Over the years the demand for shipping has grown steadily and with that growth there has been a surge in productivity for the intermodal industry as shippers turn to multiple methods of transportation to meet that demand. Railways are coming into the spotlight for long distance deliveries, garnering interest for fuel efficiency and lower cost. Costs for shipping by rail can be anywhere from 15 to 40 percent less than by truck since trains depend less on fuel. Interested in going intermodal but new to the game? Keep these tips in mind and remember to call US1 Network with any questions regarding intermodal drayage.
Know the schedules like a pro
Incorporating rail into the supply chain is a strategic maneuver for the long run, but it also takes careful analysis to ensure you know when the trains take off and how to synchronize those schedules with your shipment. What is the train’s schedule and how will that affect the pickup and delivery time? You have to get your load to the origin ramp without delay and know when the train is due to reach the destination.
Drayage shouldn’t be overlooked
You can’t put all of your focus into the efficiency of the rail, don’t forget about the OTR carriers transporting goods to and from the ramp. You’ll want to make sure you carefully choose a reliable 3PL to ensure you get quality service and equipment. Streamline every aspect of your supply chain, one weak link can be costly.
Take care of your products
Especially if you’re shipping LTL. You won’t know what other products will be traveling alongside your goods, so take care to package them properly. Determine whether your freight is fragile or non-fragile and keep it contained within a crate or box. Place your boxed goods on top of a pallet stacked in a tight square shape and avoid overhang. Print out the “Bill of Ladings” and stick it onto each package, just in case.
Being an owner operator is awesome because you get to call the shots when it comes to the jobs you want and how you arrange your schedule. One small drawback though, is keeping a consistent amount of money coming in each month to meet your budget needs.
How can you use every resource available to you as an owner operator in order to make more money? Here are 3 of our biggest tips to give you ideas.
It starts with reputation
No matter what line of work you’re in, getting the best paying jobs starts with proving your worth. For an owner operator, this goes beyond the ability to pick up loads and deliver them on time. You need to be reliable, communicate with customers quickly and maintain positive relationships with fleet managers. Take your time, put in the effort to network and produce exceptional results and in the end, you’ll have constant loads and more money, because you’ll be the first one that managers call due to trust.
The less you spend while traveling over the road, the more money stays in your pocket (obviously). If you take the time to make a budget, observe how you spend and then cut unnecessary costs, it’ll be worth it in the long run. Fuel is a huge area where you can save. Sign up for fuel card programs and use e-discounts. Some programs offer discounts on a variety of services besides fuel,such as discounts on tires and parts for your truck.
Say no to deadhead miles
Deadheading is when you drive your truck with an empty trailer. This is a huge waste of gas, not to mention it only increases wear and tear on your truck for no reason. You want to maximize your earnings as much as possible, and one way to do that is by taking on backhauls. If you’ve made a delivery across the country and it’s time to drive back home, you can find loads that need to be delivered where you’re going. Usually backhauls garner less pay, but it’s still better than going back home empty-handed.