Truck carriers are essential for transporting goods across the United States. From food and clothing to electronics and machinery, truck carriers play a vital role in keeping the economy moving. But managing a trucking business isn't easy - it requires careful planning, coordination, and execution. Luckily, there are several tools that truck carriers use every day to manage their operations efficiently. In this blog post, we'll take a look at 15 tools that truck carriers use to manage their business in the USA.
1. Transportation Management Systems (TMS).
TMS is a software platform designed to help truck carriers manage their logistics operations. It provides end-to-end visibility of shipments, helps with route optimization, and offers real-time tracking of shipments. Modern TMS have Document Management Software, Load Planning Software, Dispatch Software, Load Tracking and CRM.
2. Load Boards
Load boards are online marketplaces where truck carriers can find loads to haul. Load boards help carriers find the best loads, negotiate rates, and manage their capacity.Most famous load boards include Amazon Relay, DAT, Knight Swift, J.B.Hunt, Convoy, Uber Freight, etc.
3. Electronic Logging Devices (ELD).
ELDs are devices that record a driver's hours of service electronically. It helps carriers comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations and ensures that drivers are not overworked. ELD softwares comes with GPS Tracking. GPS tracking helps truck carriers track their vehicles in real-time. It helps carriers optimize routes, reduce fuel consumption, and improve delivery times.
4. Fuel Cards.
Fuel cards help truck carriers manage their fuel expenses efficiently. It provides discounts on fuel purchases and helps track fuel expenses. WEX (owns EFS) and Fleetcor (owns Comdata) are the most used fuel cards that help to fuel at TA Petro, Pilot Flying J and Loves which are the three main truck stop chains (Big 3).
5. Freight Broker Software.
Freight broker software is designed to help freight brokers manage their operations. It helps with load tracking, billing, and invoicing. Sometimes, freight brokers might require the truck drivers to use visibility tools like project44, Macropoint and their own mobile tools.
6. Fleet Maintenance Software.
Fleet maintenance software helps truck carriers manage their fleet of vehicles. It helps with scheduling maintenance, tracking repairs, and managing inventory. Most used fleet management softwares include Samsara, Motive and Fleetio among carriers.
7. Accounting Software.
Accounting software helps truck carriers manage their finances. It helps with invoicing, billing, tax compliance and tracking expenses. Most famous one is Quickbooks Online.
8. Insurance Management Software.
Insurance management software helps truck carriers manage their insurance policies. It helps with tracking policy renewals, managing claims, and reducing insurance costs. Most clients use Spreadsheets or insurance company websites to manage their insurances.
Spreadsheets such as Excel and Google Sheets. Spreadsheets are useful for managing data and creating reports. They can be used to track expenses, revenues, and other important metrics. It helps to consolidate data, financial model future and help gain insight about the company.
10. Bank accounts for payments and receipts.
Bank accounts are essential for receiving and making payments. They can be used for managing cash flow and tracking transactions, credit card payments.
11. Equipment lease/rental and financing.
Another tools that most truck companies use are Equipment lease/rental and financing websites. That includes Ryder and Penske companies with their own portals and different banks financing websites for equipment financing.
12. Payroll management
Payroll management software like ADP or Paychex. Payroll management software helps truck carriers manage their payroll processes. It automates tasks like calculating salaries, withholding taxes, and processing payments. They also help process 1099 or W2 reports at year end.
13. Factoring companies
Factoring companies such as Triumph or RTS. Factoring companies provide financing solutions for truck carriers. They can help carriers improve cash flow by providing advances on unpaid invoices.
14. EFS system to manage bills/pay.
EFS (Electronic Funds Source) is a payment system designed specifically for the transportation industry. It helps truck carriers manage their expenses, including fuel purchases, tolls, and repairs.
15. Third-party software tools
They might include to manage relevant aspects of trucking companies such as toll, scales and others
In conclusion, managing a trucking business requires careful planning and execution. The 15 tools listed above are essential for truck carriers to manage their operations efficiently. By utilizing these tools, truck carriers can optimize their operations, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency.