Running a freight business is not an easy task. For a successful freight business owner, you need to make sure your services are quick and cost-effective. Managing costs is the most important thing to consider in the freight business. It is a complex task because there are so many costs involved which hamper your profitability. So, as a good business owner, you have to think of unique ways to control your costs. You need to save money wherever and whenever possible. Costs affect your business, as increased costs lower your revenues and affect your growth and expansion ability. Freight costs form a large proportion of business costs, and you must be looking for some good ways to bring them down. There are so many things you can do to save your money on freight costs on a daily basis. Whether you are shipping domestically, nationally, or internationally, it is important for you to search for some best options that will save money for your company. You can even make some simple changes in your regular business operations to help you in cost saving.Read More
1) Select the most appropriate mode of transportation:
Based on the type of goods and the distance to be traveled, you must choose the best transportation mode. You can choose between the sea and the air mode of transport if you are shipping internationally. Trucking is suitable if you want to ship nearby. By analyzing different modes of transportation, you can control your costs based on your budget.
2) Supply chain management:
If you have a clear and visible supply chain from supplier to customer, it will help you pinpoint inefficiencies quickly and cut extra costs. You’ll respond instantly to unforeseen scenarios and thus save your time and money in the future as the situation will be tackled easily.
3) Invest in insurance:
Managers spend a lot of time cutting back on freight costs. However, all your efforts will get wasted if your inventory is not insured. Make sure your goods are ensured. It’s also important to note what your insurance covers so that you don’t pay extra money as insurance premiums.
4) Automate your freight operations:
By automating specific freight processes with Freight Axon, you will be able to prevent errors, reduce paperwork, and avoid delays in deliveries. It takes a lot of time and money if you perform the tasks manually; hence automating helps you save money and time and reduces the chances of invoice errors, as well.
5) Outsourcing transportation management:
Not every company is competent in freight management. It requires a lot of resources to hire, train, and maintain transportation staff. By outsourcing a part of freight management, you are relieved from this burden. They are more professional and experts in freight management and therefore can help you in so many ways.
6) Analyze your routes and methods:
You must know your routes and paths. Make sure to choose the shortest routes to deliver products quickly; you can use route optimization software for this task. Track all the data for the timely delivery of a shipment like its carrier, forwarder, freight charges, quantity, transit time, weight, date of departure, etc.
7) Tracking is the key:
You need to monitor and track all your activities on a daily basis such as carriers, forwarders, origin and destination, freight charges, mode of transportation, weight, quantity, date of departure and arrival, and any other such important information to analyze things properly.
8) Analyze your reports:
Creating and analyzing your daily, weekly, and monthly reports helps you know the delays that happen and how to prevent them. It will help you to provide on-time deliveries and improve performance too.
9) Strengthen your network:
It is crucial to have good relationships with different network parties to help you save you freight money. Communicate with them, arrange meetings, and know many things that can help you make your business stronger.
10) Invest in hiring, training, and retaining:
Your business can be hampered if you hire the wrong person, especially in the logistics and freight department. Make sure you hire a person who is professional and culturally fits in your team. Certain traits you can look for in an individual for the freight department are diplomacy, positivity, attentiveness, and strong geographical knowledge. Invest in their training so that they remain updated about regulations, compliance, and requirements. Encourage and pay them well to retain them.
11) Communicate as much as possible:
A breakdown in communication will lead to an increase in your freight charges. Make sure to interact and communicate with your internal team and supply chain as they are the ones who ensure that your shipments are delivered on time. Understand their problems, offer them solutions, and make them a part of your management.
12) Consider consolidated shipments:
A freight consolidated service will help you combine many small shipments into one to be shipped together. Hence, by combining the shipments with truck maintenance software, you can reduce your costs significantly. The results are not only pleasing, but also you end up saving a lot of money.
13) Prevent mistakes:
The logistics sector is very complex, and hence mistakes are bound to happen when it comes to shipping goods. Always double check your figures and amounts so as to prevent mistakes wherever possible.
