Originally appeared in Fleet Owner

Now is the time to evaluate your fleet’s operations to see where you can squeeze a little more efficiency and productivity out of your company as equipment prices rise. Here are six ways fleets can better optimize their operations.

Given the cost of a new truck today, fleets need to review their business model and make some changes to offset the increased cost of new equipment—a cost that is likely to go even higher with the next round of EPA emissions regulations.

Consider these six ways fleets can better optimize their operations.

1. Keep the wheels turning
When a truck sits, the fleet is not making money. Fleets must begin to look at running their trucks for more extended periods, moving from one-shift operation to perhaps two or more. Of course, fleets are constrained by the availability of drivers, but it is still a good idea to look at the feasibility of running trucks for more hours a day.

See also: Three ways small fleets can stay competitive

2. Focus on reducing detention
Work with shippers so drivers are not sitting at loading docks waiting to pick up or deliver their loads. Detention at docks eats into profitability and is also detrimental to driver satisfaction. Drivers do not want to sit around watching their hours of service get eaten up when they could be driving.

3. Perform an asset assessment
The pandemic changed purchasing habits of both consumers and businesses. The last mile has taken on increased importance. Now is an excellent time to assess whether your fleet has the right assets to meet the new market demand. You may find that you can function with fewer sleepers if your average length of haul has become shorter. When new assets become available, you may need to change the type of trucks you order.

4. Optimize routing
When was the last time you reviewed your routing? If it has been more than a year, now is the time to take a fresh look at routing to see that the routing you use still makes sense. Small changes in routing can result in significant gains in productivity.

5. Optimize loads
Fleets should consider load optimization before looking at route optimization. Can they consolidate loads from several vehicles into one? Using one vehicle to deliver multiple loads is far more efficient than sending several half-full trailers to locations near each other.

6. Consider adding backhauls
Nothing costs more than hauling air. Now is a good time to investigate if backhauls make sense in your operation. A change in mindset may be needed. A load several miles outside a driver’s route resulting in getting a load to haul back may be worth it.

While not all these options are suitable for every fleet, it is worth evaluating your operation to see where you can squeeze out a little more efficiency and productivity.

At Corcentric, we stand ready to help any fleet bridge that gap.  To learn how we can help, contact Corcentric today.