In a recent survey of the transportation industry by Teletrac Navman, 39% of fleets named reducing costs as a top business goal in 2017.
The survey, which examined best practices, trends, and current issues influencing transportation operations in the U.S., found that reducing costs, increasing fleet size, incorporating telematics solutions, and hiring and retraining new drivers were the top business priorities across the industry.
With margins thin across the industry, more organizations are looking to technology and outsourcing drivers and equipment to improve productivity, streamline operations and reduce waste, according to Teletrac Navman.
"Facing fluctuating fuel costs, a driver shortage and new regulatory challenges, it's not surprising that executives in transportation are doing everything they can to control costs and boost revenue," said Sid Nair, senior director of transport and compliance, Teletrac Navman. "Companies are investing in technologies from telematics to data management tools to help streamline their workflow and connect drivers to the back office. This is only the beginning of a paradigm shift centered around technology adoption and use."
More than three-quarters of the surveyed companies were confident in their ability to be ready for the electronic logging device mandate that takes effect on Dec. 18, with large fleets of 100 or more vehicles reporting the highest confidence. While ELDs are still a major concern for fleets, 28% of the companies reported taking no steps to address the concerns.
Fleets are also looking to modernize to reduce maintenance costs over time. Also, 61% are planning to increase the size of their fleets. Thirty percent of fleets reported outsourcing drivers and trucks in order to meet increasing freight demand.
With the ongoing driver shortage in trucking, 58% of the surveyed fleets reported rewarding drivers for good performance as a tool for retention, and 20% said they would hire more drivers in the next year.
Almost three-quarters of the fleets reported either currently using telematics or planning to do so in the next year, including investing in GPS tracking and fleet management solutions. Of those implementing new technologies, 41% said they were doing it to increase regulatory compliance.
The full report is available online at Teletracnavman.com.