By Jennifer Liccardi
For many companies there are several factors to consider before committing to owning a private fleet for their transportation needs. After the federal government’s new Compliance, Safety, Accountability enforcement, private fleets are now being held accountable in the same ways as for-hire fleets and third-party logistics. In the April 2013 edition of Trucking Info, the article “5 Trends in Private Fleets” explores how things are now changing in this area of transportation. Below are some of their key points:
Measuring success every day – private fleets have to compete against the other for hire carriers in the market. Businesses with private fleets need to make sure all aspects of the fleets are monitored. Optimization with the current fleet in conjunction with other for hire fleets will help to optimize the fleet to the fullest extent.
Eyeing Driver Shortage – There has been a driver shortage in the trucking industry. The turnover for the Private Fleet drivers is lower than other for hire drivers. Key factors that keep private fleet drivers at the same company longer are benefits, pay, and the short hauls and home more often.
Upping the game on safety and compliance – safety records for private fleets tend to be excellent compared to other for hire companies. Some companies have a designated employee to handle the safety monitoring of their fleet while others hire professional risk management companies.
Leasing and buying equipment – private fleets prefer to lease than buy, which allows them to have newer technology. Most trucks are turned in after 7 years. Fleet trucks last longer than an OTR truck due to the fact that the trucks do not have across the country miles.
Private fleets and technology – in the past, the private fleet was ahead of the market in technology such as driver performance and vehicle performance. Both for hire and private fleet are both moving in the same direction in regards to technology.
The article also mentions how private fleets are taking an interest in looking at alternative fuel options which gives companies the option to “go green” for their customers.
Trucking Info highlights the benefits to having a private fleet but all aspects of the fleet need to be monitored. A private fleet is a great option for clients that have a lot of vendors/customers in a 250 miles radius that a lot of stops can be made. And although there are a lot of benefits to having a private fleet, sometimes companies need to find the perfect balance between using some combination between private, for-hire fleets and third-party logistics to provide the best service for their customers.