Finding and securing good truckloads can be challenging and time-consuming for trucking owner-operators and small fleet owners. What we have seen with working with numerous trucking companies through our factoring company and truck brokerage is that focusing on a few key things can make all the difference.
Fill out numerous carrier packets
Build relationships by filling out a carrier packet with every potential customer, regardless of whether or not you get the load you were calling about. That way, next time when you are ready, it will be easier to move forward. Moreover, if you fill out enough carrier packets and maintain correspondence with the broker rep, the tables will turn. They will start CALLING YOU to see if you are available to haul a load.
Build a trusted network – have a wide variety of customers
Having a wide variety of customers to turn to for loads will limit your concentration and exposure. When you have long-term relationships, you will undoubtedly reach a point where you are “cherry-picking” the available truckloads that work best for you. One of the easiest ways to maintain your trusted network is through regular, professional, and effective communication.
Know how much the load will cost you
It is essential you get good at quickly determining how much a truckload will cost you to run. In fact, doing so will help you figure out your margins fast and give a firm yes or no. With prices for things such as fuel on the rise, you need to ensure you are making money on the truckloads you haul.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate
As mentioned above, knowing how much the truckload will cost will also give you the option to negotiate. Instead of a firm yes or no, you could say something like, “I would like to run for you, and that seems like a good load, but the rate is a little thin. So, I am going to pass, I think I will get a better offer, and I do not want to confirm and then try to renegotiate my commitment. But if that shipper decides to bump that rate a bit, keep me on the shortlist. It’s a money consideration, not that I do not want the load.”
Suppose you can negotiate a $1000 load to $1050 (only $50 more dollars) that is an extra 5% of profit into your pocket. Over the course of the year, an extra 5% on each load could mean an additional $10-15K in profit per truck. Small amounts of money add up over time and contribute to the overall profitability of a carrier. This is especially true in our climate of high fuel prices.
It might be harder to negotiate at first when you are a new carrier. However, as you grow, negotiating in a professional way can be a benefit to you and your bottom line.
What do you do once you have good truckloads?
Once you can find and secure good truckloads, if you need to get paid quickly, give us a call at (801) 676-0182. Our trucking factoring services can get you paid within hours to cover your expenses and ensure you have the working capital you need to keep moving. Additionally, we offer free credit checks on all your new brokers and shippers to help ensure you are hauling loads for reputable brokers and shippers who will pay you for the loads you haul.