By: Elisabeth Kilby, Transplace Transportation Management
Dedicated fleets have always been a potential source of truckload capacity for shippers but have become even more valuable during the current tight market. After years of unprecedented premium spot market rates and low primary tender acceptance, shippers are evaluating where they can implement new dedicated fleets while maximizing the benefit of existing ones.
Dedicated fleets are often considered for their cost saving opportunities and the ability to guarantee service for high-density customers. As consumer demand trends continue to stay strong into 2022, alongside the ongoing driver shortage, shippers should evaluate all capacity options to get ahead of the curve.
While the goal of a local fleet is to run short hauls and return home, longer lanes should have a backhaul load to offset the cost of round-trip miles paid to the carrier. Investing in a dedicated fleet can be a long-term solution that provides endless value to your transportation management. To implement a dedicated fleet, a shipper must have freight density and consistent flow of volume in a targeted shipment area. Fleet management should target no more than 10-20% empty miles to meet industry standards for a regional fleet. Dedicated fleets can be evaluated for high-mileage lanes but should only be implemented if backhauls are heavy, consistent, and scheduled favorably for drivers while meeting utilization goals.
To help maximize fleet value and expand the potential fleet lane fits, shippers can partner with external networks to find more backhauls. Highly efficient shippers implement programs that provide backhaul solutions including planned continuous moves and dynamic continuous moves. Transplace Lanehub provides planned continuous moves by matching our dedicated fleet lane network to live RFPs that may have a useful backhaul out for bid. This allows shippers to effortlessly secure backhaul freight to reduce empty miles and optimize fleet utilization. Transplace Dynamic Continuous Moves is powered by AI and enables dedicated fleets to find backhauls without a permanent commitment to a given lane—allowing the fleet to fill empty miles on an ad-hoc basis. It’s important to maintain balance between prioritizing backhauls and picking up the driver’s next load—both need to be considered and optimized daily.
Shippers can also ensure less volatility in the load tendering process by taking advantage of Uber Freight’s committed capacity feature offered to carriers. This feature opens opportunities for carriers of all sizes, allowing them to lock-in loads across 1,000-plus dedicated lanes and plan their operations up to three months in advance. In tandem, shippers can also turn to Uber Freight’s direct API integrations to bring real-time pricing and instant capacity within their transportation management systems, leading to reduced overhead costs, increased revenue and flexible, scalable operations.
Long-term success requires on-going monitoring of the fleet’s health to provide direction for continuous improvement, including considering the following:
To learn more about Transplace’s dedicated fleet support, dedicated fleet assessment, and dedicated fleet engineered KPI dashboard services connect with a Transplace expert.