All good business owners and managers need to know what their day-to-day expenses are and how they impact their business’s overall balance of profits and losses. Within the trucking industry, many contributing factors can influence these costs. Everything from the cost of negotiating semi-trailer leasing and semi-trailer lease to own terms to managing payroll and fleet maintenance expenses, there are many factors to consider. Managers, carriers, and brokers alike need to consider costs first and foremost when planning short- and long-term goals.
The simplest way to define and frame operational costs and shipping expenses for truckers is by remembering that the expense calculation is essentially the sum of total costs involved in moving cargo from Point A to Point B. When the sheer volume of freight that moves aligns transportation routes on small fleet trailers, the value of intelligent cost calculations becomes all the more apparent. According to Statista, “The freight volume carried by trucking carriers in the United States increased significantly until 2020. In that year, 10.23 billion tons of freight was transported by trucks in the U.S., down from 11.84 billion tons in 2019 — the largest value carried by trucking services registered in the period of consideration.” And the demand for capacity and easier trailer repositioning has only increased as the ongoing recovery from COVID-related shutdowns continues.
What Are the Usual Costs of Operating Small Truck Fleets?
The demand for fast and reliable capacity access through semi-trailer leasing, renting, and repositioning options drives small fleet owners to seek new opportunities to better manage business costs. Everything from semi-trailer rental and leasing, to using universal trailer pools, to improved tools and technology can help cut expenses and improve bottom-line profitability. According to 2018-2019 statistics from TruckingInfo.com, fleet costs “were up across the board last year, costing fleets an average of $71.78 per hour to run freight, according to the American Transportation Research Institute’s latest Operational Costs of Trucking report.” That increase has continued as ongoing pressures and disruptions continue plaguing the trucking industry. Combining software and telematics can help fleet owners and managers better access capacity and streamline front and backhaul services. The following operational costs are among the most common for small fleet owners and operators.
Semi-Trailer Leasing Rate
The costs of operating a small fleet are harrowing at times when capacity crunches occur. Calculating the costs involved with truck fleet management and idle capacity acquisition ranks among the highest and most pressing.
Increased Driver Pay Rates
Along with securing capacity for loads through semi-trailer leasing, fleet management also must ensure their drivers are paid adequately. Whether this is by the mile or the hour, it is one of the expenses shippers cannot skip over.
Drayage and Last Mile Fees
In addition to semi-trailer rental and leasing costs, fleet owners and operators must also consider accessorial fees and expenses. Drayage delivery and final mile shipping costs can quickly add up if not adequately addressed.
Increasing Fuel Costs
Fuel costs have been increasing drastically, impacting the overall shipping expenses small fleet owners must face. Calculating fuel expenses along with semi-trailer leasing and trailer repositioning costs is an absolute must.
Fleet Maintenance Expense
Keeping a fleet, even a small one, up and running can be expensive, so good maintenance is vital to truck fleet management. Catching issues early and dealing with them can save wear and tear on vehicles.
Enable Easier Truck Business Cost Management With vHub
To keep up with fleet expenses, whether routine maintenance and fuel costs, managing driver pay, and utilizing semi-trailer leasing options, trucking business managers have to stay on their toes. Even the most routine shipping expenses can quickly add up without proper management and planning. Whether you need help with capacity planning, semi-trailer leasing or renting, or general cost calculation and management tips, vHub is here to help. Register today and contact the vHub experts to see how easy truck fleet management and financial planning can be with the proper insight and guidance.