Ryder launches Airbnb-like sharing platform for truck equipment

 Fleets with idle equipment in the Atlanta area can now list that equipment for rental through Ryder's new COOP platform.

Fleets with idle equipment in the Atlanta area can now list that equipment for rental through Ryder's new COOP platform.

Platform allows fleets with excess equipment to rent that to fleets in need

A truck sitting idle is a truck not making any revenue. Everyone in trucking knows that, and it is one of the issues that is becoming more prominent today with plenty of freight to move and not enough drivers to move it. The result is excess equipment sitting in yards unused for long stretches of time.

But, what if a fleet in need of equipment on a short-term basis, be it a day, a weekend, or a week, had the ability to “borrow” another fleet’s equipment to fill that need? Sort of an Airbnb for trucking.

Ryder thinks it has that answer with COOP by Ryder. COOP is a digital asset-sharing platform for commercial vehicles. Using COOP, companies can list equipment they have available for renting and other commercial operators can find equipment to fill short-term needs.

According to Ryder, there are 8 million commercial vehicles in all classes and 25% of them sit idle for more than one day, not including weekends. A company with a 26-foot straight truck traveling 100 miles a day could return $3,300 per month to the lender, the company said.

The COOP app helps a user quickly identify in real time where available equipment for rent is located.

“The real neat thing is … for the first time ever, a customer can really see what is the live inventory in a marketplace, right then, right now,” Rich Mohr, vp and global product manager for Truck Rental with Ryder, told FreightWaves. “Normally they have to call a Ryder representative or go to a Ryder reservation page….and hope there is [a truck available].”

For fleets with extra trucks, COOP represents a revenue-generating opportunity. It also provides an opportunity for fleets that might need to take on additional capacity short-term to satisfy a customer’s urgent needs.

“For a customer that needs a truck on a Friday and the customer who has one down the street, what better way to trade and use Ryder [to facilitate that],” Mohr said.

He noted several examples of how the platform has been used since it launched in Atlanta in January with about 100 fleet owners. “We have one company…they don’t use their vehicles on Thursday and Fridays and they have a business right across the street that rents that vehicle from them on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” he said.

COOP is being expanded to the full Atlanta market this month with more major markets expected to be added in 2019.

“COOP by Ryder aims to revolutionize the optimization and utilization of commercial trucks by helping fleet owners get the most value out of their fleets,” said Robert Sanchez, Chairman & CEO, Ryder. “We are excited to launch this new platform that makes trucks shareable at a time when the sharing economy is driving innovation in many industries. Seasonal and cyclical truck shortages, coupled with fleets’ excess and unused capacity, demonstrates the benefit of having a technology like COOP available in the marketplace. COOP represents one of several strategic investments we are making to leverage technology and capitalize on disruptions our industry will see over the next five to 10 years.”

Onboarding is an easy process and can be done through the COOP website. Ryder collects DOT information and insurance certificates. Mohr explained that insurance is handled the same as it is with a Ryder rental vehicle. The company does offer additional extended physical insurance should you want it, but Mohr said that Ryder believes customers are more likely to take care of the vehicles they rent through the program.

“It’s kind of like an Airbnb, you don’t want to destroy someone else’s house and not be able to use the system again,” he said.

COOP is designed for rentals under 30 days. If the rental is less than 8 days, it is ELD exempt, but if an ELD is required, it is up to the company to supply their own device. Ryder does offer ELD solutions for those that need them.

Mohr said that COOP is set up for any type of equipment and so far Ryder has seen flatbeds, dry vans, straight trucks and refrigerated trucks as available equipment. It might work well for agricultural haulers who run their vehicles only during growing season, for instance.

“You’ve got a little bit of everything on there right now,” Mohr said. “I’m excited to see how diverse the equipment gets.”

Cost right now is being determined by Ryder through a “recommended price” per day based on the class of the vehicle. Future pricing models will include the recommended price, but include options for the lender to adjust that up or down. In addition to the price to rent the vehicle, there is also a mileage rate included, 100% of which goes to the lender to help cover maintenance-related costs.

Ryder also provides a maintenance coverage program for $5 per day that covers up to $500 in repairs and provides roadside assistance should there be a problem.

“As one of COOP by Ryder’s initial users, we could not be more excited about the value this platform can bring to our operations,” said Alex Garcia, Vice President for Dixien, LLC. “In our experience with COOP so far, we’ve been able to make money from vehicles that previously sat idle, and it’s clear it could have a real impact on our business. This is an innovation we’ve been waiting for.”

COOP is a peer-to-peer sharing platform where owners list their available vehicles and the times they are available. Those looking for trucks can search the platform by location, time and vehicle type.

Payments are automated.

Ryder believes it is positioned to launch COOP by leveraging its large customer base with over 200,000 vehicles, as well as its experience in commercial vehicle rentals. This experience can help it “eliminate many of the major friction points associated with a peer-to-peer sharing network, such as insurance, DOT compliance, and payments,” the company said.

All COOP users are vetted to ensure they comply with safety and reliability standards. Payment is automated and immediate upon the return of the vehicle. Each transaction is covered by physical damage insurance and a $1 million liability policy and includes 24/7 roadside assistance, Ryder said.

COOP.com provides a chat feature, enabling visitors to chat with a customer service representative. Currently, lenders and borrowers are connecting by phone or via email, and as of May 2018, they will have the additional option of chatting with one another via the platform.