There is Lots of Good Free Stuff for Transportation Professionals on the Internet
As the years go by, there is an increasing amount of useful content appearing on the internet. Some of it is designed specifically for truckers and much of it is free or available at a very reasonable price. Here are a few sites that can help trucking companies improve their performance and better manage their businesses.
Big Truck TV (http://www.bigtrucktv.com/)
This very well designed website contains a host of useful information for fleet executives. The website is organized by topic (Environment, Technology, Human Resources, Maintenance, Safety and Regulations, Fleet Operations, Meet the Experts, Finance, ATA, Video White Papers). Each section of the website has a host of video presentations from industry experts on topics ranging from how to open a successful brokerage operation to how to run an effective tire retread program to “how to pick freight that works for you” to how to know your costs and when to say “no” to how to improve driver recruiting. This website is loaded with very valuable information for trucking companies of all sizes.
Key Performance Indicators (www.kpilibrary.com)
This handy website is organized by industry sector. One of the sectors is Transportation and Warehousing. KPIs are listed and each one is defined. Sample KPIs include On-time pickup and delivery, transit time, profit per truck, ratio of fixed to variable cost per truck, ratio of corrective versus preventable maintenance per truck etc.). The KPIs can be grouped into segments (e.g. Cost Leadership, Customer Intimacy, Operational Excellence, Cost/Service Differentiation). The website outlines the most popular KPIs and allows you to create a customized KPI Dashboard. You can only manage what you measure. This website helps trucking companies select those key measureemnts that can help improve profitability.
Truckload Rates (www.truckloadrate.com)
This service can be used on a one-time basis or on an ongoing basis to determine truckload rates on most domestic and cross-border lanes in North America. For a monthly fee ($29.95), carriers (and shippers) can enter lane pairs and see the average, minimum and maximum rates that are being charged for dry van and speciality truckload services. Fuel surcharge data is also available. Each subscriber receives a report that shows the trends on a monthly and year/year basis. Rates are graphed out over a 12 month period so trends can be identified.
The site is of value for several reasons. It ensures shippers and carriers to benchmark market rates on every major lane. For carriers seeking to enter new lanes, on a one shot or continuous basis, it provides market intelligence at a very modest fee.
Twitter (www.twitter.com) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com)
Twitter is available to anyone who wishes to compose or read “tweets” or messages that are 140 characters or less. The site serves several purposes. Each tweet must be very focused and concise. Industry experts, including many from the transportation sector, publish tweets on a variety of topics. Those who follow certain individuals can obtain a broad range of views and perspectives. Many tweets contain links to more in-depth articles on those topics on the internet.
LinkedIn is another Internet tool that continues to gain in popularity. Individuals who participate in LinkedIn create a profile of themselves and invite or receive invitations from others to be part of a network. These networks can be used for a variety of purposes. The most common usage is for recruiting. This is a great place to find and recruit staff.
One can also join interest groups. These groups along with one’s network can be used as a “sounding board,” to secure information on a topic or for any other fact-finding purpose. Both of these services are free unless one wishes to pay for some premium services.
Supplychainbrain is a educational resource that consists of video interviews with industry leaders in supply chain and logistics. It has specific segments for LTL/truckload transportation, rail and intermodal and ocean transportation. Again, the service is free and there is lots of good content.
For transportation professionals seeking to stay informed on their business, there is a host of useful information that is only a click away.