Dedicated Fleets 2.0
Dedicated fleets are surging to new levels of utilization, efficiency and performance. Higher utilization is being driven by both shippers and carriers. Shippers are concerned about access to low cost capacity and carriers see dedicated fleets as one of their best options for attracting and retaining drivers. Shippers’ shifting volume from private fleets and common carriers to dedicated fleets not only lock-in capacity in a tightening market, but gain access to more fleet options than ever before. Today’s dedicated fleets offer more equipment options, operational excellence, access to technology and pricing flexibility than the traditional dedicated fleet offerings of years past.
A shipper that is not familiar with dedicated fleets or has not been using them over the past few years will be surprised at the number of carriers and other providers that are now offering dedicated fleet services. In addition to the traditional common carriers with dedicated fleet divisions, today there are dedicated fleet specialists, many of whom focus on specific industries. Several third party logistics (3PL) providers also offer dedicated fleets as a part of their service offerings.
Often these fleet specialists will offer equipment, networks and pricing focused on an industry. Industry focused equipment now widely available includes light-weight tractors and trailers engineered to maximize payload in industries such as water, beverage and some consumer packaged goods; and at the other extreme, heavier duty trailers to handle goods like large diameter paper rolls. Fleet operators are also more flexible in their pricing and can design pricing programs that best fit a shipper’s profile and network. Offerings include traditional fixed and variable, point-to-point/mileage bands, hybrid pricing with both options based on lane mix, costs plus and gain share or other efficiency incentives tied to well-defined fleet operating key performance indicators (KPI).
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