Top 16 Trucking Company Performance Metrics You Need To Track

Top 16 Trucking Company Performance Metrics You Need To Track

Before you make a purchasing decision, calculate rates, or set your budget, you need data. Here are the trucking company performance metrics to track.

Written by bobtail

From routes to rates to rigs, trucking company owners are faced with a lot of decisions. To make the right call, you need data—an accurate picture of how your business is operating in real time. That data comes from key performance indicators, or KPIs, which are highly specific, quantifiable measurements.

But which data points should you track? Trucking company performance metrics will differ based on the size of your operation. Large fleet carriers may analyze everything from load weight to routing; these factors help them shave delivery costs, achieving noticeable gains when scaled across hundreds of trucks. However, the small fleet owner or owner-operator probably won’t benefit from this level of granularity. If you operate between one and five trucks, focus on trucking KPIs that affect your bottom line and inform your operational choices directly. These metrics will help you manage your budget, boost revenues, and improve operational efficiency as you grow your fleet. In fact, without them, it’s hard to grow at all.

Trucking Company Performance Metrics For Small Carriers

Organization is a key challenge for data-driven decision making. Manage your data by separating KPIs into distinct categories, as we do here. While these trucking metrics interact with one another—and mixing and matching the data can help you make better choices on everything from bids to equipment purchases—it’s best to start with separate spreadsheets for each of these areas. Look to your accounting software for financial data, telematics dashboards and electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track truck performance, and driver reporting for load management figures.

Financial Metrics

The following KPIs can help you set a budget that matches your real-world cost of operations. These are bottom-line KPIs: data related to money coming in and going out.

Truck Performance Metrics

The industrial internet of things (IIOT) is making it possible to track truck performance on a moment-to-moment basis, a practice known as telematics. Install telematics systems in your trucks to collect this data, which can provide visibility into operational challenges like diminishing MPG ratings. Here are a few telematics ratings to watch closely.

Load Management Metrics

Load planning allows you to make sure your trucks are where they need to be, when they need to be there. Tracking the following KPIs can help you be a more reliable carrier.

In addition to the above KPIs, carriers must also collect data on safety and compliance. Routinely evaluate your drivers’ hours of service (HOS) summaries. Maintain accurate CSA reports and updated driver qualification files for all your drivers as well.

Setting Benchmarks For Trucking KPIs

These trucking company performance metrics serve two crucial purposes: They allow you to create goals and determine whether you’re meeting them. But in order to set the goal, you have to establish benchmark ratings for each KPI. To find your baseline ratings for these metrics, start collecting data as soon as possible. A month may give you enough information to set a baseline for some metrics, but it’s best to collect information for up to six months to gain a clearer picture of performance.

Once you’ve chosen your KPIs and set benchmarks, monitor incoming data on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis. Update your benchmark goals until they seem realistic, and make operational changes—new routes, new equipment, changing rates—if you’re not meeting your goals.

The main reason fleet owners track these KPIs is to create and manage a budget. However, even with careful planning, cash flow problems can arise—especially when shippers operate on net-60 terms, holding payments for up to two months. That doesn’t have to be a barrier to operation. The best solution is a contract-free factoring tool like Bobtail. This easy-to-use financial service app allows carriers of all sizes to access their payments quickly with same-day transfers. Unlike traditional factoring services, we don’t lock you into restrictive contracts, enforce volume requirements, or charge hidden fees. If your trucking KPIs suggest you need a payment sooner than your customers can deliver, Bobtail can help. Call us at 410-204-2084 to learn more, or click here to start your free trial today.