Justify your private fleet

Tech-savvy private fleet operators are able to justify the cost of their complex operations through high service levels, smart maintenance programs, and revenue generating backhaul opportunities that can make even the toughest CFO smile.
image

Continental Floral’s private fleet allows the wholesale florist to change a route if a customer misses a truck and gives it the flexibility to add capacity at holiday times.

By John D. Schulz, Contributing Editor
November 10, 2010 - LM Editorial

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.

2010 Warehouse/DC Benchmark Study

sponsored by:


 



About the Author

image
John D. Schulz
Contributing Editor

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

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in November was up 3.5 percent compared to October, which was up 0.5 percent over September at 136.8 (2000=100), marking the highest SA on record.

UPS said that through this acquisition it will augment its healthcare expertise and network in Europe, specifically in the fast growing healthcare markets in Central and Eastern Europe.

Carloads were up 12.1 percent at 312,271, and intermodal at 280,337 containers and trailers saw a 4.5 percent annual gain.

Total November POLB volumes were up 2.1 percent year-over-year at 581,514 TEU, and POLA volumes in November decreased 3 percent compared to November 2013 at 663,346 TEU.

When railroads are doing business with a larger than large customer like UPS, it stands to reason, it can often be the best, and worst, of both worlds, depending on how things are going. That was one of the main takeaways from a presentation by UPS Vice President of Corporate Transportation Services Ken Buenker at this year’s RailTrends conference in New York.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.