14) Invest in Transportation Management System:
A transportation management system helps in integrating and automating various transport operations. You can streamline your freight operations in such a manner that you save huge money on freight costs.
15) Match your services and fees:
Make sure you offer, and what you charge is matching. You must keep a minimum profit margin to cover up your expenses. Undercharging will lessen your profits, and overcharging will drive your customers away. So, make sure to keep the fees an optimum one.
16) Track your carrier performance:
It is essential to know the status of your carrier for each shipment.The axonsoftware oilfield program will help you to identify various lapses or failures in services. You will also be able to improve your cost performance. You can then accordingly work on those issues that hamper the delivery.
17) Perform due Diligence
Customer loyalty is something that should be your first and utmost priority for the long-term success of your business. You cannot just simply pick up a low-cost carrier and go out there to deliver your products. Keep in mind that a customer notices everything. But this does not mean that you have to go for a premium carrier. It is just about striking the right balance. Just look for the right partnerships and then negotiate for the best deals. It only requires a little bit of thinking, and off you go choosing the right carrier.
18) Keep all the documentation carefully
You should take care of all the documentation regarding the customs. It is one of the best practices that help you in saving money. A single error might cost you hundreds of bucks. So you must realize the importance of doing the documentation carefully. You are allowed to keep the shipment free of cost inside the port for a few days. Avoid any kind of corrupt activities by keeping all the documents ready. Try to keep records of each and everything. In this way, you are able to present all the papers at the time of auditing.
19) Track the shipment
When the shipment goes out of your control, you should stop monitoring it. Do not forget a shipment once it goes out of transit. Once it goes out in motion, it tends to give people a false sense of security. You must keep in mind that you can face a number of problems along the way. So take care of them. Sometimes it happens that you are about to deliver a shipment, and it shows delivered on the website. It might not be the case otherwise. The online data is not always accurate. Always check with the actual person whether his shipment has reached the required destination. Also, keep track of the shipments on the way.
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20) Take into consideration third-party services
To reduce your freight costs, you can consider using third-party services. They help you receive shipments, repackaging the items that need to be delivered, and arranging their transportation. The benefits they provide are manifold. They provide you with improved customer satisfaction, lower logistics cost, and reduction in transit times. The experts are hired in the respective fields, and all the things are monitored through software. Like this, you are able to see their progress in real-time. You can further provide the information to your customers. They would help you to generate a large amount of savings by negotiating the rates with valued customers.
21) Communication is the key
Communication is something that is really important in any kind of business. The same goes for the freight and logistics management. A breakdown in communication can incur huge losses. Do not forget to consider all the movements in the supply chain. Do this in the case of both importing and exporting. Like this, you can make a successful import or export of a shipment. Treat your internal team as customers for the proper functioning of your business. Each and every person is essential. Be it the one that is making the product or the one that is loading it. To increase the overall efficiency, a positive working relationship is required with the entire team.
22) Ship on off-peak days
You can save a lot by shipping the products on the off-peak days. Ship a day late or early to make measurable savings. Friday is one of those days as most of the clients get their product to the store by Thursday so that it can be available for sale on Saturday. You can do this on Mondays too. They are also one of those low-volume days when typically carriers are searching for freights. Non-consumer type products are the ones you should ship on off-peak days.
23) Develop a good reputation
There is typically a 2-hour load window whenever a carrier develops pricing. But in case you reduce the time to 1-hour, it will affect the pricing. The cargo will then be inclined to choose that shipper with less time.
24) Try to offer night pickups
Try to offer pickups after the usual time of 6-12 pm. It generally happens that a cargo refuses a pickup mid-afternoon as they might be busy with the other run. But a later pickup may be more convenient and help in maximum utilization of assets.
