After You Deliver


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In the expediting business, strategy is of the utmost importance. How to plan and prepare to get the loads, watching the income and the expense associated with the loads, and then what to do after the delivery, is all very important.

Some things to do after your delivery, not necessarily in order, are: making sure the paperwork is in order and submitting it, making sure you're in the best area for the next load, and making sure you're rested and ready to go when you're wanting that next load.

Right after you deliver, if you're not going to sleep, and you're ready for the next load, you'll want to know your area. How many trucks are there, teams and singles? How many loads have come out of nearby areas recently? Should you sit or reposition?

One strategy is to sit and wait for the load. Driving empty a lot of miles takes away your profit. Maybe you shouldn't have even taken that load in the first place. If you're in an area with no activity at all, you probably have no choice. Maybe you intended to come to that area just to go somewhere you've never been, but that should still be a qualified decision. If there's no activity, you might ask Dispatch for help to reposition. An Empty Move or Dead Head, or whatever it's called ... is money to help move. It may not be much. That's why it's sometimes best to not go to inactive areas, or to negotiate a bonus before accepting the load.

If you run a 500 mile load, for example, what's next? If there is some activity, sitting and waiting a few days may in the long run be more profitable than immediately driving a lot of miles to a better area. If you're in an area that does one load every day or two, and 300 miles away is an area that does 5 loads a day, you might be better to just sit and wait. Driving 300 miles to reposition right after a 500 mile load isn't usually very profitable. Look at the overall month ... the overall week ... and look at percentages. A target may be to have your overall truck miles only 25 percent above your loaded miles. If the odometer shows you drove 10,000 miles in a month and you only had 5,000 loaded miles, you didn't make so much money. Another way to look at it is, consider the empty miles and their percentage of the overall odometer miles. If you have 10,000 miles on the odometer and 8,000 of those were loaded, then 2,000 miles, or 20 percent were empty. That's a good target. Less than 20% is certainly better, but going much over 20% is taking away quite a bit of your profit. You don't make money sitting, but you also don't make money if you remove the profit with a lot of empty miles.