NFI Industries

Private vs. Dedicated Fleets: The Right Time to Bring in a Dedicated Partner

Trucks ship over 60% of North America’s freight and are the most utilized mode of freight transportation in the United States1. In 2015, one of the biggest topics in transportation has been the growing concern for driver retention. Last November Bill Graves, president and CEO of the America Trucking Association, stated that driver turnover is the worst that it has ever been and he predicts that it will only continue to get worse. Trucking companies are the only ones who are concerned about the state of driver jobs but companies who run private fleets also are struggling to keep drivers2.

Fast delivery was another popular topic among the transportation industry. Consumers expect deliveries faster than ever before. Private and dedicated transportation are trusted to meet these fast shipping expectations.

Some companies believe that the benefits of running a private fleet outweigh the benefits of outsourcing to a dedicated fleet provider. Many note that visibility, cost savings, and customer service are advantages of running a private fleet. However, as demands for timely delivery grow and driver shortages rise, it may be time to reconsider.

Here are a few advantages of partnering with a dedicated fleets provider:

Experience, Service, & Safety

3PLs that provide dedicated fleets are experienced in that industry. Transportation and supply chain is their core competency so the expertise they could contribute to your company could be extremely beneficial. Since keeping up to date with industry regulations like hours of service are vital to a dedicated fleet provider’s success, you can be reassured that your operation is consistently operating safely and efficiently. In addition, dedicated transportation partners instill a culture of safety throughout their employees and operations, minimizing costly risks that can come with accidents.

Partnership

3PLs usually manage transportation for a variety of industries. Their expertise derives from forming partnerships with their customers and growing their relationships. With these partnerships, 3PLs get to know the company and their needs. They can provide the customer with enhanced technology that will not only make the shipment smoother but also provide visibility along the way. With this information they will continue to consult with you on ways to improve your supply chain and service.

Optimization

Companies that provide dedicated fleets have a lot of resources to optimize the supply chain. Their consulting can improve your supply chain costs. For example, these companies have the resources to provide different routes and knowledge to avoid possible set-backs such as road closures and more. These transportation partners can also optimize the equipment they will operate for you. With aerodynamics and innovative asset configuration, you can experience better asset utilization and improved fuel efficiency. Also, when your supply chain is experiencing an influx, dedicated fleet providers could pull resources from nearby operations to help accommodate the surge.

Driver Retention

Driver shortages will always be a concern but it will no longer be something that your company is directly responsible for. Since dedicated fleet providers have expertise in attracting and retaining drivers, partnering with a 3PL will allow you to save in recruiting and benefits costs. Dedicated fleet providers also place a high priority to retain drivers, providing you with uninterrupted and consistent capacity.

As the transportation industry continues to face challenges, you may decide to reevaluate what type of fleet will best suit your company. Although private fleets offer some benefits, depending on your supply chain goals, a dedicated fleet may be the best option. Once you have outsourced your fleets to a dedicated partner, you can focus on your core business.