25) Make large deliveries
It would be more favorable to ship large orders in a single day rather than delivering the same delivery on different days and separate parts. On the other side, a retailer might look for small shipments. So try to negotiate with him and strike the right deal.
26) Pick carriers near ship-points
This way, you can get a much lower rate than the usual one. Carriers tend to make better money by filling those extra miles. It will help in the reduction of freight costs to a great extent. It will help in increasing your savings of up to 20%.
27) Categorize your shipment
First of all, take into consideration which shipment method will prove to be cost-effective for you. You must be aware of the current market news and unexpected market changes. Try to manage your production with trucking accounting solutions before the peak season and ship your cargo when freight rates are low.
28) Work with reliable partners
Research thoroughly regarding the logistics partner you are going to work with. Check whether your partner has the option of more than one carrier. If it does. It will help in delivering the goods in the most cost-effective manner possible.
29) Look for supply-chain visibility
The primary goal of a logistics company is to increase the performance level and lead time. You can quickly address the problems when you have clear visibility from the suppliers to the customers. It will help in saving your time and money for the future.
30) Take care of safety protocols
You must make a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to injuries and accidents. They must not be taken lightly. Try to maximize the safety along every stage of the operation. It must be your top priority. Just don’t merely neglect them, no matter the size of the business.
As a freight business owner, you can also invest in a good freight broker software to become more efficient. Saving money in the freight business is not at all difficult. If you take time, evaluate your options, and negotiate your rates, you can do it in the best possible manner.
Filing International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is the most important task for running a successful trucking business and related process execution. Moreover, when it comes to reporting the IFTA the fuel tax you need to recognize the actual miles traveled. Here, you also need to maintain a document of miles driven along with the mileage covered in the member states/ provinces all the way through the reporting period with the Mileage system. Looking at the present scenario, we think that every transportation company needs to understand the value of the Fuel Tax regulations implemented by the government.
Furthermore, it also helps the business owners to handle their companies without having any major issues. To manage your processes more efficiently you can use IFTA Mileage software. It will not only help you streamline the systems but will also help you save you mountains of money on fuel taxes. You just need to add the required data to the IFTA mileage calculator and it will automatically assist in determining the miles covered by the drivers.
Keeping everything in mind- Here is why you need a mileage calculator: Read More
It Ensures Precise Tax Estimation:
Using IFTA Mileage Calculator can help to lessen your regular journey in miles and save the fuel-related expenses. It also allows you to keep a close check on mileage so that you can create a report using the audited traces. Moreover, you have the choice to observe the state fuel tax report in real-time. This software is also helpful for the owners of the trucking companies as it equips them with endless advantages that help to keep them ahead of others. Specifically, talking about the trucking industry, the taxes may vary from state or state, but you must keep your surtax prices, miles, fuel consumed, and ton-miles up to date to be on a safer side.
Additionally, the trucking businesses are authorized to rip down the prices depending upon the situation. Here, MPG means Miles per Gallon, and it depends upon the fleet as well as the condition. The primary aim of this unique ifta state mileage calculator is to provide relevant information related to the fuel, miles covered, and more efficiently to the business owners. The software tends to support a variety of tools such as billing, and other time-consuming processes. IFTA Mileage calculator also creates an automated report in a very precise and accurate manner- mentioning every operation in detail. Thus, it makes record keeping much easier than expected and saves your energy to hustle.
Tracking All the Activities by Fleet
Nowadays, many businesses know the importance of the laws of the company. The right software helps them effectively control the processes without any room for errors. So, your information is well-kept, and filing the IFTA tax is not more an additional struggle. Just make sure to enter the complete yet honest facts and figures in the calculator to get the required outcomes. You can also evaluate the mileage easily because this software is user-friendly and highly interactive. It also helps you to monitor the real-time activity of your fleet at any point in time easily.
