What influences road transport costs and how to reduce them?
Understanding the differentiation of the cost structure in the transport industry is a fundamental factor that will allow us to better understand this branch of the economy. Each transport is associated with different external costs, so it is worth getting acquainted with the individual components included in the price of transporting goods. Thanks to this, you can try to reduce the costs of a given freight in the future.
What affects transport costs?
One of the first factors that affect freight pricing is the type of road transport (domestic or international). Domestic transport in Poland is usually cheaper than foreign transport. Foreign transport of goods outside the EU involves customs clearance. It often happens that the check-in is in a different place than loading or unloading, and then the carrier has to add additional costs for fuel. You also need to keep track of the prohibitions and holidays in force in a given country. In transport, we also distinguish the type of transport on: FTL (Full Truck Load), when the goods occupy the entire loading area of the vehicle or a significant part of it. In this case, it will be necessary to find the entire vehicle or vehicles to transport the loads, which increases costs. Another form of transport is LTL (Less Than Truck Load) for goods that only occupy part of the cargo area. Such loads will be cheaper to transport due to the fact that they will also be transported with other loads. However, it should be remembered that the weight of the load also has a significant influence on the price, as vehicles cannot be overloaded. Sometimes, even if the goods take up only a part of the cargo space, but their weight is high, they should be properly placed on the trailer so as not to overload the axles. This solution is usually effective for the transport of general cargo, which are most often transported on pallets. Another important factor will be the distance, of course, the longer the route the load has to travel, the greater the cost of transport. Fuel prices are also directly related to the length of the route. In some cases, even the location of loading or unloading may be of importance. It is influenced by possible holidays or prohibitions in force on specific days of the week in a given country. The carriers often consider the location unfavorable as e.g. a construction site or places to which they have to travel for many kilometers and which will be problematic to find the return cargo.
How to reduce transport costs?
Considering all the factors described above, it is worth being up to date with fuel prices and possible changes in road law. In the case of transport companies, especially drivers, it is worth paying attention to economical driving (e.g. using the cruise control on the route), thanks to which you can reduce the costs of fuel expenses. It is also worth checking tire pressure regularly and keeping an eye on vehicle inspection dates. By taking care of your fleet, you can save a lot, because we reduce the likelihood of failure on the route and possible costly repairs. A correctly planned route is also of great importance if we want to avoid additional costs due to, for example, possible detours that extend the route. In addition, in the case of transport companies, it is also worth reducing the number of so-called empty runs, thanks to proper order planning. Often, carriers at the place of unloading also look for the possibility of taking the cargo back. Thanks to this, they can earn more and reduce fuel costs. In the case of freight forwarders, it is worth taking care of a careful calculation of how much a given load will take up and the selection of an appropriate vehicle. As a result, significant amounts of money can be saved on the transport of goods. Some applications help in planning the optimal route and others in professional planning of loading. One of them is Smartload, sign up for free and get a free one month trial.