With gas prices skyrocketing to record levels, consumers are struggling to stretch their budgets to cover fuel costs. But it goes beyond the prices at the gas pump. The high cost of fuel translates to high shipping costs, and that translates to higher prices for goods when companies pass on the additional fuel costs to consumers. Here are some ways to minimize the cost of shipping during these challenging times.
Do as Much Online As Possible
The Covid-19 pandemic taught us that many things can be done online instead of in-person, saving all that extra expense of driving places for meetings or educational conferences. That also applies to in-house training. By making more things virtual, you can significantly reduce fuel costs for the company.
Efficient Shipping Cuts Fuel Costs
Not everything can be done online, though. But businesses can work together to help minimize shipping costs. Consider booking deliveries on other companies’ empty trucks during their return trips after a delivery. The company would otherwise lose money when an empty truck has to drive hundreds of miles to return to a warehouse, but they may offer reduced rates if you take that opportunity to have your shipment delivered on their returning trucks.
On the other hand, if you are making deliveries and face the problem of an empty truck returning to pick up another load, you can also book that truck to deliver someone else’s goods on the return. This creates a win-win situation where both businesses benefit from working together to ship things more efficiently.
Gasing Up at Grocery Stores
While delivery trucks usually frequent truck stops when it comes to refueling, gas prices are typically lower through memberships with discount stores and grocery outlets. Sites like Costco or Safeway are popular with families trying to save on fuel costs, but businesses can take advantage of gas prices that typically run below the average cost.
This is also a great idea if you offer a service where you have a fleet of vans or trucks that either make deliveries or service calls. While some grocery and outlet store gas pumps may not be accessible to your large delivery trucks, they can certainly accommodate vans and small service trucks, such as those for cleaning services or HVAC. Lawncare services can also buy fuel for operating equipment at discounted prices.
Using Discount Cards and Apps to Get the Best Prices
Help your employees find the best deals while they’re on the road, whether traveling cross country or locally. With the help of a cell phone app, employees can search for the best prices at nearby gas stations to ensure they get the best deal. How many times have you stopped to get gas only to find it much cheaper a few miles down the road? That’s where the app can save you money.
Another money-saving tip is to invest in some discount fuel cards to give to employees. If you’re buying in bulk, which you likely are, call corporate headquarters and see if they’ll offer an additional discount for a large purchase.
Slow Down on the Highways
Everyone wants to deliver their goods quickly and efficiently, but trying to save time by speeding on the highways will only increase fuel costs. Not to mention it might be counterproductive if you have to spend a lot of time on the side of the road with the police officer writing you a ticket.
If you don’t think it makes much of a difference in your fuel costs, Staples would disagree. The office supplies company modified their trucks so they had to stay 60 miles per hour or less. That added up to a cool $8 million in fuel cost savings in one year. Imagine how much they’re saving now!
Consider taking this opportunity to invest in hybrid vehicles. It’s a big investment to go this route, but the savings will eventually pay off beyond the current gas crisis. Not to mention you’ll be doing your part to save the environment. Including that in your marketing can also attract more environmentally-conscious consumers.
Plan Your Routes Carefully to Avoid Additional Fuel Costs
With gas prices so high right now, no one can afford to be making extra trips or running all around town for errands. Everyone needs detailed planning to make sure they spend fuel and time efficiently.
This goes for business as well. Planning delivery routes and service calls can be a headache, even under the best of circumstances. But with huge fuel costs, it becomes more critical. Instead of spending hours trying to maximize routes and schedules, consider using a software program that will help you.
For instance, if you run an appliance repair business, it makes a lot more sense to try to schedule appointments so your technicians aren’t constantly running from one end of the city to the next. Ideally, you want to schedule appointments together that are located close to each other. Most customers will understand that you’re trying to be efficient and appreciate that you’re doing everything to keep costs low.
ServiceWorks Can Save You Money on Fuel Costs
ServiceWorks software makes planning routes and saving money on fuel costs a lot easier. Plus, you’ll get all the other features that come along with the software, such as invoicing, inventory, and payroll. There is a free trial with no credit card needed so you can check out how much money you’ll save and how much time you’ll save running your business without paying a dime upfront.