Lastly, the transportation business is gaining its popularity day by day. Now, people must learn to keep the records considering the aspect like time frames, receipts, and the charge related to the trucks. Not only they should maintain the record of the worn-out engines as well as other parts, but they may also record factors like poor driving, overloading, and much more. You can access the most accurate details on their fuel prices along with determining the vehicle that will have the permit of transporting the goods or products. To do this, they will require an ifta tax calculator application to handle all the data related to the International Fuel Tax Agreement at a single place covering the required parameters of the company. With the support software, you can also submit all the information to the authorities on the go!
How Digital Signage Helps Fleet Management?
Digital signage displays play an essential role in the transportation industry to instantly share relevant information with travellers. The transport industry is very dynamic. It keeps on changing. Whether they are weather conditions, current events, or traffic congestion, you will want to keep them informed. By strategically placing digital signage, you are able to provide real-time information and expect more engagement with the users. Transportation digital signage is the most popular digital technology that is increasingly being used in airports, bus terminals, highways, etc. It is essential to provide instantaneous content to travellers. People love transportation digital signage because of their ability to grab and sustain their attention for a longer period of time.
Digital signage allows real-time information
Transportation digital signage feeds the customers with real-time content. It ensures passengers’ excellent visibility too. They can read the content very aptly as there are fewer visual distractions. The best digital signage have the optimal brightness level so that users gain the best reading experience. Since they are exposed to the external environment, lux display screens are designed in a manner to withstand any kind of weather conditions.
Ensures 24/7 operation and extra durability
A transportation digital signage solution has unique benefits for transportation customers. It comes with a waterproof and dust-free coating to ensure its longevity. From enhanced outdoor visibility to withstanding heat under direct sunlight, there is so much that digital signage offers you. It has a superior and sustainable quality that ensures 24/7 functioning of the signage. Digital signage provides a powerful graphic performance as per transportation needs.
As we all know, bookkeeping is said to be the most crucial activity that a successful business must use to avail of the benefits. All the data and information such as receipts, documents, and receipts you keep generally provide the best interest of your business in terms of income tax filing and minimization, maintenance-related information, profit or loss monthly, IFTA, payroll, and more.
So, the more organized you are, the better your outcomes are. This is because by organizing your receipts and essential documents you simplify your task in better yet effective ways. Here are a few tips you can follow that will help you expand the aspects in terms of profits without any hassle.Read More
When you are up with the tax filing season, you are going to make as many deductions as possible to take advantage of. However, you will only be able to achieve them with transportation accounting software which has a track record of every single penny you spent.
Whether it is fuelling up the truck, related dues or tax paid, just maintain a hard copy of all the financial records, and make sure to organize it according to the relevant date.
Keep all the Records Handy
Paperwork is similar to that stocks- it tends to get lost, is not kept intact. So, rather than tossing your receipts and other important documents while driving, have a folder so that you can keep everything handy and in a single place. Alternatively, you can maintain a different color folder and organize the month-wise. For instance, you can keep all the receipts in red-colored folders, invoices in blue-colored ones, and documents in the green-colored folder.
We account for one-sixth of the forces of gravity we see in the universe. There is no known objects accounting for most of the effective gravity in the universe. Something is making stuff move that is not anything we have ever touched. – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Use Efficient Online Solutions
The internet has provided the easiest solutions for managing the automobile-related processes with things like the ability to quickly find the directions along with the alternative routes to the unknown areas. It also made bookkeeping quite simpler because of the continuously evolving digitization.
An online solution will help you keep everything in a single place on a wireless gadget. All in all, it averts you from dealing with extra paperwork along with receipt overload. This will keep everything at your fingertips.
Making sense and managing data you have kept is a task in itself when taxes are meant to be filed.
Keeping the Records Audit-Proof
This applies to both the IFTA, IRS, as well as the State Fuel tax matters. Try to create and manage a separate checking account for your business or personal expenses. Always save the receipts for business-related acquisitions. Also, you can easily scan and keep the digital copies of every single receipt on your computer.
