It’s easy to see why more and more companies without specialist transport departments are choosing to outsource transport management to fleet management companies. You’re essentially buying much-needed expertise to keep your fleet operating efficiently, but without having to recruit and pay for full-time in-house staff.

But while outsourcing your transport management may be the best solution for your business, you need to make sure you do it right. Most importantly, if you use goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes gross plated weight, (with a few exemptions) you will need an operator’s licence. 

Choosing the right provider, therefore, is as much about legal compliance as it is about getting the service you need. To help you, we’ve compiled our top five questions to ask fleet management companies before you use them.

A good transport management company will help you keep legally compliant, whichever sizes of commercial vehicles you use. As well as helping you stay on top of MOTS, they can assist with arranging checks of safety-critical components if your vehicle’s general use subjects it to greater wear and tear, and even help you document legal requirements such as your daily vehicle checks. One of the best ways to cut your transport overheads, including fuel and tyres, is by using new technology that monitors driver behaviour.

This gives you information on how often drivers accelerate fast, brake harshly, exceed the speed limit or corner too sharply. The most modern systems allow you to ‘gamify’ driving techniques and will create automatic league tables of your best to worst drivers. You can use the data to reward good driving, train the drivers who need help, and reduce your SMR (service, maintenance and repair) costs. Telematics systems allow you to plan the most efficient routes for your drivers, cutting down on journeys in which vans are empty and helping deliveries to take less time overall. A good transport management company will give you access to technology of this kind, increasing visibility and control while helping you to save money and increase your bottom-line profits.

Good transport management companies like transporture.co.uk will offer comprehensive maintenance schedules, ensuring that your vehicles are in the best possible working order and minimising the time they spend off the road. Ideally look for a provider who will offer you flexibility such as mobile maintenance services for minor maintenance and repair work, and will also provide a complementary like-for-like replacement vehicle if one of yours is off the road for any reason. Economies of scale should keep your maintenance costs as low as possible. While better routing and driver behaviour are fundamental to saving both time and money, it’s always a good idea to ask fleet management companies what else they can do to save these resources. The more proactive they are, the more ideas they will have – from helping you modernise your transport management processes to offering vehicle modifications at a low monthly cost (such as via flexible rental options)