The Dry Van trucking companies are a major part of the class 8 trucks. Being in the trucking business these days is not easy. You need to cover the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration rules and regulations and on top of that, you still have to worry about your truck drivers and their performance on the road.
I am not saying that these guys need to be the top priority of your concern because most of them are trying to provide the best performance on the road but still … there are bad behaviors among the good ones and those my friend are the ones that might cost you a lot.
One trucking business depends on of many factors such as:
The dry van trucking service or all class 8 trucking services are facing a lot of challenges these days. And going into the dry van trucking service from scratch require a brave person that is ready to respond to the challenges.
Source: Source: www.abletransportltd.com
A dry van is the most common type of trailer used for transporting goods across the United States. The Dry Van term refers to an empty big box trailer with the length between 28 feet to 53 feet. As closed big boxes that are protected from the outside weather conditions the dry van trailers are perfect for transporting almost every type of freight.
Dry vans like I said are the most used trailers in the trucking service because most of the goods need to be protected from the outside weather conditions. The dry van trucks are closed box trailers where goods are placed inside and in that way they are protected during the transportation.
Source: Source: www.newyorklongdistancemovers.com
We know that the class 8 trucks are transporting goods across the state for long distance and through the transportation different weather conditions can occur.
Without the dry van trailers the goods will be directly exposed to the:
Dry van service is the most important trucking service generally for the US economy because most of the goods need only the dry van trucking service.
Why dispatch department is the most important segment for the dry van service? The answer is simple. The dispatchers are the guys that connecting everything in the transportation process. As a link between your customers, the truck drivers, and the freight brokers they are the most important part of your dry van company.
Source: Source: www.iwatchlife.com
Maybe they are not directly connected with the trucks and the highway but behind the curtain, they are the people that control the driver behavior and the vehicle performance. So, in a way dispatchers are the Puppeteers of the play called dry van trucking company.
You need to make sure that your dispatch department will function perfectly. You need to find the best dispatchers because they will orchestrate the music and the rest of the team will play according to them. If they are good they will make sure everyone is effective and efficient. If you find dispatchers that are natural leaders you can give them your full confidence that they will finish the job with providing a positive result to your dry van company.
Everything starts and ends with the dispatch department. One dry van trucking company can’t work successfully without good dispatch department. The dispatchers as a connection between the shippers, freight brokers, and the truck drivers are capable of developing a close relationship with all included.
Dispatchers trough the process of transportation are learning about the truck drivers weak and strong sides. Knowing the truck driver behavior opens them an opportunity to put more attention on the truck drivers that have problematical driving behavior.
Having a person that can make a positive influence in your trucking company is a way of having a successful business. A good dispatch department will be ready to provide the best service for your clients and if your clients are happy than your dry van trucking company have bright future.
It is always a good thing to have a group of people that will work on the dry van loads only. Dispatch department that will work only on dry van loads will help them to become experts in the dry van trucking service.
Source: Source: www. v1voip.com
The first thing that client does when he need another transport is asking the same dispatcher that helped him with the previous load. A close connection between the client and the dispatcher develops during the process of transportation.
The dispatcher that work only in dry van trucking service can make a closer relationship with the clients that need only dry van loads. Another thing on being only in dry van service is the opened opportunity to give the most creative dispatchers a chance to be better.
Some of the dispatchers will be able to crack the process and find small hacks that will improve the general performance of the company. The point is that when you have dispatchers that are focusing only on one type of loads they will master that process and will become more efficient.
The quality of the service depends on many factors such as:
Source: Source: www.optimizedfreight.com
Good dispatchers will help you grow your business. They will take care of your clients by providing them the best possible trucking service. Dispatch department will manage the truck drivers to pick up connected loads which will save time and money for the company.
The connection of dry van loads is a way to save fuel and time. Connection of the loads is not an easy thing to be arranged because it requires a high level of concentration and dispatcher discipline.
The successful connection of the loads depends on the dispatcher ability to make a detailed plan and stay focused every second. When a dispatcher can organize the loads in a way that he can effectively respond when the load is needed is a way to save money for your dry van company.
I will mention again that it is much easier to master this process if dispatchers are only focused on dry van loads.
One dry van trucking company have to educate and train its dispatcher and make sure that they will be ready to provide the best service to the clients. It is important to teach them everything about the dry van transportation.
A well-trained dispatch department will be able to serve the clients in the best possible way. I know that you are aware of the competition out there and I just want to remind you that if you don’t train your dispatchers to answer on your clients requests, it can be bad for the company.
The customer is the king here. If he is not satisfied with the service that you provide he can easily shift to other dry van company that might amaze him with a good quality and efficiency. A satisfied client is a potential long-term business partner.