Using the Accurate Bookkeeping System:
Most businesses use either a cash-based system. Trucking payroll software is a system that records your transactions in terms of incomes and expenses, you can calculate your income whenever you feel like. This is generally the best bookkeeping for managing the trucking and related platform. Therefore, it is essential to choose accurate bookkeeping solution software.
Here, the accounting software in terms of the trucking business makes it quite easy for the owners to manage load, expenses, as well as the incomes. The software provides you with the ability to bill the customers and manage the detailed reports, file IFTA on time, and pay drivers as well.
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Try Opening a Separate Business Account
If you are the sole owner of the business, try opening an additional account for your business-related purpose, this will save you the extra fees when talking about business accounts. Transact your incomes and expenses using your business account. You can also access this account for easy record-keeping purposes. Here, a separate account will also provide you with ease of access to the required information during tax auditing and more.
The Highway use tax is applicable for the vehicles above the required or mentioned weight distance covered in New York. The HUT- Highway Use Tax applies to vehicles operating in the state of New York. However, there are certain exemptions and other requirements that exist for both the fuel as well as the highway use tax.Read More
The HUT is a tax applied to trucks, carriers, and heavy vehicles that are known to operate the same on the public highways of the state. According to the jurisdiction, a heavy vehicle includes the following:
- Vehicles like a truck, tractor, or other instruments attached must have a gross weight, alone of more than 18,000 pounds.
- The vehicle has an unloaded weight of more than 8,000 pounds (In case of trucks) and 4,000 pounds (In the case of tractors).
What does Gross Weight Mean?
- The unloaded weight of the vehicle such as truck, tractor, and other attached.
- The unloaded weight of the heaviest device such as trailer, dolly or other that are meant to be drawn.
- Lastly, the maximum load that is meant to be carried or drawn by the vehicle.
How can you Determine HUT?
Here, the tax is based on the mileage that is traveled in the NY highway tax. It is calculated at the rate identified by the weight of the vehicle along with the method that you decide to report the tax. So, when you are completing your return according to the calendar year, you must select the following to determine the tax:
- The Gross Weight Method.
- The Unloaded Weight Method.
You should select your method depending upon your specific operations. One method can be more cost-effective as well as appropriate for you.
HUT Filing Requirements
You need to file a HUT return even if there is no tax outstanding. This may include a third party or some other person who will pay the tax due in terms of the used vehicle under the certification of registration.
Video credit: DOT Operating Authority
Your Tax is also dependent upon the miles you traveled in NY, apart from the weight of your vehicle. Therefore, you must choose between the methods mentioned above to compute your tax payable accurately. Once you are done with that you can follow the following:
- You must use only one method to compute your tax filed throughout the year.
- You cannot change the selected method for a year.
- You must also use the same for all your vehicles.
Requirements for Recordkeeping
Every vehicle or carrier subject to HUT must maintain the daily records of the miles traveled within the state by every vehicle that falls under certification of registration to travel in New York.
Pay Within the Timeframe to Avoid Consequences
The outstanding tax amounts should be filed immediately within the given timeframe. Paying the bills on time will help you to avoid serious consequences as well as penalties, civil enforcement actions that might include- tax, warrants, levies, seizures, and sale of assets.
Excluded and Exempt Vehicles
Not all vehicle operated in NY state are required to pay the Highway Use Tax:
- Excluded vehicles: Heavy vehicles like Buses, maintenance vehicles, and others are excluded from the Highway Use Tax.
Exempted Ones: Agriculture, Emergency, and other recreational vehicles are exempted.
One of the most critical aspects of the freight industry is to connect the shippers and the carriers. The freight business is vast, and various interlinked entities work together to make sure that the system runs smoothly and effortlessly. The main lifelines of the freight industry are the intermediaries who have tied all of these entities together. The role of cloud based freight brokers and forwarders is crucial, and with a boom in e-commerce, it has become impossible to ignore them. They are the primary driving source of a company’s success. Although they may be similar and possess some overlapping roles, some technical differences differentiate both. People often use them interchangeably, but to get a deeper understanding of both, you must first be clear with their meanings and functions.Read More
Who is a freight broker?
