By John D. Schulz, Contributing Editor
November 10, 2010
Private fleets have always been in the crosshairs of corporate bean counters. After all, if you’re in the business of producing widgets, why bother with the additional cost of operating a private fleet of trucks?
Why bother? Well, at more than $300 billion, private fleets make up the largest component of the $680 billion trucking industry. As Coca-Cola, Sysco, Wal-Mart Stores, Pepsi Bottling Group, U.S. Foodservice, Haliburton, Tyson Food, Walgreen’s, and other corporations can attest, their private fleets aren’t considered mere cost centers. Instead, these savvy logistics operations consider their fleets a strategic operating advantage that can be used to win market share and satisfy finicky customers— and even enhance the role of the private fleet manager and the logistics department within the corporation.
Not that operating a private fleet is easy. Transportation, particularly trucking, has never been more complex. There are regulations galore, from the federal, state, and even local level covering safety, environmental, technical, operational, and other aspects of the industry. Communities and states increasingly look at trucks as easy tax targets; and in the meantime, engines are constantly being designed to run cleaner, but only with increasingly complex maintenance issues.
Click below for related articles
Armstrong brings transportation back in house
Shippers bracing for future rate hikes
ACT says September Class 8 orders up 37 percent
Be sure to attend our Webcast:
2010 Warehouse/DC Benchmark Study
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @ 2:00 p.m. ET
Join Group Editorial Director Michael Levans and the research team of Derek Sorensen and Norm Saenz from TranSystems as they put context behind this annual survey designed to give the market the most up-to-date snapshot of current activities and trends in warehouse and DC management.
About the Author
John D. Schulz
John D. Schulz has been a transportation journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in the trucking industry. He is known to own the fattest Rolodex in the business, and is on a first-name basis with scores of top-level trucking executives who are able to give shippers their latest insights on the industry on a regular basis. This wise Washington owl has performed and produced at some of the highest levels of journalism in his 40-year career, mostly as a Washington newsman.
Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine
Largely feeling the effects of the recently resolved West Coast ports labor disruption, railroad and intermodal volumes in February were down annually, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) this week.
The year 2015 marks a major milestone for the industry, MHI is celebrating its 70th anniversary at ProMat 2015, held March 23-26, 2015.
While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made strides in regards to better oversight of motor carriers through its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) and chameleon vetting safety programs, there is room for improvement for it to improve its oversight to better target high-risk carriers. That was the thesis of a report released this week by the United States General Accountability Office
With an eye on capitalizing on future trade and commerce growth in South Asia, express delivery and logistics services provider DHL today rolled out its plans to build an $85 million EUR ($93 million USD) DHL Express South Asia Hub, which will be a 24-hour express hub facility within the Changi Airfreight Center at the Singapore Changi Airport.
While the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has long stated its goal of having Positive Train Control (PTC) technology installed on 40 percent of its network by December 31, 2015, railroad industry stakeholders have repeatedly stated that reaching that deadline would be a stretch. It now appears that the railroad sector has some members of Congress sharing the same line of thought with legislation rolled out this week that pledges to extend the PTC deadline to 2020.