How a 3PL Facilitates Effective Power-Only Trucking

Mar 1, 2024

In a pinch, power-only trucking’s advantages generally serve as a good source of supply chain flexibility when capacity is limited, or when loads need moving on short notice.

There is however a note of complexity involved when trucks and trailers are separated. Without seamless communication and coordination between carrier and shipper, power-only strategies only convolute an already difficult task. Frequently, a third-party logistics provider is enlisted to aid power-only operations to ensure they have the desired effect (supply chain flexibility) rather than further disrupting your business’ delivery schedule.

Here are a few reasons shippers might seek out a power-only solution from a 3PL:

1. Pre-peak Trailer Positioning

Before your business’ peak selling season heats up, a 3PL partner can apply years of industry experience and historical data to develop an optimal trailer positioning strategy custom-fit to your business. Then, utilizing an established network of trusted carriers and advanced route planning software, they’ll coordinate the movement of these trailers in anticipation of increased demand in the most cost-efficient way possible.

2. Integrating New Trailers Into Your Network

Third-party logistics providers also have the advantage of regularly working with only the most reputable carriers, saving partners the headache of late, lost or damaged loads in the process. Integrating new trailers into an existing network is almost always more efficient for a 3PL, thanks to thorough vetting processes already in place to weed out low-quality or fraudulent carriers.

Scheduling the transport and integration of new trailers into your company’s available shipping assets through a 3PL is a simple way to check a complex item off your to-do list.

3. Taking Seasonal and Weekend Surges in Stride

When properly anticipated, power-only trucking can mitigate fluctuations in carrying capacity and save businesses from paying premium rates for last-minute jobs. The key to this preparation is accurate forecasting, made possible by access to (and expert interpretation of) real-time market trends.

Third-party logistics specialists can quickly sift through market-specific weather patterns, outbound tender volume, rejection rates and hundreds of other data visualizations for a clear lay of the land, allowing partners to line up shipping plans before rates spike.

4. Coordinating Just-in-Time (JIT) Shipments

Online shoppers have come to expect detailed tracking information and near-immediate delivery times for every order, regardless of the logistics necessary to make it so. A 3PL coordinates power-only shipments in a just-in-time (JIT) fashion, reducing idle time that’s estimated to cost businesses approximately $12,000 per truck each year.

Working with a 3PL also affords businesses higher flexibility and scalability, as partners can avoid overhauling their own infrastructure and staff whenever economic conditions shift.

5. Tackling Special Shipping Projects

For freight with unique shipping requirements (heavy hauls, unusually sized freight, sensitive cargo and the like) a 3PL can locate power-only solutions meeting the specific needs of the project. This might include transporting high-value freight, cross-border shipments or even moving your business’ base of operations into a new facility.

The absence of a tried-and-true process for transporting novel items (usually very large, very expensive or both) makes project freight a natural fit for both 3PL assistance and power-only strategies. Power-only means fewer hands handling or maneuvering your cargo as it moves toward its destination, and 3PL aid means those coordinating those movements are considering route safety and efficiency from every possible angle.

First Call Makes Power-Only Trucking Easy

When used properly, power-only trucking can be a dynamic addition to a company’s shipping arsenal — and who better to implement a power-only trucking option than those who tackle complex logistics challenges for a living?

Our team at First Call is well-versed in packing, tracking, moving and storing our partners’ freight safely and efficiently. Contact us today for more on getting the most out of your supply chain!

Simplify your Next Shipment with First Call Logistics

Building and managing cost-efficient supply chains is a full-time job. First Call’s rare combination of in-house assets, expert problem-solving and track record of stellar customer service makes us the 3PL of choice for business partners with a wide range of shipping needs.

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