Trust me you need more long term clients in your base because the stability of your company depends on those loyal clients. Long-term clients are actually the backbone of your business.
Not to mention that if your clients are satisfied with your service they will gladly recommend your trucking services to other companies. One satisfied client will attract new clients for your dry van trucking company.
Checking the performance on the dispatch department is a way to find the cracks and improve them. Don’t do that aggressively but do it in a way that you will motivate them to improve their performance.
Checking the performance of the dry van dispatch department will give you heads up on what is actually going on in your trucking company.
Knowing what is good and what is bad will give you an opportunity to make a plan what is needed to be improved. When you throw all the things that can be improved on a piece of paper then you will be able to fix them one by one.
It is always a good thing to have a plan before going with the changes. If you have a detailed plan which performance can be improved then you won’t be caught in a corner losing record on what was changed and what needs to be changed. With a plan, you will have higher control over the changing process.
It is important to always make your employees appreciated especially when they are the best ones in your dry van company. When you have a good team it is important to show your gratitude for their good job.
One way to do that is to award the best dispatchers and show them how grateful you are that they are trying to give the best of them self to provide perfect service to your clients. I was saying before that all dispatchers are not the same. Some of them are more eager to improve their performance day by day and some of them are reaching some level and they are staying there for the rest of their career.
If you notice that some of your dispatchers are jumping higher providing better performance it means that they gave a piece of them to do the job perfectly.
Maybe it depends on the personality that makes some dispatchers more focused or more capable of solving problems and if that is the case than you are very lucky that you found dispatchers with natural skills.
Their instincts are sharp and they can always land on their feet. Do everything to keep them in your company, award them and make them appreciated. Some skills can’t be learned!
We are human beings and we are not build up from the same material. Some are better in one segment other are made to be better for another. But never judge the fish by its ability to climb a tree. We all have things that we are good but … there are special species of dispatchers that can be good in more things at ones.
These types of dispatchers are rare and if you employed one then do everything to keep him/her in your trucking office. That type of dispatcher beside the amazing job that provides he/she is also a support for the other employees with always giving helpful ideas and directions that are improving the general performance of the team.
Freight brokers are an important part of the trucking industry, they are the middle man between the shippers and the trucking companies. The trucking business would not be the same without them. Some people would say better others would say that the trucking business without the freight brokers will be fragile.
However, they are there and they are the segment that can make a trucking company more or less successful. Freight brokers sometimes can be evil but in most of the cases if you earned their respect they can be the best thing for you.
Having a few friends among the brokers is like having the secret key to success. You just need to respect them and play according the rules.
The freight brokers are the people that have enormous list of shippers as contacts and when the shippers are your business target group than that list is like a gold for your company. It’s up to them whether you get new customers or not and remember maybe that new customer will become the best that you ever had.
Being in the dry van trucking business is really hard because of the many factors that influence on the profit:
Source: Source: www.kencogroup.com
It is not just difficult for the new trucking companies it is also difficult for the trucking companies that are in the dry van trucking business for more than 20 years. The competition is enormous and chances of survival are lower and lower.
You need to find a way to survive in this kind of jungle and one way to do that is to try to become friends with the freight brokers. Try to contact some freight brokers and arrange meetings with them maybe you will be able to meet in the middle which will be a win-win situation.
The shippers are using the service of the freight brokers to find trucking companies that will haul their load to the required location. So the thing is that when you have friends among the freight brokers the chances that you will be recommended to shipper are higher.
I talked how important is to find a good freight broker that will be on your side and will help you grow your trucking business. However, I mentioned before that not everybody feels happy about the existence of the freight brokers.
Why? Well because they are the people that take a piece of the cake. They are in the middle of the transportation process and how higher is the number of involved people that smaller is the profit per person.
So maybe you can try another way. Maybe you can make an effort to skip the freight brokers and find loads directly from the shippers. That would be a great way to make more money for a load. If there isn’t middle man to take a piece of the profit you will be able to get higher profit for you.
But really how to do that? I must admit it won’t be easy but it is worth of trying. First of all, the path where you can skip the freight broker to get direct contract with client for dry van is field with thorns.
You company need to have:
Trust me it won’t be easy to start working with a new client but if he pick you up than you have to make sure that he will be 100% satisfied with your dry van trucking service. As humans we are all the same when we are starting doing business with a new company. The first time we are all stressed how the job will be performed so we are in constant pressure and have a lot of questions:
Hundreds of thoughts are popping in our head and we are not comfortable unless not until the moment when the job is finished and all went good. After that we are starting to trust that company and without thinking we would hire them again in the future.
With getting a direct contract with a shipper you have a chance to get a long term relationship business partner. Let me put this way when a shipper needs transportation he contacts the freight brokers to find them a dry van trucking company that will provide good freight rates and great service.
