With so many methods available for transporting freight from A to B, selecting which is best for your business can be a difficult task. You’ve probably heard of power-only trucking and are feeling a bit skeptical about its benefits.
What is power-only trucking? Well, it’s a popular term in the trucking industry. It’s used to describe an arrangement where a carrier provides a power unit, usually a semi-tractor and an operator to operate it, for customers who either own or lease their trailers. The collateral needed to make deliveries are provided by the shipper. For each shipper, using power-only trucking is a very easy operation. Shippers who make use of this service collaborate with their transportation partner to identify a “power unit” in their region and match it to their freight rather than looking for truck and trailer capacity. Typically, this is a driver who their supplier knows has the expertise and ability to move each cargo safely based on prior performance. This external “power unit” securely fastens the trailer’s kingpin to its fifth wheel, secures all of the cargo safely, and then hits the open road when the best-fit driver has been identified and a trailer interchange agreement has been completed.
What Are The Advantages of Power-Only Trucking?
Power-only transportation has become a focal point of the supply networks of shippers in this country for several reasons. And why wouldn’t you make the most of something that consistently works, saves you money, and simplifies your life?
- Creates greater efficiency in other parts of their supply chain
Power-only trucking makes it much easier for shippers to concentrate on other aspects of their business, especially when done with help from a leading transportation service. Shippers can concentrate on the effectiveness of their production schedules and maintain their bottom line because they don’t need to wait around for a trailer to load. As a result, they are never left waiting to load a trailer that will soon arrive, which helps these businesses meet their deadlines and fulfill their obligations to consumers more consistently.
- Saves shippers money on the front end
In many cases, shippers looking to reduce their freight costs might benefit greatly from power-only trucking. These businesses can use this money to invest in other areas of their businesses since they are not liable for the costs associated with owning and managing a fleet of tractors.
- Provides flexibility where needed
As a shipper in a fast-moving sector, you are aware of how crucial flexibility can be. However, it can sometimes be challenging to find the capacity to fulfill your deadlines, particularly given how competitive the transportation industry has recently become.
Power-only shippers may basically “store” their freight until a trucking service is available because they have trailers on-site. The benefit of having a drop trailer on hand to load at their own pace while not incurring the cost of drop trailer service is quite important.
Shippers are therefore able to find power-only capacity wherever they are and whenever they need it thanks to their fully loaded and prepared trailers.
What Are The Disadvantages of Power-Only Trucking?
Like everything, power-only trucking has its disadvantages too.
- Shippers need to maintain and service trailers
Companies that use power-only trucking must continuously and vigilantly check and maintain the trailers in their fleet. Even if repairing a fleet of tractors regularly is far more expensive, maintaining a fleet of trailers has expenses. Purchasing a pool of trailers, fixing or replacing a trailer, inspecting each trailer, and delaying loads, are all the costs of power-only trucking.
- Power-only can be costly on short notice
Even while competent suppliers properly price each power-only load to complete the shipment, urgent shipments, whether they are power-only or not, frequently cost more. If a driver needs to deadhead to your facility, always expect to pay him/her more than you would’ve had if your provider had better lead time to find you a solution.
As a general rule, your transportation provider should have more than enough time to offer you a competitively priced power-only option if they have a window of 24-72 hours before your shipment needs to be picked up.
- Power-only can complicate supply chain logistics
While many shippers find power-only trucking to be convenient, difficulties may occur if a power-only trailer needs to be returned to its place of origin. Transporting these trailers back to a shipper’s “home base” after a drop-off can be expensive since they are pulled by external “power units,” especially if each trailer isn’t utilized.
Power-only transportation can be expensive for shippers that are unable to manage the logistics of these requirements since they are continuously paying to drive empty trailers back to their facilities.
Power-only trucking has some great benefits that would make your job easier, but there are also some drawbacks. So, it is up to you to go through all of them and decide if power-only trucking is right for you.