Why Power Only Carriers and Brokers Need Better Trailer Sharing

The concept of trailer sharing and universal trucking trailer pools is an idea that has existed for some time. However, it is only in the last few years that it has become a focus for truckers and shipping companies. With the increase in demand from shippers, power only freight brokers find an increased need for available trailers. In contrast, power only carriers find an increasing need for on-demand capacity for their orders and shipments. Those transportation service providers specializing in power only load trucking and transport have a present and growing demand for better trailer sharing opportunities. Investing in power only truck loads and finding partnerships that allow for easier trailer capacity access is vital for the continued growth and success of the transportation industry.

What Is a Power Only Carrier?

Power only loads trucking refers to a specialized full truckload capacity solution within the modern supply chain and trucking network. Power only services occur when a carrier provides the tractor and the driver with a load, commonly known as a “power unit,” but nothing else. In this specialized trucking mode, the driver does not bring a trailer. Instead, they drive to the trailer pool, hook up on-site, and drive off with the exact trailer they need for their specific load.

While most commonly associated with semitrailers, power only carriers can haul multiple trailer types with the help and coordination of power only freight brokers :

  • Flatbed & open deck trailers
  • Refrigerated trailers
  • Shipping containers
  • Full and less than full trailers

What makes a power only truckload is that a driver and tractor show up on-site, the trailer is used temporarily for a specific load and then returned, and another trailer is picked up for the next order that needs completing.

How Power Only Freight Brokers Use Trailer Leasing and Pools to Maximize Capacity

Trailer leasing and pools make it easier to maximize capacity, avoid gaps, reduce idle time, and increase profits. This sort of ‘trailers for rent’ concept makes it easier for power only freight brokers, drivers, and other 3PLs to coordinate and collaborate. This concept is vital to the short and long-term success of the supply chain on a local and national level because power only freight brokers’ services are playing an increasingly important role in the market today.

In a February 2021 article, Supply Chain 24/7 noted the following: “Driven largely by exploding e-commerce growth and globalization, in 2019, the global 3PL market was estimated to reach $1.3 trillion by 2024, translating to a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 9% even before the pandemic hit.” The need for fast and reliable access to trailers on-demand and a simple and efficient way to bring drivers and trailer owners together is obvious. Brokers and carriers who utilize power only truck loads can maximize capacity because of the following:

  • 3PLs can find available trailers for rent in response to specific carrier capacity needs.
  • Brokers can tap into their diverse network to find the best power only carrier options.
  • Carriers can coordinate with the trailer owners to drop off and pick up at their facility.
  • Drivers are free to load/unload on their schedule with power only loads trucking.

While this service setup might not seem that different from common asset-based carrier drop pools, there is a crucial difference. With a trailer pool system, power only freight brokers, specialty drivers, and industry 3PLs are not limited by the physical assets of a single carrier’s network. It is easy to pick up a trailer at one pool, drop it off at another center that the company manages, then drive to another provider nearby to pick up another power only trailer and repeat the process as often as needed. This diversity and scalability make power only loads such a popular idea today and why the demand continues to grow and appear in press room reports.

Better Trailer Sharing Capacity Improves Supply Chain Logistics and Boosts Throughput Significantly

One of the single greatest hindrances to forward growth and continued recovery in the supply chain is the rising rates and fees associated with shipping services. With increased demands from consumers, ongoing supply issues, capacity difficulties, and other disruptions across the supply chain, power only truck loads are becoming a necessary tool for carriers and truckers.

In late 2021, Logistics Management, published an article that stated,“the fact remains that truckload rates will rise in 2022—the question is by how much and for how long. Analysts say that the way to look at TL rates is they may be reaching a peak in 2022, but the downward slope is extremely shallow.” By working with power only freight brokers and taking advantage of trailer-sharing setups, throughput can be significantly boosted, even amid ongoing market instability.

Here are some common scenarios where a power only freight broker might coordinate with carriers to utilize trailer pool access and power only hauling services:

  • Facility or warehouse trailer relocation needs
  • Peak seasons and predicted capacity crunches
  • Just-in-time shipping and rush order demands
  • Weekend or holiday shipping surges
  • Notable projects in local service areas
  • Hazardous or specialized handling loads
  • Consistent lanes requiring drop trailers
  • Other custom shipping needs and demands

Partnering with power only freight brokers, owner operators, and carriers can boost throughput and increase profits with power only loads trucking services.

The Benefits of Using 3PLs for Power Only Trucking

The true appeal of utilizing trailer sharing and power only truck load setups is how big of an impact it can have on end-to-end productivity. It is easier to solve capacity issues when effective 3PL networking streamlines scheduling, coordinating, and communication. With large, diverse carrier networks and advanced load-matching technology,  power only freight brokers make it easier for carriers to source power only capacity and reap the benefits:

  • Flexibility – Wherever loads need to go and whatever trailer is required, a 3PL can find a power only carrier to haul it and a trailer owner to provide the capacity.
  • Scalability – A power only freight broker or other 3PL is not limited to the physical assets of a single provider and can quickly scale to more locations when capacity demands it.
  • Versatility – Whether managers are trying to rebalance equipment network loads or are moving warehouses, a 3PL provides easy access to practical power only solutions.
  • Adaptability – Power only load trucking services allow real-time data and logistics to be considered and applied to carrier-and-trailer coordination and utilization.

Solutions That Power Only Trucking Offer Shippers 

Power only freight brokers offer many solutions to make life easier for shippers. When capacity is less of a concern, it can direct focus to other critical and vital services and processes within the supply chain network. Some of the most meaningful of these solutions include:

  • Bypassing the excessive rates and fees commonly associated with live spot markets and rush capacity.
  • Improving warehouse or distribution center performance and how many loads can be managed.
  • Enhanced carrier performance with outside advice, support centers, and feedback on productivity levels.
  • Avoid direct or indirect costs associated with trailer underutilization and lower maintenance costs.

By working alongside power-only freight brokers and other 3PLs, carriers can significantly boost productivity and profits, no matter what loads they hold as a focus or particular interest. With trailer pools and sharing opportunities more available than ever, improving overall productivity throughout the supply chain network becomes more manageable.

Carriers and Brokers Can Get Better Trailer Sharing Tools With Industry Leader vHub

Flexible hook-empties and easier access to available power only truck loads help keep the supply chain moving. Many issues plaguing the shipping and transportation industry, such as capacity crunches, driver shortages, and scheduling delays, can be addressed with power only loads trucking. By providing automated services for drop freight, shippers will find it easier to connect with asset-based carriers and secure drivers for their primary drop loads.

Likewise, power only carriers can enjoy more reliable access to available capacity. They can find it easier to keep their schedule full by reducing the wait time between load dropoffs and pickups. Freight carriers and power only freight brokers alike can benefit from trailer-sharing tools and platforms and industry guidance from experts in power only trucking and transportation. Partner with vHub today and experience an innovative trailer sharing and repositioning platform that will increase your trailer pools utilization.

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