If you need to have trucks available to deliver your product to customers and distribution centres there are some advantages to having your own private fleet, you have some flexibility and control over every element.
The negative aspects far outweigh the benefits, unfortunately. Running your own private fleet of trucks and drivers means that you are effectively running two companies. You have your main business that produces the product and a trucking company where you need to manage more people and logistics.
There are also some significant risks to running your own private fleet. All of these considerations and potential risks can be removed by having a third party trucking company handle the shipping of all of your products.
Here are some of the dangers of having your own private fleet of trucks
1. You may encounter a driver shortage that can cause an unforgivable drop in service.
There is already a very high demand for truck drivers and as such, they are in very short supply. The major trucking companies are able to offer better pay and benefits compared to smaller operations so even though you start off the week fully ready to go with enough drivers, if one or two jump ship, you will be stuck without the means to fulfil your delivery commitments.
2. Your trucks might be sitting idle for months at a time
If you have a busy and a quiet season, you will no doubt have months where all of your trucks are in use and other periods where there are many trucks left in your lot not being used. This can be very costly as it means that the investment that you made in your trucks is not being fully utilized and that money could have been better used in other areas of the business rather than a rapidly depreciating asset that is not in use.
3. You will be on the hook for the actions of your drivers
If the driver of own of your trucks does not follow the regulatory demands of the trucking industry or breaks a rule of the road, it is you, the company that will be potentially held accountable. By having a professional trucking company handle your shipping needs you will be able to avoid this completely and they will absorb the impact of their driver’s actions.
4. Maintaining tucks is expensive
If any of the trucks in your private fleet need parts or maintenance it is your business that will need to spend the money. This can cut into your profits and divert capital away from much-needed growth opportunities. A 3rd party trucking company will take all of the cost and responsibility for ensuring that their trucks are in perfect working order and they will pay for any maintenance that is required.
5. Loss of focus
If there are any problems with the private trucking fleet that your business owns, you will need to devote time and energy to solving them. This can take your time and energy away from other more important areas of the business. If you can afford to spend time on this then it is not that much of a problem, however, if this spreads your attention too thin then you run the risk of not meeting commitments elsewhere in the business
6. Liability concerns
By running a private fleet of trucks there is a real danger of opening up your business to liability caused by accidents. By using a 3rd party trucking company you will limit your exposure and help to prevent costly damages.