On Demand Trucking - Kuebix

Status of On-Demand Trucking

The U.S. transportation market is quickly ramping up technology-enhanced options to move products, goods and people in an effort to keep up with demand. Consumers are accustomed to free two-day shipping and detailed tracking information to follow their package every step of the way. Any business looking to fulfill these requirements should anticipate the need to outperform their traditional operations. On-demand trucking is a viable solution to meet all of these needs. Trucking companies can use it to find additional product that needs to be moved in the area to eliminate wasteful empty backhaul and businesses can deliver their products faster. It’s a win for everyone involved!

What’s driving the growth of U.S. on-demand trucking?

It’s no wonder there’s such a big demand for on-demand trucking. The tight U.S. job market, changing import/export levels and new technology have all combined to speed the shift to on-demand trucking:

  • •Capacity crunch. In recent years, lack of trucks and a scarcity of drivers-for-hire have combined with high freight demand to severely restrict U.S. trucking capacity/availability.
  • •Electronic logging devices (ELDs). Federally mandated ELDs closely scrutinize and monitor drivers to be sure they follow hours of service (HOS) laws, which can impact driver productivity.
  • •Rising spot and contract rates. Trucking rates continue to rise while capacity remains tight, driving some shippers to move portions of their freight to intermodal transportation or “rail.”
  • •Trucking apps. New apps are taking center stage: Uber Freight’s app operates much like its ride-sharing service. Both Convoy and Amazon have apps that target on-demand freight, as well, matching trucking companies with shippers who have freight that needs to move. This “at-your-fingertips” flexibility means shippers have flexible options for meeting their trucking needs; carriers can choose higher- and faster-paying freight.
  • •Rising interest rates. Higher rates mean higher costs for transporting goods, so shippers are best served by choosing their best transportation options.

How does on-demand trucking work?

On-demand trucking has a bright future for freight and transportation management and load matching:

  • •Provides a broad network of real-time carriers. This is not the old days of contracting with carriers to lock in capacity months or even years in advance: The capacity just isn’t there. On-demand trucking apps and spot markets let shippers connect with thousands of independent “owner-operator” drivers with empty truck space to sell.
  • •Leverages technology to handle settlements. Real-time freight visibility is important, of course, but it’s just as important to ensure driver certification and timely, accurate freight pick-up and delivery and settlement processing. Having a transportation management system (TMS) connect directly to the asset (driver) through a platform that provides access to drivers and ensures drivers’ certification and compliance–as well as manages the settlement through an Uber-like payment configuration–can be a great way to simplify and streamline your business.
  • •Focuses on getting shippers normal or “specialized” capacity on a transactional basis. Unlike dealing with large, asset-based carriers, the Uberization of freight means shippers can connect with drivers who offer capacity and even specialized freight treatment—like refrigeration–on back-hauls, making it a win-win for shippers and carriers.

On-demand trucking offers shippers a proven and flexible way of conducting their business, with real-time visibility over truck assets and a simpler way to access settlement, liability and other functions via a single interface. Read how recent innovations in web service technology mean shippers can get direct carrier rates, POD and BOL images, online shipment scheduling, and real-time status updates from all carriers on one platform to optimize shipment, financial and customer relationship management and ensure better freight intelligence.

 

boeing 737 kuebix Kuebix

One Man’s Solo-Trip on a Boeing 737 is Really Additional Backhaul Revenue

On March 16th, Skirmantas Strimaitis discovered he was the lone passenger on a Boeing 737-800 with a seating capacity of 189 people headed from Vilnius, Lithuania to Bergamo, Italy. When tour operator company Novaturas realized the flight they had chartered earlier for guests was going to fly back empty, they decided to put one-way tickets on sale in an attempt to generate additional profit on a trip they had to take regardless. This process is one commonly referred to in the supply chain industry as filling backhaul miles, which has become vital to the success of supply chains worldwide.

Courtesy Skirmantas Strimaitis

How Can This Concept Help Companies?

Whether freight is moving via flight, drive, or boat ride, all modes of transportation have one thing in common- the trip back. It has to happen, so why not utilize it? Through filling their backhaul miles with additional freight, fleets are largely improving their business. Delivering additional freight on a trip that they had to take anyways is generating additional revenue and reducing the amount of gas waste simultaneously. Having truck drivers deliver at a time where they have to commute regardless helps lower the cost of labor and maintenance necessary for the fleet to run smoothly.

Why Aren’t More People Doing it?

It may seem puzzling that filling backhaul miles isn’t common procedure if it is as helpful as it sounds. This is largely due to the fact that organizing and managing backhauls has proven to be time-consuming and oftentimes expensive. There are limitations as to how far and for how long drivers can be on the roads, which often makes it difficult to find feasible opportunities to execute backhauls in the first place. Routes that are already being driven face even more challenges because they are operating steadily and adding a backhaul can sometimes seem to be impossible based on location.

What Do We Do?

The most efficient and effective way to start filling backhaul miles is to utilize technology. Doing so allows companies to work even more efficiently and removes some of the pressure from the process. For example, Kuebix created FleetMAX, which is a program that matches backhaul capacity with freight to consistently reduce the number of empty miles and make the most of each trip. It simplifies the process of scrambling to find freight and provides real-time visibility into routes that have been planned and the locations and movement of freight. Letting a program like FleetMAX do the heavy lifting in a process as involved as filling backhaul capacity makes it a much more feasible task for all supply chains.