Next thing is that the broker will contact a lot of trucking companies to find a reliable and competitive company that will offer a good price for the load.
Let’s say that they pick you and you did a good job then what? The next time when the shipper will need transportation you might not be considered. The freight broker can find other company that will offer him a better price and he will go with that trucking company.
The point is that when you managed to make a direct contract with the shippers you have a chance to make a friendly relationship with them and the next time when they need transportation service instead contacting a broker they will contact you directly.
For this type of clients you can offer special prices so at the end it will be a win-win situation.
Another survival tip for dry van trucking companies is to hire sales rep to find you dry van loads. Trust me you can never find that many loads by yourself. Having a sales rep that will be focused only on finding dry van loads for you will increase the number of clients.
Making contacts and scheduling meetings will be his main task. It is always a good way to have a person in your team that will make detailed research about the potential client so he will be able to offer special services just for them.
Knowing few things for the shipper before making a face to face contact will give him an opportunity to prepare for the meeting and propose customized services to that potential client that will be impossible to be rejected.
Of course before letting him propose a transportation solution to some potential client you could sit with him/her and make a detail analysis on the things that he can offer to them that will lead to improved performance and efficiency of that shipper.
A person that have good analyzing skills and knows how to present the company services will be a great addition to your team. Sales reps have great negotiation skills which will help them to turn the meetings into new customers.
We live in an era where modern technology is replacing the traditional sales service but when it comes to business we always practice scheduling a meeting with the sales rep before we decide to go further with the decision.
There are still traces of the old school system when companies were getting information in a meeting with the sales rep. With the technology and the new innovations we got an impression that the sales reps are just history but we were wrong.
Face to face conversations are still powerful because when we have a chance to put a human face on the company logo everything becomes friendlier.
I pointed the importance of the sales reps for your dry van business but having a sales rep that used to work for freight brokers is even better. Having a previous experience from a broker point of view is like you mastered the trucking business.
Like I said before freight brokers have a lot of contacts in the shipping department and having a person that used to work for freight brokers is like winning a lottery. A sales rep that used to work for freight brokers already has a list of shippers that might be interested in your trucking service.
Hiring a sales rep that has experience in the trucking business is half job done. He has contacts with a lot of shippers so… automatically hiring a sales rep that worked for freight brokers and knows a lot of shippers mean higher chances of getting new customers.
Hiring sales rep that used to work for freight brokers is a great idea. He is already connected with a lot of leads in the trucking business and getting loads is much easier when the shippers trust the sales rep.
The sales rep already has some authority in the trucking business and he/she can use that influence to get you new customers that will make your business more successful.
Trucking companies do not understand the power of marketing. But marketing is everything for a company that wants to become one of the best in the United States. The most successful companies still make a good presentation material every year.
The most recognizable brands in the world don’t have to spend a lot of money on marketing and commercials but still they are leaders in finding a new ways of being marketing exposed. Every holiday the best brands are coming up with new ideas how to make interesting commercials that will attract viewers and consumers.
That is the secret of a successful business. Be visible even when you are a number one.
Having a good sales materials and a company website looks more professional. Also, a good website is a way of getting your services closer to new potential clients. Marketing is a powerful tool these days when almost everything is connected with the social media.
However, a well-developed website means that the company follows the newest trends and that is trying to provide the best service for their clients.
I would like to say that if you want to get your dry van trucking business to the next level you should consider making a great website. Your website can be a powerful tool for a professional company presentation.
Today consumers can easily get information about your trucking service. They just need to Google your company name and everything that is connected with your brand will pop up in a second.
Social media are the most powerful marketing tool these days because you can expose your trucking services for free.
To achieve some level of authority in the trucking business is difficult and when you finally achieve it is hard to maintain it. That is why you need to constantly develop a new techniques and marketing strategies that will help you get closer to the potential clients.
You need to use every exposure these days if you want to succeed in the dry van trucking business. Just make your effort and be active on Tweeter, Facebook or LinkedIn make your appearance and get involved with the trucking groups that offer information about your industry.
In this article, I tried to present you the importance of the dispatch department for your dry van company and how you can guide them to get the best performance from them. Being close to your employees’ makes you one of them, makes you friend and being able to see trough their eyes gives you a chance to observe the real challenges that they are facing every single day.
Having a clear picture of what is going on will give you an opportunity to make improvements where they need to be made.
Also, I focused on how important is to become friend with the freight brokers and how they can improve your trucking business. We need to be real the freight broker is the middle man in the trucking industry and having few friends among them can be very profitable for your company.
Another thing that I included in this list is the importance of the sales materials and your excellent company presentation. We live in a modern era where we can use the modern technology to get a higher exposure to potential clients.
Now it’s your turn to make a move!