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Friday, January 14, 2011

Riding The Freight Rates Roller Coaster

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Featured Blogger
Benjamin Bellville
If you are planning to start a small trucking company you will need to understand the way freight rates work. Without knowing the cycle of things you might just be in for a surprise that will come up behind you and mug you out of the blue. In other businesses the scheme of things work on supply and demand more so then they do in trucking. Here’s what you can look forward to.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to create a sense that going into the trucking business is a mistake, I’m simply not going to sugar coat it like so many people do. By knowing how things really work you will be better prepared for the volatility that goes hand in hand with trucking. While the rewards can at times be fruitful, at other times it’s similar to ramming your head off a brick wall continuously. You have to be stubborn and have a firm backbone to survive these times or you might go mad.

When you read reports that freight tonnage is on the rise in America you might get a little excited thinking that immediately you will start seeing higher freight rates, but that is false hope. Like seasons of the year trucking runs on a cycle. It’s not set in stone when these cycles will kick in, but once you get the feel for it you can adjust your operations accordingly to make it through the rough patches easier.

Usually it takes 2-3 months for freight rates to rise when consumption is on an incline. Your main cost involved with moving freight is of course fuel. Fuel prices have no rhyme or reason and more often than not when freight rates are down the oil companies are looking to maintain profit by raising their prices. I know it makes no sense, but this is normally how it happens. As freight rates start to rise and trucking companies begin buying more fuel then the price of fuel will drop again, but much slower than the time it took to rise.

Because of this effect what happens is there are several sweet spots throughout the year that are short lived pockets of higher profits. The freight rates rise slowly and the fuel prices fall slowly and eventually meet at a point where they float for a moment in perfect harmony.

When you learn to get the feel for this happening then you can be ready to jump on the market like an old school fake wrestler off the top rope. Don’t get discouraged, trucking is a big boy/girl ride full of extreme twists and turns, but when you learn to take advantage of the good times you will be better prepared to crawl through the bad.

Speaking of being prepared to take advantage of a market in your favor you should check out how ExpressTruckTax makes it a trucking company owners market all year when it comes to your trucking taxes.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why Former Drivers Make The Best Trucking Dispatchers

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Featured Blogger
Benjamin Bellville
If you are running a small trucking company and are large enough that you are needing to hire one or more trucking dispatchers then you really need to consider that a former driver can fill the position better than anyone else. Allow me to point out my reasoning here and by the time you have finished reading this I am sure you will agree with my reasoning.

Depending on the size of your company and how you approach your freight logistics you may have a need for trucking dispatchers who are able to also book freight with brokers and perform sales to obtain direct freight customers as well. While you may be able to find someone with sales experience they often will not have a firm understanding of what it realistically takes to transport the freight.

I’ve had dispatchers with no driving experience before and all they could do was look at things from an on paper best scenario viewpoint. These types will drive your drivers away quicker than anything because they tend to talk down to drivers and make them feel like dirt in general. It’s an attitude that will fester through your company and hurt you in the long run. While it would be difficult to teach these types what being out on the road is really like, it would be much easier to teach a former driver the freight logistics aspect of the trucking company.

A former driver can relate to the trials the current truck drivers face on a daily basis and they know what is possible to do legally, they will make your employees feel more at ease sort of like they have someone on their side in the grand scheme of things. Happier drivers will be more productive drivers as a result. Less stress will also lead to healthier truck drivers.

Using former drivers as trucking dispatchers can also save you money in the long run as they will know better how to handle emergency situations as more than likely they have probably experienced it themselves while out on the road. They will also have a basic knowledge of most other operations within the company and can be turned into the ultimate multitasking machine over time.

As you can see it just makes sense as a strong business decision that will provide a strong inner working to your trucking company for years to come. The same way that doing business a truck tax company like Express2290 will be a smart choice to benefit your bottom line.
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