Business, Business Expenses, Enterprise

Trends in transportation: Cash and fuel cards no longer work

8 December 2022   |   10 minutes read
Transportation driver
Transportation driver

Ask a fleet or operation manager and they will tell you: cash and fuel cards no longer work. The current economic situation and fuel crisis call for new solutions.

Three trends for transport companies

Drivers (as well as their finance and operations departments) experience a lot of frustration around expenses and claims. And those frustrations are increasing, as a result of three key trends for transport companies.

One is that drivers are increasingly having to fill up at other places because of the current fuel crisis. This also occurs at filling stations where the driver does not have a fuel card. Due to high inflation and economic recession, nobody wants to advance costs out of their own pocket. Meanwhile, the huge staff shortage is forcing transport companies to make things easier for drivers with innovative solutions.

  1. Drivers sometimes need to refuel in other places: The current fuel crisis is making it difficult for drivers to invariably fill up at their regular locations. In other cases, the crisis makes it difficult for drivers to fill up  at the petrol station chain for which they have a payment card.Fuel prices are volatile right now. It may be cheaper to fill up in another country, for instance. Or shortages at a certain station might necessitate looking elsewhere.

    If no payment card is available for the alternative filling station, drivers and transport companies must seek alternatives. A payment card from a particular filling station then no longer offers a solution.

  2. No one wants to advance out of pocket anymore: The current economic situation and soaring prices create an additional challenge for drivers.In the past they were willing to advance unforeseen costs out of their own pockets. This is now much less common. Many drivers do not want to advance the cost, and others simply cannot do it.

    They call the transport company they work for to make extra money available. Or they use an emergency envelope with cash, which in turn the company has no control over. It leads to solutions that both drivers and the transport companies do not like, so for which they would like to find an alternative.

  3. Staff shortages require new solutions: Finally, there is a lot of pressure on transport companies in terms of staffing. The current staff shortage in several markets in Europe is leading to great difficulty in finding new drivers. Companies must try harder to attract staff, and then cannot use frustrations over expenses and allowances. It increases the urgency to act now.

Frustration for drivers, fleet managers and operations managers

It’s common for fleet managers and operations managers to get calls at all hours from drivers requiring more money. Whether it’s for filling up at a different station (not covered by their fuel card), an essential repair, or an overnight stay, unforeseen expenses are common on the road.

Even at the time when a driver only has to incur the regular costs, it leads to a lot of administration. Drivers must keep perfectly accurate records of expenses and submit it manually. Or they can use a fuel card, but then it is the operations manager who  has to check whether transactions add up.

Transport companies have traditionally been reluctant to issue credit cards to drivers. Many of the drivers only work for a relatively short time with the same employer, or even do seasonal work.

A credit card would allow a driver to cover all expenses — but understandably it’s not possible to issue these cards widely. Fuel cards are common, but these don’t allow for repairs, overnight stays, and fuel at non-affiliated filling stations.

Solution for large transport companies

Soldo offers a solution that works for transport companies and drivers. Our payment solution lets drivers settle at the transport company’s expense. That applies to fuel, as well as overnight stays, lunches, repairs, and other expenses. That is, if these expenses are authorised by the company.

With Soldo, it is possible to set exactly what a driver can spend. Then the transactions are immediately visible, from one clear dashboard.

Case studies at Titans and Sendsio

Soldo works with numerous transport companies. A good example is Titans Group. The company wanted to avoid fuel cards since it would tie drivers to specific suppliers.

On the other hand, Titans struggled with high expenses. The firm also routinely employed temporary workers in peak season. With Soldo, the company provides drivers with a pre-paid Mastercard, combined with an app. Soldo gives Titans Group full control and all the necessary insight into transactions. Drivers, on the other hand, do not have to pay anything out of pocket (even for unexpected expenses).

Sendsio is another Soldo client. Working with Soldo has dramatically cut admin for Sendsio’s fleet managers. Expense filings now take 30 minutes. Employees used to spend an average of half a day doing this task. There are no more advances and recoveries for fuel, overnight stays, and lunches.

Moreover, the company has interfaced Soldo with its SAP software. As a result, even the organisation’s CEO and COO have real-time insight into costs and keep an overview more easily

Real time insight

Soldo offers a complete, user-friendly, and convenient payment solution. Transport companies use a payment card for drivers, which they can set up themselves. This prevents drivers from having to pay costs out of pocket or becoming dependent on specific suppliers for fuel. Credit cards are unnecessary, while drivers can pay anywhere where credit cards are accepted.

Thanks to real-time visibility and integration into SAP software and other ERP systems, data is always easily available. Accounting software integrations ensure transactions are immediately seamlessly (and accurately) accounted for.

Check out Soldo.com or book a free, no-obligation demo to experience it for yourself straight away.

🎙️Podcast: Leveraging Real-Time Data with CFO of Transfix

 

 

Christian Lee, CFO at TransfixCFO Christian Lee left WeWork in early 2021 for Transfix, a hypergrowth startup and leading freight marketplace connecting shippers to carriers. On this episode of The CFO Playbook, Christian talks about disrupting the supply chain industry in midst of economic crisis, describes why automation is in his top three priorities for this year, and underlines why Transfix places real-time data at the center of every decision they make.

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