Tougher truck safety regulations are making it harder and harder to manage costs and compete in the industry. In the first quarter of 2014, 390 motor carriers hung up their keys and declared bankruptcy, according to the Avondale Partners analyst firm.

The trucking companies that survive these challenging times are those that successfully manage the transition to electronic logging devices and learn how to use the technology to improve efficiency and productivity.

The most efficient freight and transportation companies also recognize the benefits of outsourcing the processing of bills of lading, invoices, manifests and other transportation documents to specialist providers.

Top trucking companies focus on delivering freight to customers on time, while turning over back-office functions such as document processing to specialists. Here are five reasons why:

1. Labor Cost Reductions

Freight carriers often respond to a surge in demand by hiring more staff instead of re-thinking how the entire process can be made more efficient. Business process outsourcing (BPO) providers such as DATAMARK will apply Lean Six Sigma efficiency and quality methodologies to re-engineer and improve the process from end-to-end. Using improved workflow practices and the latest in terminal and in-cab scanning technologies significantly reduces the manual touches required to process transportation documents. Also, leveraging nearshore or farshore facilities can significantly reduce labor costs while delivering 24-hour document processing service.

2. Faster processing of payments

By using high-volume scanners and fax servers in the terminal, as well as in-cab scanning systems, bills of lading and invoices can be transmitted immediately for processing. High-speed network transmission to nearshore and farshore teams allows for processing around the clock, resulting in faster reconciliation and payment.

3. Improved customer service

Transportation document processing outsourcers use specially trained staff who understand the variety of unstructured, semi-structured and non-standard forms often encountered in freight shipping. An experienced transportation document processing firm will have experienced error-correction teams as well as quality assurance processes to make sure every document is handled accurately, and problems resolved quickly. The results are happier customers and fewer headaches for the carrier.

4. Improved load planning

Immediate transmittal and processing of transportation documents and quick access to critical information via indexed keyword searches allows for better load planning. This reduces shipment delays, prevents trucks from standing idle and decreases operating costs across the board.

5. Improved control and compliance

A completely re-engineered and improved business process that takes advantage of digital imaging ensures that transportation documents won’t be lost or damaged. Secure digital storage of documents, back-up processing sites and immediate retrieval of information with Google-like search results gives your company peace of mind–your data is safe and ready when you need it.