Commercial Shuttle Services, an Albany, Georgia-based dry van carrier company has closed its doors due to rising insurance costs, an aging ownership group, and a variety of market conditions that have caused multiple transportation companies to cease operations in the past 18 months.
It was announced in the company press release that the rising insurance rates for continual protection were not economically feasible.
Commercial Shuttle Services (CSS) had employed 55 people, including 41 drivers. While they primarily operated in the Southeastern United States, they worked with shippers on a national front.
CSS began life as a family-owned business established back in 1981. Primarily, it operated as a tire lumping service for Firestone/Bridgestone. As they grew, their fleet expanded to multiple international tractors that navigated trucking lanes from Florida to Pennsylvania and as far west as Texas.
Commercial Shuttle Services Wasn't the Only One
There really isn't any need to say it, but, 2019 was a horrible year for trucking companies.
In fact, more than a dozen mid to large-sized trucking companies ceased operations, filed for bankruptcy or have restructured entire business operations. A few recognizable trucking companies that had financial struggles leading to closure included HVH Transportation, New England Motor Freight, Stevens Tanker Division, Falcon Transport, GDS Express, and right before Christmas, Celadon.
A total of 640 trucking companies in the United States filed for bankruptcy protection before June 30th, 2019. The year prior, trucking companies filing for the same financial protection was less than 1/3rd this number.
As explained by the ownership group of Commercial Shuttle Services, there are several factors beyond the simple lack of qualified drivers that are causing transportation companies to rethink their business operations or shut their doors for good.
Let’s explore a few of the more prominent issues trucking companies are facing and how it will affect the industry deeper into 2020.
Poor Operational Planning
Today’s supply chain operates at a lightning pace. The amount of trucking companies closing doors or filing for bankruptcy is alarming, but several issues can be linked to poor operational planning.
Whether it’s having to spend excessive funding on emergency repairs, replacing older equipment, or recruit new employees, poor planning or financial structuring – several trucking companies could continue to operate if their operational planning was streamlined, automated and simplified.
Trucking companies depend on efficiency on the road. However, they also need to optimize each route as it is sent out for pick-ups, moving freight, or returning to the terminal. Several trucking companies utilize advanced software solutions that help them locate freight movements on short notice. Others utilize route optimization software solutions to help balance loads, improve on-road stops per hour, and save money on fuel.
Using technology solutions can significantly help trucking companies reduce waste, from payroll to fuel. Technology can also help to improve customer service,
Communication with Vendors, Suppliers and Customers
It’s understood that most of today’s business decisions are made based on multiple metrics. However, communication is a major factor that keeps trucking companies moving freight across the country. Some trucking companies depend on cloud-based transportation management solutions that permit customers to locate them, receive instant updates on freight rates, schedule pick-ups, and monitor movement till delivery.
This type of communication and seamless connectivity is a major factor that keeps customers happy, informed, and confident in the trucking company they hire to move their valuable cargo. Likewise, they can easily pay their invoices through a secure platform, which improves cash flow for the trucking company, and ensures timely invoicing.
Several trucking companies are struggling in 2020 because of areas that simply can’t be controlled. Others are either afraid to invest in the right technology, or just not certain where to find the best solutions.
An expert 3PL like Redwood Logistics can help any sized trucking company review their financial stability, arm them with the right technology to streamline operations, reduce waste, and improve customer service.
If you operate a trucking or transportation company and are looking to keep your business afloat during times of uncertainty, contact Redwood Logistics today for some professional guidance.