As companies look to stay competitive in the changing economic climate, an evaluation of your fleet should be considered. With regulations that continue to grow more stringent, escalating costs and a rapidly changing market place, there are many factors to consider when choosing between owning a fleet or using dedicated contract carriage.
A private fleet provides companies with more total control along with the advantages of guaranteed capacity, supply chain control and operational visibility. Owning a fleet can also lead to added revenue by shipping goods for other companies when capacity allows.
However, a private fleet can also lead to added expenses from maintenance, increased vehicle downtime due to aging fleets and having to keep up with rigorous compliance and regulatory requirements. Other challenges private fleets face include the growing driver shortage, rising fuel costs, supply volatility, and fluctuations in customer requirements, demand and staffing.
A dedicated fleet allows companies to solve some of the challenges they face on a daily basis. Going dedicated enables business to:
- Reduce distribution costs through a right-size fleet to reduce equipment costs, weekly miles and save on fuel and labor.
- Drive efficiency by getting the capacity and flexibility a business needs to ramp up and scale down during peaks and valleys.
- Overcome the driver shortage with qualified drivers hired, trained, and managed specifically for a company
- Improve on-time delivery performance with a reliable fleet and drivers. If a driver is sick or a truck breaks down, the issue can be resolved without disrupting service.
- Free up manpower by transferring the risks of safety and regulations compliance to the dedicated fleet and taking the distractions away from your business.
- Get up-to-date data from on-board computers that track mileage, on-time performance and fuel efficiency.
Choosing to switch to a dedicated fleet gives businesses the advantages of owning their own fleet without having to face the challenges that could stifle their bottom line.
For those considering switching from a private fleet to dedicated, consider these questions:
- Does your fleet have unique or complex distribution requirements?
- Does your freight require custom vehicle specifications or special handling?
- Do you have to coordinate multiple stops and complex routes?
- Would consolidating your operations and reducing empty miles improve revenue?
- Are you having issues with the driver shortage, driver turnover or less than truckload (LTL) capacity?
- Do you need additional services such as warehousing, fuel, or yard management?
- Are you having issues finding backhauls for your private fleet?
- Is it difficult to adjust your driver and truck capacity as volumes change?
After an evaluation of your fleet and the factors above, shippers will be better equipped to decide whether owning a private fleet or switching to a dedicated fleet is in the best interest of the company.