How to Improve your Trucking Company Profit Margin

November 15, 2022

Starting a trucking company can be highly profitable as it creates various platforms with which business owners can enjoy numerous perks. Owner-operators in a trucking company have the freedom and independence to develop schedules and explore a quality work-life balance. In an industry as dynamic and thriving as the logistics sector, businesses need not stress as the demand for transportation services is always high.

In order to improve your trucking company’s profit margin you must utilize cost saving strategies across all of your fixed business costs such as truck payments, maintenance, licensing & insurance and more in order to save capital and minimize wasteful spending.

Yet, starting a trucking business is not a guarantee for success. Becoming successful in the trucking industry requires specific strategies that help streamline various factors. These factors come into play when attempting to run a profitable operation. In the 2010s, the average profit margin of trucking in the United States was between 2.4% and 4%. However, with time, especially following the pandemic, that figure has appreciated averaging about 7% at the end of 2021.

As impressive as these numbers are, small-scale businesses with small fleets remain at the lower end of the profit margin scale. The reason for this is pretty straightforward – most of these small trucking companies are yet to recognize how to improve the profit margin of their businesses significantly. That said, we identify some effective strategies for increasing your long-term profits through reduced operating costs and improving efficiency.

What Is Business Profit Margin

accounting concept. businesswoman working using calculator with money stack in office

Before getting into the intricacies of boosting profitability, it’s necessary to have a solid foundation on what a profit margin represents. In any business, the profit margin is the amount by which revenue from sales exceeds operational costs.

The profit margin determines business productivity, which is the cornerstone of every successful business operation. The need to implement strategies that help increase profit margins is significant as it reveals a business’s longevity and financial health.

Tips For Boosting Your Trucking Company’s Profit Margin

The essence of running a business is to improve profitability through the profit margin. As such, trucking business owners can explore specific strategies that can help maintain the profitability and financial health of the business. Here are some of these tips.

Maximize Insurance Coverage

The risks associated with trucking vary greatly and incorporate a wide range of dangers. This makes it essential for a trucking company to ensure they get the best insurance coverage at the best prices.

However, maximizing insurance coverage doesn’t mean opting for the cheapest provider. Business owners need to choose coverages that are effective in protecting all assets and cargo if any form of damage occurs. Aside from maximizing insurance coverage, business owners should also encourage safe driving as owner-operators. Safe driving could also require screening employees’ driving history before hiring them.


One of the principal reasons maintenance practice is paramount for trucking businesses is to maximize the longevity of assets. Preventive maintenance massively boosts productivity by limiting the amount of reactive work and increasing the ability of management to manage work. While this might be obvious, maintenance is one aspect of business operation that is largely overlooked.

As a business owner, engaging in preventive maintenance and consistent inspection helps to avoid expensive repairs. Owners can identify minor problems before they become significant problems, thereby preserving the top condition of assets that ensure an effective operation.

Employ Technology

No one can deny how practical and helpful technology has been in every sector globally. The logistics industry is not left out, as technology can influence cost reduction and profit maximization. Today, numerous quality applications help drivers and trucking business owners streamline various processes.

Take GPS, for instance; these tools are effective in helping drivers find the best routes and avoid delays on the road. Other platforms, such as telematics systems, also efficiently assist business owners in tracking fleet location, gas efficiency, and employee behavior, all of which are critical factors that could improve the operation’s profitability.

Stay Updated On Regulations

The logistics industry, particularly trucking, is a highly regulated sector, and like every other similar industry, violating any industrial regulations can incur hefty costs. Hence, it’s necessary for business owners to continually conform to all the rules and regulations associated with the trucking industry.

Some general rules imposed on trucking businesses include taxation, obtaining a commercial driver’s license, and other regulations incurred by specific operations. Regulation breaches can have a severe impact on a business’s profit margin, and while some of these regulations might be costly, business owners can take advantage of specific options, such as tax incentives and federal programs to reduce overall costs.

The Asian truck driver smiled happily inside the front of the truck. He is the owner of a shipping business that starts a new business and is growing.


The productivity of any business does not manifest in the short term. It takes time, dedication, and good planning to run a successful business, trucking being no exception. Therefore, long-term plans have been identified as the best strategy for guaranteeing success in the trucking industry.

Making plans includes creating realistic objectives and understanding significant business aspects such as operation, maintenance, and variable costs. Engaging in this strategy ensures you avoid irrelevant costs, recognize the strength and weaknesses of the business, and make information-driven decisions that would foster the business’s ultimate objectives.

Pay Attention To Operational Costs

Previously, we highlighted the essence of asset maintenance in every business. Evidently, maintenance is part of operational costs; however, in the trucking industry, another significant expense is fuel cost. Fuel is critical for the operations of a trucking business, and it’s crucial to track fuel spending and identify ways to reduce it if possible.

There are numerous ways to spend more efficiently on fuel, most of which are based on technological applications such as employing optimized routing technology. Business owners can also decide to utilize fuel card problems or carefully plan the trip to mitigate instances of backtracking.

Join A Trucking Association

Becoming a member of a trucking association is an excellent way to connect and network with other truckers, pick up tips from their previous experiences and gain advice on improving your profit margin. Trucking associations also serve as a good source of current information relating to the industry.

There are many different trucking organizations open to trucking businesses. Aside from connecting, these associations also advocate for their members on various topics and offer discounts and rebates on things like insurance and fuel cards.

These are common ways to improve your trucking company’s profit margin. Other strategies can be identified and implemented based on your type of operation. Needless to say, these strategies are not quick fixes, and it will take some time to see results. However, you can improve your trucking company’s profit margin with patience and consistency.

About the author

I’m Luis Uribe, author of this website. I am the owner and head publisher for Trucker Daily and a freight brokerage Total Connection Logistics. I have been in and around the trucking industry for over 15 years. It is my mission with Trucker daily to equip truck drivers, with the latest in industry updates, news, and helpful tips to help further your trucking career and life. Whether you are a truck driving veteran, or beginner, you will find information on this site to save you a lot of time in your driving journey.

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