It’s time to reevaluate your operation
You need to reassess where you’re hauling, who you’re hauling for, and what you’re hauling. Many hauling sectors declined in the last year, but not all. A hauling sector can be anything from the lane you haul in, to the products or industry you’re concentrating on, to the individual companies for which you haul.
Here are the questions for which you’ll need answers:
- Is it possible your trucks are headed in the wrong direction? (Either your outbound loads need to be headed to destinations where reasonable paying returns are available, or your outbound revenue must be paying for the complete round trip.)
- Have you become complacent and routine in the routes you run? (You’ve become content with the shipper or shippers for which you’re hauling and haven’t invested the time to keep tabs on what’s happening in your customers’ industry or other peripheral industries.)
- Do you know where and if there’s an area or lane where growth is occurring in the industry or product you haul?
(Keep your ear to the ground and know what’s going on around you by tracking any lane or industry whose products you could haul.)
- What is the prospect for growth in your lane or lanes in the near future? (Know what emerging, relocating, or expanding industries are developing along your service area lanes.)
- Are you able to maintain the needed cash flow while waiting for tonnage levels to increase? (With increased costs and declining revenues, be sure you follow the money.)
Continue your research with these questions:
- Is it possible you’re hauling for a declining company? (Keep a close financial eye on the companies for which you haul. Look for trend indicators that can tell you if your customer is in trouble: labor problems, foreign competition, new government regulations, or declining market share.)
- What are the growth expectations over the next one, two and three years for the companies for which you’re hauling? (Become a prognosticator of what’s happening in the companies for which you haul.)
And your final questions include:
- Is it possible you’re hauling for a declining industry? (Know everything that’s going on in each industry for which your trucks haul. It’s not just keeping track of the regulations and trends in trucking which will keep your company in the black, it’s knowing the same about each industry from which you glean loads.)
- What are the growth expectations over the next one, two and three years for the industry for which you’re hauling? (Become the all-seeing, all-knowing wizard of where in the future each industry for which you haul is headed.)
As you do your evaluation of your current business (and by the way, it’s suggested you do this once a quarter), a picture of the state of your hauling business will begin to appear. Once where you are and where you’re headed becomes apparent, strategic decisions became obvious followed by your operation running on all cylinders. With revenue and profit improving.
Timothy D. Brady ©2020