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How to Take Advantage of Private Fleet Capacity

Private fleets are a potentially untapped source of capacity. How does this strategy work? Read on to learn more.


The strategy behind private fleet capacity

Did you know that you can take advantage of empty miles run by other private fleets? Often, private fleet trucks are deadheading home empty. Many (if not most) would prefer to reap additional revenue, as long as your shipment is a good fit for their lane. This often means closely aligning shipping time as well as the origin and destination.


Benefits to leveraging private fleet capacity

  • It can be much less expensive. Tapping into private fleet capacity can help reduce transportation spend. Often, these loads can cost 70-80% of what you would normally pay for the same lane.

  • It's more consistent. By working with a private fleet on constant lanes, you can almost guarantee consistent, more reliable service.

  • You can create a reciprocal partnership. Think of it like a revenue sharing strategy. Not only is their capacity fulfilling your need, but your freight is also filling their empty truck. It's a win for both parties.

So how do you make this strategy work for you?


3 ways to find private fleet capacity

To begin leveraging capacity from other private fleets, you have three options: Finding capacity manually, benefiting from technology, or working with brokers.


1. Manually find capacity

This method involves cold calling and establishing a relationship with private fleets that ship in your area. Ask if they have a program where they work with other shippers to help fill their backhauls.

  • Pros: Transportation cost savings of up to 20-30%; one-to-one relationships forged with private fleets; choose who you want to work with

  • Cons: Time consuming; greater difficulty identifying private fleets in the area

2. Work with a broker

If you’re already working with a freight broker, find out if they work with private fleets. Ask if they can cross-reference your freight with private fleet capacity, if they’re not doing it already.

  • Pros: Most hands-off method; can give you access to a wider variety of private fleets.

  • Cons: Less savings (5-10%) because of fees; less control over shipments and reliance on a third party

3. Benefit from technology

Strategic sourcing software enables you to search for carriers that fit your lane. On FreightFriend, for example, private fleets appear in the carrier search results, which are ranked by best fit for your freight.

  • Pros: All of the same pros as the Manual option, plus significant time savings; easier to find capacity across a variety of private fleets; more loads booked

  • Cons: Monthly or annual software cost; training


No matter how you do it, leveraging other private fleets’ unused capacity is an ideal way to work with quality carriers on dependable schedules at lower rates. How will you implement this strategy today?

 

Dig deeper

Interested in exploring the idea of using technology to source and manage relationships with private fleets? Click below to learn more.