Watch Now

OneRail founder talks potential of vehicle sharing

Bill Catania says better asset utilization could offer last-mile fleets new revenue streams

OneRail’s Bill Catania sees better asset utilization as a key to improving last-mile delivery capacity constraints. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Bill Catania has an up-close view of the current last-mile delivery space. The OneRail founder and CEO lives in the last mile. It’s just what he does.

And what he also sees is a growing need to democratize the final mile, which remains very fractured even as it evolves to meet the demands of brands to get items to consumers ever faster. In an interview with Modern Shipper at Home Delivery World in Philadelphia earlier this month, Catania talked about the delivery market and teased an upcoming OneRail offering that he thinks will improve asset utilization and maybe even create new revenue streams for companies.

“We’re seeing more and more of these companies that have their own fleets … that are tapping OneRail to better utilize those fleets and even reduce their fleet size,” Catania said.

Pointing to one OneRail customer, Catania noted that it had a fleet of about 1,200 vehicles to handle approximately 1,200 daily routes. But with as much as 5% of the fleet unavailable on any given day due to maintenance or lack of drivers, OneRail helps “fill that gap” with its network of nearly 10 million drivers.

But Catania said it’s not just filling the gap for fleets. It’s about helping them better utilize their own assets. He noted a customer that has almost 12,000 vehicles in its fleet, but the nature of the delivery routes means many of those vehicles are only in use about one hour per day.

Watch: OneRail demonstrates its technology

That is a lot of unused capacity in a market that is clamoring for more capacity, Catania noted. OneRail is hoping to close that gap with a new program set for an early 2023 launch. The goal of the program is to help fleets better leverage their unused vehicles by making them available on the OneRail network.

“Our platform has a lot of intelligence around [vehicle] matching,” said Catania, noting the program will cover all the vehicle classes. That’s been a big focus for us over the past year. How do we help them monetize their assets and right-size their fleets.”

OneRail was recently named to the Inc. 5000 of fastest-growing private companies in America, coming in at No. 48, and is also a FreightWaves FreightTech 100 company for 2023, the second year in a row the company has made the list.

Catania said as it grows, he believes OneRail can help others improve their asset usage and achieve a 70% utilization rate while right-sizing the fleet overall.

“That is one of the greatest outcomes we can produce,” he said. “The question is how do you create supply where it doesn’t exist?”

That is what OneRail is hoping to solve in the near future.

Many people are unaware that OneRail initially started as a carrier, but Catania saw a larger need.

“That’s where the idea for OneRail came from,” he said. “There are a lot of great carriers out there. We needed to be the brain.”

At FreightWaves’ Future of Supply Chain conference in Arkansas in May, OneRail showcased its final-mile solution during a demo session. The solution matches any size order to an ecosystem of carriers, couriers and internal fleets to meet customer-specific service-level agreements. By aggregating prices, tapping into a delivery network of over 9 million drivers, and automating the assignment of the right vehicle type for the specific delivery need, shippers can lower operating costs and optimize delivery operations with over 98% reliability, the company said.

Its Last Mile Delivery Fulfillment solution is available in the SAP Store. The offering is fully integrated with SAP’s Commerce Cloud, allowing its customers to easily access the services of OneRail’s network of last-mile drivers.

What has transpired is “aligning the solution with the demand,” Catania told Modern Shipper at Home Delivery World.

Click for more articles by Brian Straight.

You may also like:

The state of last mile amid slowing e-commerce demand

Failure is not a winning strategy in the last mile

Collaboration drives last-mile success

Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand 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. You can reach him at [email protected].