There are unlikely to be many things that are more expensive to run than your delivery fleet. They cost money while they are out on the road, and they even cost you money while they are idle in your parking lot or yard.
However, there are ways that you can monetize them while they are out on the roads, even more so than when they are delivering to your customers. You can also make sure that they are never sitting idle in your parking area by always having them make deliveries.
Reduce the amount of time your vehicles are on the road empty
Although there will be times when your delivery vehicles have little to nothing onboard, you can, by careful planning, reduce this to the rarest of events. Using load boards on shipping brokers’ sites to find additional shipping jobs can have you fill your empty compartments with orders to deliver either on the way back to your depot or while your drivers are out and about.
This can prove very fruitful and productive as it could cover fuel costs as well as provide your drivers something to do other than just drive up and down the same stretch of road.
Provide customers with specific delivery days
You could take the option to zone your delivery areas and specify to your customers which day you want them to receive their order. Of course, you will have to be discreet about this, and you may find that the tactic doesn’t always work.
Offering your customers discounted shipping fees for the days you want to deliver to their area should have them choosing their appointed days rather than having to pay a premium to have their deliveries on the day of their choosing. This way, you can make sure that your drivers are not having to double back on themselves or are delivering to the same area day in and day out.
Opt for using fuel cards to reduce costs
There is no way around it, it is expensive to have your own delivery fleet, but you can make savings other than zoning your deliveries. This is by signing up for a fuel card at your local gas station; although not all gas stations offer this service, it is worth enquiring whether you have a local station for your business that does.
A fuel card will allow your business to take advantage of cheaper fuel deals, and as you will have an account with them, you pay all your fuel expenses once a month regardless of how many vehicles you have or how many times your drivers visit the gas station to buy fuel. Of course, the other bonus is that a fuel card will cover just that – the fuel; if your drivers have a habit of making additional purchases on your business cards, then a fuel card will see to it that they will have to buy these additional goods themselves rather than using your business funds.
With some very careful planning and some useful engineering, you can be more in control of your business fleet and the deliveries that they are performing. Using your gas wisely will mean that you not only get a discounted rate when filling up but are also making deliveries on your way to your penultimate destination and then also all the way back to your depot.