Challenges Facing SMB Truckload Carriers

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as of May 2019, the number of for-hire carriers on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration totaled 892,078, private carriers totaled 772,011 and other interstate motor carriers totaled 84,930.

91.3% of for-hire carriers operate 6 or fewer trucks; 97.4% operate fewer than 20 trucks

All small and medium businesses (SMB) face unique challenges in today’s marketplace no matter what industry they are in. This definitely holds true for SMB truckload carriers.

Most SMB run on very slim margins with little manpower and resources, which only amplifies their challenges and puts excessive pressure on operations and the business. It’s a vicious cycle of trying to keep up with out-dated, under-performing systems that are either too big, too expensive, and/or too difficult to manage.

Here are five major challenges SMB truckload carriers face in their operations:

  1. Current legacy technology solutions provide out-dated, one-size fits all systems
  2. Unable to secure higher-end freight from major shippers because of less buying and pricing power than larger operations
  3. Driver stability and retention is a major challenge
  4. Freight demand and rates are less predictable and more volatile
  5. Less sophisticated operations with limited resources

In order to overcome these operational challenges, SMB truckload carriers need to integrate great processes into their business and focus on how to find the right solutions to jump start growth opportunities for long term success.

Here are four ways to do that:

  1. Maximize revenue per truck and move more freight by monetizing underutilized capacity
  2. Reduce operating overhead across business by optimizing workflows
  3. Minimize loss of revenue with various proof of delivery features
  4. Easily integrate all software in one place

Identifying a solution that has been purpose-built and optimized for SMB truckload carriers can be time consuming (a valuable commodity in short supply for SMB owners). Through increased productivity and reduced expenses and support burden, along with increased customer satisfaction and service levels, good solutions provide a substantial return on investment for SMB truckload carriers in these ways:

Use a web-based solution to eliminate the need for expensive IT infrastructure and capital expenditures as well as the need for IT maintenance and support staff

  • A mobile application that works on standard phones and tablets eliminating the need for expensive in-cab systems, non-standard devices, and other equipment
  • A modern and streamlined logistics management platform that scales
  • An intuitive and easy to use logistics management workflow that improves productivity and operational results for dispatchers and drivers


Need more ideas on how to find the right TMS for your SMB truckload carrier, check out this list.

Want a free evaluation of your current TMS? Contact us now to discuss: [email protected].

Posted in: Carriers

About Magnus

Magnus Technologies is a trucking logistics management service company that is designed to help trucking companies improve their operations and maximize their revenue by employing the best technology solutions. Formerly Viridian TransVision, in 2016 logistics and enterprise industry veterans rebranded and expanded their offerings to create Magnus, a common carrier and brokerage software solution. The Magnus Carrier TMS, in conjunction with the mobile Magnus Driver App (MDA), provides a complete end-to-end dispatching solution that automates and simplifies the creation, fulfillment, and settlement of transportation orders. The Magnus platform seamlessly integrates with ELD, EDI and legacy applications with a full suite of APIs to assist in managing multiple disparate apps.