The only thing anyone can say for certain about the transportation markets is that they change. Whether due to global disruptions like pandemics or simple seasonality, volumes and capacity are constantly in flux. When these shifts get especially volatile, the whole industry feels the effects. Shared truckload (STL) offers a way for shippers and carriers alike to make the most of any market conditions.
Shared truckload enables multiple shippers to share trailer space in one multi-stop full truckload. Ultimately, this allows shippers to eliminate wasted space, drives revenue gains for carriers and even reduces the environmental impact of moving goods.
The concept of shared truckload isn’t new. It has been around for years in the form of multi-stop truckload, often facilitated by consolidators who handle products through regional warehouses or brokerages that manually pair freight on load boards. These methods, however, come with no guarantees.
Flock Freight created an algorithm that allows the company to optimize shared truckload. The first-of-its-kind technology automates and guarantees STL services, ensuring customers always get what they’re promised. To date, Flock Freight has executed over 13,000 shared shipments.
Benefits for shippers
Shippers often find themselves in a familiar lose-lose situation; they have too much freight to move via less-than-truckload (LTL) but not enough freight to fill an entire truckload trailer.
These shippers are left with three unsavory options – pay a premium for extra LTL space, pay for empty space in a TL trailer or wait to ship the goods until they have enough to fill a whole trailer. When demand is strong, waiting to fill trucks to capacity is not really an option.
Shared truckload offers another option for these shippers, allowing them to utilize TL service while only paying for the space they use. By using STL service, shippers can avoid typical LTL hassles like fines and penalties, as well as damaged or missing goods, without paying for air.
Benefits for carriers
On the surface, shared truckload may not sound like a win for carriers. STL requires truckload carriers to stop at multiple pick-up and drop-off locations, eating into drivers’ hours of service. When routes are optimized via a top-notch algorithm, however, carriers actually get paid more because their trucks are filled with several shippers’ freight.
When capacity is tight, this approach offers carriers a chance to cash in on more loads without adding extra personnel or buying costly new equipment. When capacity is loose, STL can help carriers maximize the value of each trip, upping their chances of turning a profit and staying in the black.
Flock Freight currently works with over 10,000 carriers that have already realized these perks for themselves.
Benefits for the environment
On top of the benefits shared truckload offers shippers and carriers, it also provides valuable environmental gains. This comes at a time when cutting down on congestion and pollution is critical for both people’s health and business’ long-term prosperity. Not to mention, massive fines await those who shirk environmental regulations in some states.
STL is a more sustainable transportation option because it eliminates energy-sucking LTL terminals and cuts down on waste inside the trailer, ensuring two trucks aren’t deployed to do the job of one.
So far, Flock Freight’s shared truckload services have saved over 660 metric tons of fuel emissions.