How to Reduce Fleet Costs: The Fleet Management Cost Guide

Larry Bernstein

April 1, 2024

Larry Bernstein

You can't control prices at the pump; we get it. But there are other ways to reduce fleet costs. When you're running a fleet, every mile counts, whether it's a handful of vans or hundreds of trucks. 

Fuel, maintenance, and vehicle downtime can eat your profits if not carefully watched. Thankfully, you can find good ways to handle fleet costs and keep everything running well without spending too much money. 

Let’s discuss them in detail.

Direct Fleet Management Costs

Direct fleet management costs are the expenses you can see and track easily. They are the bills you pay directly to keep your fleet moving. 

By keeping a close eye on these, you can reduce fleet costs and make your operations more cost-effective.

Fleet Vehicle Purchasing, Leasing and Disposal

Buying a vehicle means you'll either pay a lot upfront or have a monthly payment. For businesses that need to keep their fleet up-to-date, this could mean high monthly costs that don't go away. But remember, spending a lot of money on vehicles might not be the best use of your cash. That money could do more for your business elsewhere.

Leasing vehicles also means a regular monthly expense. The costs are fixed and can be a burden when business is slow. Alternatively, during busy times, meeting demand may require expanding the fleet, leading to increased costs. An enterprise business may also need dedicated staff just to focus on purchasing and leasing vehicles.

Selling off older vehicles or trading them in can bring some cash back into your business. But figuring out the best time and way to do this can be difficult. There are also extra costs when you get rid of vehicles. You might spend money on moving and storing them before selling them.

You also need to check the vehicles to make sure they're ready to sell. Sometimes you’ll have to spend more money to fix them first. 

Fleet Maintenance Costs and Fuel Expenses

Regular fleet maintenance is unavoidable.  The costs to maintain and repair a fleet go beyond dollars and cents. If multiple vehicles are in the repair shop, operations are impacted. Having too few vehicles ready to go can mean delays or using the wrong size vehicles for the job.

Fleets require gas or electricity. Both forms of energy have a price tag. The prices (especially for fuel) can change dramatically from week to week. Every moment spent refueling or charging is a moment not spent on the road delivering.  Determining the ideal time to fuel up/charge can be a logistical headache.

You can save money by filling up or charging your vehicles when it costs the least. Making smart choices about which roads to take can also help lower your expenses.

Working with Curri helps businesses cut down on fleet upkeep costs. We make sure you have the perfect-sized vehicle ready for any delivery whenever they need it. Your business can work alongside Curri or hand over the entire distribution process to us. 

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Indirect Fleet Management Costs

Insurance Expenses and Liability Risk

You’ll want to keep your fleet up to date. Insurance costs for new vehicles are high and have been steadily increasing. Also, with many staff members using the vehicles for deliveries, it’s wise for businesses to get the best liability insurance they can.

Accidents will happen – the only question is when. When an accident does occur, insurance rates tend to rise dramatically. Finding a new insurer is also a time suck.

While insurance provides peace of mind, it does nothing positive for the bottom line. This essential fleet cost is a drag on capital.

Staffing and Driver Management

For any business operating a fleet, planning where drivers go is very important. They need to make sure drivers are where they need to be, on time, every time.

It's hard to guess when a usual customer might suddenly need something delivered in a hurry. Or when a new customer decides to see how good the company's delivery service is.

No matter how you plan to deliver, getting and keeping enough staff takes a lot of time.

Drivers are in high demand and might leave for a better offer.  When new drivers are hired, they need to be trained to deal with customers in a fashion that meets a business’ standards. Driver management is a full-time job that impacts construction fleet management operating costs.

Fleet Costs for Accidents, Fines, and Tickets

Fleet management means dealing with accidents, fines, and tickets. Again, these things are inevitable. The time and costs associated with these annoyances need to be considered. The only hope is to minimize these bumps in the road. 

Tracking the issues and providing high-quality employee training can help to reduce them in the long run. Staffing changes may be needed if drivers get into accidents or accrue fines and tickets at an unacceptable rate. This requires regularly updating a tracking system.

Fleet Cost Reduction Strategies

Here are some ways to reduce fleet costs while improving your service efficiency.

Cut Fleet Costs with a Virtual Fleet

A virtual fleet is a network of independently contracted drivers who use their own vehicles to transport goods on a company's behalf. This lets businesses deliver more stuff without having to pay for their own trucks or take care of them.

Curri gives you access to a nationwide network of vehicles and drivers, instead of spending a ton on buying, leasing, and maintaining a fleet.

Screenshot of the Curri delivery platform showing a selection of vehicles with descriptions and starting prices, and a route map outlining a delivery area in Los Angeles.
Various vehicle options and a specified delivery route are available on the Curri platform.

The service is perfect for urgent or unexpected orders. You will always have the right-sized vehicle available without the need to keep a bloated fleet just in case.

With Curri, you also cut down on indirect fleet costs like hiring and training drivers. Our drivers undergo a thorough background check by a third-party service provider called Checkr. We also make sure that all drivers comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, and the statutes of Prop 22.

Fleet Rightsizing

Fleet right-sizing is all about making sure your fleet is just the right size for your needs. Not too big that it's wasting resources, and not too small that it can't meet demand. 

Curri steps in to help businesses tackle this challenge head-on. If your company doesn't use a certain type of vehicle very often, it's smart to sell it. Then, you can use a delivery service like Curri when you need that kind of vehicle. With just a few clicks, you can have the ideal vehicle and an experienced driver at your pickup location within 30-45 minutes. 

