The National Private Truck Council has launched a backhaul networking program designed to help its private fleet members fill empty miles through strategic partnerships. The initiative — Member Match — is intended to provide a free information exchange that allows member companies to fill empty capacity in their own fleets with shipments from other fleet companies, or to utilize other private fleets to haul their company’s shipments.
Member Match is an information exchange available for NPTC fleet members only. “According to NPTC’s most recent private fleet benchmarking survey, private fleet companies reported that 25 percent of all private fleet miles are empty,” says Gary Petty, NPTC president and chief executive officer. “This creates tremendous opportunity for filling backhaul capacity and superb prospects for delivering cost savings to the fleet.”
Petty says that with today’s ever-rising costs and the constant pressure to optimize capacity, private fleets must continually increase their revenues and lower costs wherever possible. “For many private fleets, reducing empty miles while securing revenue-producing backhaul loads plays a significant role in the effort,” Petty says.
But attracting outside freight to fill empty capacity has been problematic for private fleets, according to Petty; many have obtained for-hire authority, which gives them the opportunity to fill what would otherwise be empty backhaul miles with revenue-producing freight. Some 53 percent of the respondents in the benchmarking survey reported having for-hire authority, Petty says; those fleets that have for-hire authority operate at an average cost per mile that is 10 percent less than those that don’t haul outside freight.
“For many years, fleet members of the NPTC have informally — and often by chance encounters at NPTC meetings — found strategic partners to help ship or receive their freight to and/or from other NPTC members,” says Petty. “We believe that Member Match has the potential to help its members achieve exponentially greater network balance by boosting the amount of loaded miles.”
The Member Match program goes far beyond a tactical, online load-matching service, Petty says; rather, it is for those fleet managers seeking strategic, long-term partnerships with peer private fleet operations. For Member Match to reach its maximum benefit, NPTC fleet members will be encouraged to list as much of their company’s outbound and inbound freight as possible using a special, secure section of the NPTC website, www.nptc.org.
Member Match has the potential to help its members achieve exponentially greater network balance by boosting this network, Petty says. “Participants will have the confidence that they are dealing with reputable companies and fleet managers with the same unrelenting customer service standards and top-notch equipment as they have for their own fleets,” he says.