Trucking companies — owner-operators, fleets, and enterprise carriers — use trailer rental services to expand their services and increase profits. Trailer asset rentals are practical with modern platforms that digitize the onboarding process and enable trucking companies to rent idle trailers at scale, matching trailers to companies seeking freight capacity. Also known as a trailer marketplace, these trailer rental service platforms track assets, show trailer availability, store documents, and much more. In this article, learn three tips on how to get the most out of renting idle trailers and how a trailer marketplace enables trailer rental at scale, providing a much-needed boost in revenue for those who participate.
What are Trailer Rental Services?
Trailer rental services are trucking companies looking to offer their idle, underutilized trailers up for rent or lease. A power-only freight broker is looking to find a trailer to haul. Another shipper’s freight broker is trying to find a faster, more cost-effective load-out trailer. Many trucking companies are now turning to marketplaces, like vHub, to enable trailer rental services.
With the right platform, it’s easier than ever to put out in the marketplace trailer assets for rent.
Benefits of Utilizing Trailer Rental Services
Every logistics player can benefit from trailer rentals. For example, as brokers, carriers, and owner-operators look to expand their businesses, they can rent assets for those shippers, brokers, or 3PLs to find capacity quickly without committing to the financial costs associated with purchasing a new trailer OR a full truckload on the spot market. Likewise, trucking companies with idle trailers can list them to make money on assets they don’t have power for or are sitting idly unused. And companies that need to relocate a trailer can do so at a lower rate by offering a load-out trailer for the relocation trip.
3 Ways Offering Trailer Rental Services Boost Trucking Business Revenue
Is your business looking to grow and gain more market share? Trucking companies can expand their service options to shippers by providing rental services to expand their customer capacity base. Here are three ways rental services could help you do more with your business.
Increases Sales Volume
Trailer rental services enable trucking businesses to increase their sales volume by placing for rent unused trailers for those looking for truckload capacity. Historically, a way for a trucking company to grow sales volumes, offering up trailers for lease, or rent, was via trailer pools. A trailer pool is a group of trailers that an asset-based trucking business drops at shipper facilities, allowing loading and unloading without the carrier present. This enables trucking companies to expand their network coverage and better plan their operations for customers with high volume.
Increases Customer Convenience
Make route optimization easier for customers with the correct semi-trailer rental setup. Drivers and brokers want to avoid deadhead miles in trucking. With a trailer-sharing service in place, trucking companies can get trailers where they need to go by offering load-out options. As a result, companies can reduce the number of empty miles with trailers left in receiver docks or waiting for a tow.
Expands Customer Base
When logistics have more service offerings, they can grow their customer base. This growth occurs because it attracts customers seeking out the logistics company’s capacity to make their trailers available for rent on a trailer-sharing platform with buyers (shippers, brokers, and 3PLs) seeking out that capacity.
3 Tips for Owner-Operators to Have Success Using Trailer Rental Services in a Trailer Marketplace
As the freight market softens, every owner-operator, fleet manager, or enterprise carrier knows that margins and utilizing trucking assets are vital to the health of a business. In softer markets, it is vital to look towards solutions that allow businesses to ride out any rocky markets. By utilizing a trailer marketplace, like vHub, trucking companies can grow their business by letting the market know they have assets readily available to match the buyer’s specific needs.
Use the Power of Matching in a Marketplace
Trucking and logistics companies will need a mechanism to offer up their trailers for rent to pull off putting trailer assets at scale into the freight market. Unfortunately, it is not feasible for one company to build a marketplace platform. Platforms are inherently driven by the number of variable objects that match many unique searches by the buyer looking for a specific asset. It may be reefer, it may be dry van, flatbed, gooseneck, you name it! And it doesn’t stop there. What about the O/D pairs? How about the cost per mile? What’s the age of the trailer? Without a marketplace, it is nearly impossible for trucking companies to create a trailer pool at the scale needed to grow their business and utilize their assets.
That’s why vHub invested in Badger and Interlock and believe that the trailer is the atomic unit of trucking. These two features work hand in hand to not only never stop working to match the trucking company’s trailers to an entity looking to lease the trailer (Badger) but also, through digitizing the onboarding process when anyone signs up on vHub, to get the necessary, critical information about the trailer and the moves available so that accurate matching happens at scale (Interlock), providing that needed mechanism to grow the trucking business.
Get Adequate Insurance Coverage
Next, owner-operators and fleet managers must ensure assets and drivers are fully covered for anything they take out on the road. A trailer rental marketplace will securely store insurance information, so the paperwork and documentation are kept in one central hub for improved visibility. Each driver and asset owner must understand what insurance is needed and checks the coverage before signing any agreements.
Keep all Trailers Well-Maintained
Finally, it is crucial to have a solid inventory of the total trailers in the company and ensure they are all in good working order. Trailers go through a lot of wear and tear from being on the road and managing heavy loads.
As trucking companies enter a trailer marketplace, fleet managers and owner-operators will have an easy-to-view visual inventory of any trailers being utilized, enabling a determination of whether they were kept in a suitable condition by the renter. Without a picture trail, it’s difficult to know if and when damage occurs to the trailer or who might be to blame if a problem crops up. In addition, keeping a solid log of trailer conditions will help encourage professionals to take care of assets.
However, it’s also important to regularly check over trailers in person to ensure they get any repairs or updates needed. Ensure assets are in good working order, so renters get what they expect. Keeping a solid maintenance schedule also helps increase the longevity of your assets.
How to Use vHub to List Your Rental Trailer
Want to rent a semi-trailer or put on vHub before offering services to your network? You can increase the utilization of any idle assets by listing them on vHub now—it only takes a few minutes to get started!
- Create your vHub account
- Create a listing for your trailer
- Enter the asset specifics and photos
- Establish your dates for when your units are available
- Provide any additional information for pick up or drop off
- Publish your listing
When an interested party sees your listing, they can book the unit at any time of the day or night (when they pick up the unit is based on the trailer owner’s specifications). When the driver picks up the unit, they activate it on the app after their inspection. Once the driver has completed their agreed-upon route, they return their reserved trailer, inspect it and deactivate it through vHub.
The renter and asset owner can leave a review based on timeliness, honesty, and reliability.
Get the Power of a Trailer Rental Service, Fully Digitized, with vHub the Trailer Marketplace
The freight market, like any market, ebbs and flows. There are times when capacity is tight, rates per mile on the spot market soar, and freight volumes are soaring! Even in boom times, digitizing a trailer pool provides both efficiency and scale needed to keep up with demand. Demand is high, and so is a business’s activity, stress, anxiety, and excitement. A trailer marketplace gives you peace of mind to keep up with high demand without breaking the business.
Oh, the reverse is also true. When freight markets are softer, trucking companies need to look for any opportunity to expose their assets effectively to the shippers, brokers, and 3PLs that are savvy capacity procurement professionals. When a trucking company deploys all the arrows in its quiver, it provides a much higher shot at trucking business success.
Now is the right time to get on the cutting edge and figure out how a trailer rental marketplace can help your business thrive. Are you ready to talk? Reach out to our team or sign up for your FREE vHub account now!