Basically, a freight broker is a middleman or an intermediary who bridges the gap between the buyers and sellers. His main goal is to connect the shippers and carriers and form a long-lasting and mutually beneficial agreement. Like any other business, both the buyers (shippers) and the sellers (transportation carriers) have diverse needs, expectations, and requirements. It will be challenging to align their distinct wants without any external help. This is why a fleet management software is needed to reduce their conflicts that prevent both parties from agreeing on one agreement. Most of the time, we see that no party wants to compromise as they think if they do so, they will turn out to be the losers in the game. It is because of this type of hostile mindset, that makes it more important for a freight broker to come to the bargaining table and help them make decisions that benefit both.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
Hiring a freight broker will have long term benefits for your business. He has a comprehensive amount of technical knowledge, has massive network connections, and is well versed with the freight laws. He can take care of all the paperwork, thus saving a lot of money and time. His main objective is to handle all the obstacles that come in the way and ensure a mutual settlement between the two parties. A good freight broker is the one who ensures that the negotiations made are in the interest of both the parties. He helps them to keep ego aside and to think rationally. After assisting them in cracking a deal and when both the parties begin their business, a freight broker is then responsible for maintaining an open line of communication between the carrier and the shipper to ensure that both parties are doing their part of the deal.
If you have a basic understanding of the freight industry, you might be aware of one other term used in freight business: third party logistics or 3PL. The majority of the 3PLs use the services of the freight brokers as a point of contact for carrier negotiations, keeping track of arrival and departure of trucks and scheduling pickups and drop-offs. Shippers often hire them as consultants whose goal is to analyze the company in detail and develop newer ways of optimizing routes, shipping practices, and cost-saving measures for the company. We can say that a freight broker is just one of the aspects of 3PL.
Thanks to the changes in technology , freight brokers have become much more efficient with the help of fleet management system. They can perform various functions for you, such as helping you keep up with the recent trends and adhere to state regulations. He can provide you better ways of reducing transport costs, improving delivery efficiency, and minimizing wastage. A freight brokerage is required to obtain a license and register itself as a business under the state government. He must show a fund or a bond to get registered.
Who is a freight forwarder?
A freight forwarder also acts as a liaison between the shipper and carrier. However, apart from that, he does a couple of other things. One of the most important tasks of a freight forwarder is the consolidation of shipments. It means merging small shipments or taking a large shipment and breaking it into smaller ones. He also specializes in arranging storage area and freight shipment for the client.
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Since a freight forwarder has more duties to perform, he requires more capital and manpower than a freight broker. He takes charge of the freight and ships them. He is responsible and accountable for consolidation, storage, transportation, and insurance of freight. Apart from acting as an intermediary, a freight forwarder also ensures the “forwarding of freight.” He ensures that the shipment reaches the customer. He also deals with overseas shipments and handles import and export issues that come in the process.
Difference between a broker and a forwarder:
Possession and storage of freight: The primary difference between the two is that a broker is not responsible for handling or storage of freight. They do not issue various bills and certificates, as in the case of freight forwarder. A freight forwarder ships freight, prepares necessary documents, and is responsible for freight storage. Liability and Legal Obligations: Since a broker is not responsible for the possession of the freight, so he cannot be held accountable for any missing or damaged freight.
As long as a freight broker doesn’t provide the services of a freight forwarder, he cannot be made liable for freight shipment. However, a forwarder can be held responsible for mishandling the shipments. Hence, they must have cargo and liability insurance policies to cover the amounts. Both the freight brokers and forwarders provide vital services to ease the lives of shippers and carriers. They might look the same in some aspects, but there are critical differences between the two. However, the ultimate goal remains the same that is to optimize your shipping and save your money.