FR8Star opens door to more flatbed revenue with partial loads service offering

Nearly 40% of all current loads within the FR8Star network would qualify for its new Partial Load Service, which is designed to help carriers better utilize empty capacity on their flatbed trailers to increase revenue. ( Photo: )

One of the largest wasted revenue opportunities for carriers in freight movement is when trailers move less than full. For shippers, that often means they are paying full trailer prices for space that only requires a partial trailer. Whether it is dry van, refrigerated, or open-deck trailers, the same dynamics hold true.

In the open-deck world, one of the largest online marketplaces to secure capacity is FR8 Revolution, founders of the marketplace. The company has announced a new partial load offering that allows shippers to access available capacity on open-deck trailers, potentially at a savings. According to Matt Kropp, co-founder & CEO of FR8Star, between 30% and 40% of a flatbed trailer goes unused.

“Our partial load offering is designed to help carriers fill that unused space and make extra money,” he tells FreightWaves. “When combined with a partial, carriers can make over 50% more on any given load – even while providing a lower price to shippers on those partial loads.”

Partial Loads Service allows shippers in specific geographic areas to share trailer space with other shippers. The loads can be booked through FR8Star’s online marketplace and feature its recently introduced Price Lock option. Carriers can also book loads through the platform.

The program is currently active in select areas with expansion to all 48 contiguous states in the coming months.

“Expanding the FR8Star services to include partial loads is a win for both sides of the truck freight market,” says Matt Kropp, co-founder and CEO of FR8Star. “Carriers can now maximize earnings by utilizing available trailer capacity to haul additional loads simultaneously, while shippers can instantly book and only pay for the space they need to transport their freight.”

Kropp tells FreightWaves that any load that takes less than 50% of a trailer length qualifies as a partial load. In its current network, as much as 40% of loads could qualify as partial loads, with shippers potentially saving between 25% and 50% per load by opting to use the Partial Loads Service.

“We use our proprietary freight matching calculator to place full truck loads on the right trailer and determine any required permits, escorts, etc. depending on their weight and dimensions, and it works the same for partial loads,” he explains. “Because we have so many shippers moving items from dealerships, we are able to match up multiple partials to create a full truckload for our carriers. We also make the partial loads available to carriers to allow them to add partial loads to a load they may already have.”

 A screen within the FR8Star Partial Loads Service option helps carriers and shippers identify possible matches. ( Click to enlarge )
A screen within the FR8Star Partial Loads Service option helps carriers and shippers identify possible matches. ( Click to enlarge )

Rates are handled by the FR8Star system, as well. “Rates are set by our pricing algorithm, which uses live data from our carrier network to set the market price,” Kropp says. “Shippers accept a pre-calculated rate online and book on the spot. As soon as they book, qualifying carriers are notified of the load for a set price, which they can also book instantly.”

Price Lock, introduced in May, lets shippers enter their load details, including permits, pilot cars service fees, and any linehaul or third-party fees, and lock in that price. FR8Star then matches the load with a qualified carrier. The carrier can see all the details before confirming the load. This is all handled through the freight estimate option on the site.

“From there shippers can book shipping for that guaranteed rate instantly. The whole process can be done in under a minute, from getting a rate to payment and securing shipping. We then match that load with a qualified carrier,” Kropp notes.

The FR8Star network has over 5,000 active carriers with 50,000 trucks.

“We think partial loads is a great solution to help alleviate the capacity crunch affecting the trucking industry without compromising the earning potential for truck fleets,” Kropp said. “In fact, if a carrier added a partial to any given load, they could earn up to 50% more on that run.”

FR8Star detailed the process for shippers when booking loads under the Partial Load program:

  1. Provide with load specifications, origin, and destination.
  2. Compare costs of running dedicated trailer vs. partial load including all permits and third-party costs.
  3. Book using FR8Star’s Price Lock option to secure Partial Load at guaranteed rate.
  4. FR8Star matches a carrier and manages the pick-up, delivery, paperwork and payment processing.
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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.