Depending on the industry, owning and operating a delivery fleet can be crucial to the growth and further development of a company. There are significant advantages and disadvantages of owning a delivery fleet to supplement company shipments, and we’ve mapped out the most crucial in each category:
- Flexibility. Owning a fleet allows flexibility as owners can tailor their delivery schedule to accommodate customer requests. Let’s say a request for an immediate delivery is made, a fleet owner has more flexibility to fulfilling that request.
- Advertisement. A fleet of vehicles serves as free advertisement. Companies can gain more public exposure by adhering logos and advertisements to the outside of each vehicle. Not all advertising efforts work for every company, but for companies offering delivery services, this form of advertising makes sense.
- Time constraints. For businesses on a time constraint, such as bakeries or floral shops, obtaining drivers and vehicles might be more efficient as they won’t have to rely on an outside service to deliver their fresh goods in a timely manner.
- Personal Touch. Some companies prefer their own delivery service simply because it provides their customers with a more personalized experience when their products are hand delivered by the company itself.
- GPS Systems. When owning vehicles, some companies find it advantageous to equip the fleet with built in GPS systems. Not only do these systems allow for management or dispatch operators to track their drivers’ delivery statuses, they also permit time for any last minute changes in routes due to traffic congestion. Another added benefit of GPS services is that they give the option of providing customers with an estimated time of arrival.
- Cost of purchasing a new delivery fleet. The capital towards owning a fleet can be crushing. It costs quite a bit to purchase an entire fleet of new vehicles. While some dealers offer specials for fleet sales, the offers are usually contingent on the number of vehicles purchased at one time. Other companies require employees to have their own cars and compensate them for delivery. However, it is less likely that the employee will agree to attach free advertising and a GPS to their own personal vehicle.
- Insurance. Quality insurance speaks for itself. Purchasing the right plan for a fleet is an absolute necessity to covering the company’s liability in case of an accident. For a fleet of vehicles, insurance can get expensive. Worker’s comp is another expense to consider. Delivery drivers have the responsibility of lifting heavy packages which can inflict bodily harm. A team member on workers compensation is an added expense to the company.
- Vehicle maintenance. In a perfect world, when purchasing new vehicles it should be expected that the vehicle will last a while before needing any serious repairs. Unfortunately, new vehicles break too. A company looking into owning a delivery fleet needs to budget for vehicle mechanical and cosmetic maintenance. In most industries, a company’s outward appearance is everything, vehicles included, so it is important that the vehicles stay presentable.
- Storage. Finding a place to store a fleet presents another issue. Some companies actually send company vehicles home with the employees due to a lack of space at the facility. Often times, drivers that take company vehicles home utilize them for personal use, so the company has to account for added wear and tear on the vehicle.
Depending on the industry, investing in a fleet makes absolute sense and can be a success with the correct planning and budgeting strategies. However, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of owning a delivery fleet is important as it comes with high responsibility. As a way to avoid the hassle of starting up, owning, and operating a delivery fleet, some companies opt for subcontracting their deliveries to outside courier services. As a result, they save time and money, allotting for both to be invested back in the business instead.
Let AER Logistics take the pressure of added delivery costs off of your company. AER offers small package to large pallet delivery locally and nationwide for a fraction the price of our competitor’s rates. Give us a call today for a free quote on your next delivery at 1-800-639-3900.