Comparison chart of various Curri vehicle options including Cargo Van, Sprinter Van, Box Truck, Flatbed, Stakebed, Hotshot Trailer, Flatbed Trailer, and Dry Van, showing their respective lengths, widths, maximum weights, and suitability for different types of deliveries 
Curri's different vehicle options and their capabilities for various delivery services.

Curri’s platform provides a flexible, on-demand fleet of vehicles. They can adjust to each delivery's specific needs, making your last-mile and LTL operations more efficient.

Thank you for reading this article. Please enjoy $40 off any Curri delivery by clicking on this link to sign-up.

Leverage Fleet Cost Management Tech

There's truth in the saying, "What gets measured gets managed." You can monitor various aspects of your fleet's operation by using the right tech tools.

Here’s a look at some of the technology that can help you with fleet cost management:

  • GPS Tracking: Helps track vehicle locations and monitors driving behaviors that lead to higher fuel use.
  • Fuel Management Systems: Analyzes fuel usage to identify inefficient routes or vehicles.
  • Telematics Devices: It gathers engine health data and driving patterns. This helps to make routes better and keeps things safer.
  • Fleet Management Software: Centralizes management of maintenance schedules, vehicle lifecycles, and driver assignments.
  • Dash Cams: Improves driver safety and accountability, potentially reducing insurance costs.
  • Maintenance Alerts: Notifies managers when vehicles need maintenance, preventing costly repairs.

Cut Down on Mileage to Reduce Fleet Expenses

To cut down on fleet expenses, think about using your own trucks only for trips that are close by. For longer trips, you can outsource deliveries to services like Curri. This way, your trucks last longer, and you spend less on gas and fixing them up.

It also allows you to serve a wider area, which means you can take on more customers and expand your business.

Also, using smart software to plan your routes can save you a lot of miles. Imagine having a map that tells you the quickest way to get somewhere, so you're not driving around more than you need to. 

Curri is working on a special route planner tool just for this. It helps you figure out the best route fast, so you can send trucks out without having to make a bunch of phone calls to see where everyone is. 

Screenshot of the Curri route planning interface displaying multiple delivery routes with details including driver names, vehicle types, scheduled times, travel distances, and stops at various businesses.
Curri's route planner showing scheduled stops and driver assignments

Outsource Deliveries

Outsourcing your deliveries means letting another company handle deliveries. With outsourcing, you get experts to take care of things without having to worry about the details.

Curri has a team of top-notch drivers and a big network of vehicles ready to go whenever you need them. It’s perfect for businesses that need to send construction materials and supplies. With Curri, you can ask for a driver to make a delivery right now, plan regular deliveries, or anything in between. 

Plus, Curri’s drivers are great at what they do. They know their areas well and are professional and reliable. We have all kinds of vehicles, from small cars to big semi-trucks, so no matter what you need to deliver.

Optimize Fleet Insurance Costs

It's important not to get too comfortable with your fleet insurance costs. Always shop around to make sure you're getting competitive rates from your insurance providers. 

Curri knows how crucial it is that your items arrive in the same condition as when they were sent. That's why we've put a lot of effort into selecting only the best drivers who know how to safely handle and transport your cargo. 

Curri offers extra peace of mind with our  Loss Assurance Program. This means every delivery you make with Curri comes with up to $25,000 in coverage for each load. And for items valued over $25,000, our $250,000 cargo insurance kicks in, covering every load sent with us.

Fleet Cost Reduction Case Studies

Coburn's Saves $150K Annually on Trucking Costs with Curri

Coburn's is a leading enterprise in the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and waterworks industry. They significantly cut down their annual trucking costs by partnering with Curri. 

Coburn's solved problems with pricey fleet growth by using Curri's Dedicated and Hotshots services. It makes their daily work smoother.  Curri enables them to help builders and contractors without needing a bigger fleet.

Here’s what they achieved:

  • Saved $150K annually on trucking costs
  • Eliminated the need for additional full-time employees and insurance costs
  • Reduced operational costs by 15%
  • Increased delivery requests by 10%
  • Saved over 3,300 hours of delivery time for branches

AM/PM Plumbing & Heating Supply Cuts Costs by 50% with Curri

AM/PM Plumbing & Heating Supply reduced their delivery operational costs and boosted retail sales. Anthony Cuccinello, President, praised Curri for eliminating headaches and providing substantial cost savings.

Curri’s Hotshots service changed how AM/PM Supply works. It helped them use less money to manage their fleet and focus more on growing their business.

Here are the results:

  • Slashed by 50% within a year by using Curri for deliveries.
  • Retail sales for emergency contractor jobs rose by 10%.
  • Improved with real-time delivery updates and proof of delivery photos.
  • Expanded by 250 miles, allowing out-of-state deliveries.

The Path Forward in Fleet Cost Reduction

Fleet cost management can feel like a never-ending battle. But there's good news: you can keep these costs under control by teaming up with Curri. 

Our virtual fleet offers three different delivery options—rush, same-day, and scheduled. We make it easier for your business to move construction materials and equipment without the heavy costs.

Curri is the go-to partner for businesses of all sizes in the enterprise, distribution, and construction sectors. Our wide-reaching network is ready to deliver any type of construction material, equipment, or product.

Ready to reduce your fleet costs and boost your productivity? Get a demo today and see how it works! Or sign up and book a delivery

Thank you for reading this article. Please enjoy $40 off any Curri delivery by clicking on this link to sign-up.

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