking companies, as these costs bite into their bottom lines.

Impacted by factors as diverse as COVID and tremendous storms, to more drivers on the road and Russian hackers, this period of fuel rate increases has been tough to navigate. And now OPEC reports it is raising the price of crude oil—the primary driver of petroleum product prices worldwide.

In early June 2021, World Oil reported that Brent oil advanced above $70 a barrel after the OPEC+ alliance forecast a tightening global market ahead of a production policy meeting.

Five ways trucking companies can tackle the high cost of fuel

What are small and midsized trucking companies to do? The answer is to make sure you are earning money while your drivers are on the road. The following four approaches can help you stay ahead of rising fuel costs:

1. Maximize miles driven, avoid backhaul and remove deadhead

The LoadOps TMS features a Gantt chart function where dispatchers can see an opening in a driver’s schedule. Take a driver whose schedule has him delivering freight from Knoxville, TN to Cleveland, OH, and then returning to Knoxville. Using LoadOps, the dispatcher can see various loads available in Cleveland, can book these loads to fill the truck, thereby avoiding deadhead miles.

2. Optimize your loads

LoadOps brings you the latest transportation optimization technology. The LoadOps TMS lets you find the best loads for your drivers by considering their hours of service (HOS) and personal preferences. LoadOps also tracks all assets so you know where drivers are located, along with all trucks and trailers.

3. Use automation to locate more profitable loads

By integrating with load boards, you can find your loads (via a load board such as DAT) and use analytics to find the best loads. LoadOps and DAT integrate their load board and TMS technologies, giving small and midsize truckload carriers easy access to automated freight-matching features that are typically reserved for enterprise systems and larger fleets.

4. Speed time to payment with freight factoring

By connecting to a freight factoring system—also known as accounts receivable factoring, invoice factoring, and sometimes accounts receivable financing–you’ll ensure you’re paid faster and have access to better working capital.

LoadOps’ integration with the Apex Capital factoring system means carriers using LoadOps can connect directly to their Apex Capital accounts without ever leaving the TMS interface. If you’re a carrier using LoadOps, you can sync it with the Apex factoring system with one click. This easy-to-use solution means you can quickly shoot invoice details and supporting documents to the Apex billing portal, create Apex invoices populated with all the relevant information automatically, and display invoice status as you go.

5. Find a way to counter fuel costs

Trucking companies need to find a way to counter rising fuel costs. The best way is to automate processes using the LoadOps, which utilizes artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics to help you find the most profitable loads, maximize routes, and get paid faster.

Learn more about LoadOps.

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