Many companies prefer private fleets. However, operating a private truck fleet to deliver your products is expensive. It also takes ample time and effort on top of the usual responsibilities growing a business requires. Because it’s not a core competency, issues can arise.
Along with managing vehicles, fleet management encompasses hiring and retaining qualified drivers, maintenance, administration, operations support, and investment in new technologies. It’s hard work, not smart work, so many companies seek dedicated fleet solutions.
Dedicated fleets, also called dedicated transportation or dedicated contract carriage (DCC), provide private fleet services with lower cost, responsibility, and risk. A dedicated team within a third-party logistics (3PL) company becomes an extension of your in-house team, assuming the duties of transportation logistics.
With a dedicated transportation solution, you maintain control with complete operations and supply-chain visibility via state-of-the-art technology – along with the necessary data – while getting customized trucks and a right-sized fleet. A dedicated fleet means you never have to worry about driver shortages with your 3PL providing complete driver management. And, your 3PL provider assumes transportation liability risks and ensures compliance with hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. Let’s examine the benefits of a dedicated transportation solution.
What driver shortage?
The current truck-driver shortage plagues private fleets. The American Trucking Association reports that the driver shortage is only increasing, predicting the United States could experience a shortage of up to 100,000 drivers by 2028.
To mitigate this, a dedicated 3PL fleet solution provides drivers training support for their specific business. They find experienced drivers and treat them well, which boosts retention. Find a 3PL provider that is a drivers’ employer of choice by providing competitive pay and benefits, respect, a voice in the company, better equipment, work/life balance, and a choice of routes.
Customized trucks and a right-sized fleet
Private fleets tout branded trucks as a brand-recognition advantage, but you can enjoy the same benefits from a dedicated transportation solution. Providers like Ryder customize the trucks inside and out, including wraps installed to your specifications.
Right-sizing a fleet can be challenging, but 3PLs use data to determine the number and type of vehicles deployed; idle assets are eliminated, and costs are reduced. Trucks need maintenance, but it’s done during downtime, so trucks are ready to roll when you say “go.”
A dedicated fleet offers ultimate flexibility
Agility is the hallmark of a successful business, and agility requires flexibility. With a 3PL dedicated fleet, you gain the flexibility of a private fleet without the expense and headaches. Your company can remain agile and better serve customers.
Timely delivery is paramount. During peak periods, capacity can be hard to find. A 3PL has procurement power: when your business peaks, they collaborate with external carriers to create capacity. Routes are optimized, and less-than-truckload shipments decrease.
Find technology, data, and visibility
The modern supply chain is transparent, and effective 3PLs have innovative technology to provide real-time visibility beyond knowing truck locations and managing delivery exceptions. Data scientists comb data to obtain predictive analytics that improve scheduling and routing for more on-time deliveries that lowers mileage and reduces cost.
Fleet-management data analytics insights keep fleets up and running by resolving maintenance issues before they become breakdowns, managing energy use, planning, infrastructure, and risk.
Mitigate risk and ensure compliance
The transportation industry carries risks. Weather, traffic, infrastructure outages, and road conditions all create potential hurdles. So do accidents. When you engage a 3PL for dedicated transportation solutions, they assume liability for an accident, protecting your business from insurance premium increases and expensive lawsuits.
The right 3PL provides proactive and continuous driver training to lower the potential for accidents and ensure compliance with HOS mandates from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Using electronic logging devices and frequent DOT inspections means dedicated fleets meet or surpass every standard and regulation imposed.
Today’s transportation landscape is challenging and ever-changing. Government policies evolve to reduce congestion and minimize environmental impact. The cost of vehicles and their maintenance continues to rise, and transportation logistics creates additional challenges.
Your core business requires your full attention, and a private fleet can be a distraction that’s forced to the back burner, creating higher operating costs and unhappy truck drivers. Control becomes elusive, and customer satisfaction suffers, resulting in lost revenue. Working with Ryder provides the benefits of a private fleet, including control, without the pain of managing one.