The history of trucking is not glamorous. We have progressed from people carrying freight, to carts and wagons, to railroads and finally to the motorized technological marvels that move tons of cargo today. What is the next Big Thing in trucking? What will revolutionize the industry, cut costs and deliver the goods? As a fleet owner, innovation often begins with you.
There are dozens of innovative trends converging on the trucking industry. A few include: LNG engines, self-driving trucks, as well as apps and other software to monitor performance, truck location, etc. These are just a few of the hundreds of innovations hitting the industry. Remember –if you’re not evolving you’re dying!
When we work with a fleet owner to sell their fleet, or to find investors to help them grow, investors are most attracted to fleets that employ new technology, monitor industry trends and are constantly looking for ways to cut costs, improve performance and boost profits. They look for innovators.
If you want to maximize fleet values, control costs and be well positioned for future growth, or the sale of your fleet, here are five areas where innovation pays off:
- Equipment – Attractive, well-performing fleets look for cost effective ways to improve their equipment that will boost efficiencies and reduce costs. This does not mean every truck they own is new. However, it does mean their trucks are up-to-date, use new technology and are probably custom designed for the loads they carry to make them as efficient as possible.
- Staffing – One of the biggest industry challenges is the growing nationwide driver shortage. Innovative fleet owners partner with driving schools, offer scholarships, offer improved benefits and listen to what drivers want and need. Investors will pay more for a fleet that has a solid stable of drivers with a plan in place that provides a steady stream of new drivers for future growth.
- Technology – Definitely the most rapidly changing arena in any industry. Wise fleet owners are always looking for new technology that would provide a competitive edge. They are not afraid to try new things and adapt to change.
- Regulations – In some States, regulations add significant costs. Savvy fleet owners stay on top of potential regulatory issues, work with local, regional and national organizations to reduce the potential impact of new regulations. Most importantly, all of their equipment and procedures meets or exceeds current regulations and they have a plan to stay ahead of new regulations. Often innovations, such as new LNG engines can dramatically reduce regulatory costs and make a fleet much more valuable.
- Partnerships – Innovative fleet owners seek out partnerships with industry groups, customers, training programs and other partnerships that provide synergistic benefits. This could include working with OEM’s or others to provide input on new truck or equipment designs, serving as a test platform for new fleet or logistics technology, developing curriculum for specialized driver training offered by local tech schools or other unique approaches.
If you are thinking of selling your fleet or need an investor to help you grow, look around your organization. Is it evolving and adapting to changes in the industry? Do you encourage innovation and new ways of doing things? Change is inevitable. The value of your fleet is directly linked to your ability to adapt, innovate and thrive in an ever changing industry.