3 Myths About Dedicated Fleet Management

Operating a fleet of delivery vehicles is a complicated and time-consuming task. From hiring drivers to managing routes, payroll, taxes, insurance, vehicle maintenance costs, safety compliance, and more, it can easily interfere with your core business operation’s efficiency.

Outsourcing your fleet management with a 3PL logistics company can lower liability and reduce transportation expenses – if you get the right vendor. 

With a strong dedicated fleet management partner, you can forget about dealing directly with recruiting, payroll, accidents, injury, no-shows, workers compensation lawsuits and countless other interruptions that can paralyze your business.

While the possibility of relinquishing control and choosing to outsource your fleet may feel worrying, a lot of your apprehensions could be based on common misconceptions about fleet management.


Myth 1: Outsourcing a fleet is too costly

Many companies believe their transportation needs are too specialized to let anyone else handle. But for most companies, transportation is simply not a core competency. That makes it hard to optimize your transportation efficiently, and that can be costly in itself.

Outsourcing your transportation to the right provider means handing your fleet needs over to someone whose core business is designing and executing custom fleet strategies. A reliable 3PL logistics company should have the scale and experience to make your transportation dollars go further.

There are many scenarios where this experience can pay off. For example, when you have unexpected shifts in demand, your 3PL partner has more expertise in sourcing extra trailers, workforce and other resources to quickly and efficiently pivot operations. Likewise, dedicated fleet providers have the expertise to consolidate new routes into existing schedules, producing cost savings for you and your customer. 

Myth 2: We must do it ourselves to ensure quality

When you outsource your transportation to the right provider, they will want to take your pre-existing expertise into account and develop a custom strategy that addresses your goals and challenges. Find a provider that is willing to do the up-front due diligence, including site visits and interviews with your team establishing safeguards that they understand your workflow and how your personnel and customers interact with it.

Larger providers don’t always have the flexibility to customize with your needs and may ask you to make some concessions to fit their “one size fits all” approach. Ideally, your transportation strategy should combine what you know about your business with best-in-class 3PL thinking. 

When vetting partners ask them how they continuously assess performance, including the ability to identify and solve recurring problems ensuring they are meeting service levels.

Myth 3: If we outsource, our current drivers will lose their jobs.

Safe drivers with experience and knowledge about your customers, routes and products are invaluable. Most dedicated providers aim to retain as many existing drivers as possible during a fleet’s transition. 

Drivers who transition to a 3PL role may even enjoy more job stability. Instead of being furloughed or laid off during times when you have fluctuating demand, drivers working for dedicated providers can be “loaned” to other jobs until you need them again. 

Arrangements like this can save you money while helping your drivers get paid even when your volume is low. In the end, you can retain the quality drivers you need — and their connection to your customers — while releasing many of the responsibilities that come with employing drivers.

 

The benefits of outsourcing fleet management

 

Cost savings: Outsourcing eliminates the time and expense associated with managing drivers and vehicles

Eliminate staffing hassles: Avoid driver staffing problems caused by high turnover and absenteeism

HR compliance: Eliminate training, legal, and other HR compliance costs from your P&L

Liability issues  Eliminate your contingent liability risk, including vehicle accidents, employee injury claims and lawsuits

Service consistency: Provide better, more consistent service to your customers

Fleet capital costs: No more investing in vehicle maintenance and appearance, including upgrading and downgrading

Supply chain security: Leverage experienced security, to ensure the chain of custody throughout the supply chain

 

What to look for in a dedicated fleet provider

 

Customized routes and fleets. A quality 3PL partner should be ready and willing to create a customized fleet, schedule and route to match your deliveries, when and where they are.

 

Brand Visibility. Don’t miss the opportunity to build brand awareness. Ask your partner to display company insignia or logo on every dedicated fleet truck, and if their drivers can wear uniforms that match. That’s all part of the customization process.

 

Flexibility and Scale.  Can your network-based fleet efficiently keep up with demand during peak seasons? Is it underutilized during off seasons? A dedicated partner provides you with a fleet that easily adjusts to the volume and number of deliveries – regardless of the season. No more struggling to meet demand, or missed opportunities.

 

Security and Compliance.  How do they ensure the chain of custody throughout the supply chain for your products? Are they up-to-date on insurance, compliance and regulations.

 

Customizable Technology. Do they have a customizable solution that meets your needs? Or do they try to provide you an off-the-shelf solution that requires your team to make changes? A good 3PL partner with customizable technology should be able to streamline processes, trouble-shoot problems and eliminate or reduce the need to solve the same problem multiple times.

 

The Bottom Line

With the growing complexity and expenses of operating a private fleet, companies must re-evaluate the costs. From increasing regulations, recruiting, and retaining safe drivers to higher liability risks, there can be significant benefits to partnering with a dedicated fleet provider, allowing you to focus more time and energy on your core business. 

Working with the right dedicated fleet partner can protect your bottom line in the short term and set you up for growth in the long run. 

 

 

Sources:
https://www.trucking.org/sites/default/files/2020-01/ATAs%20Driver%20Shortage%20Report%202019%20with%20cover.pdf

https://www.kornferry.com/content/dam/kornferry/docs/article-migration/2019-3PL-Study.pdf

Expak Continues to Protect the PPE Supply Chain

We’re now many months into the Coronavirus pandemic, and the unprecedented demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) we saw surging earlier this year will be “the new normal” for the foreseeable future. Businesses involved in the manufacturing and distribution of PPE are no doubt bracing for the possibility of a second surge of COVID infections in the latter part of the year, or a twindemic with the upcoming flu season. 

At Expak, we’re proud to do our part when it comes to protecting a PPE supply chain that defends both vulnerable individuals and the infrastructure of business at large. Our warehouse teams are rapidly adapting to the supply chain needs, removing bottlenecks while coordinating in real-time with other critical logistics partners.

We leverage the most effective and up-to-date supply chain technology, allowing for greater transparency, security, compliance and delivery speed. Our expertise in the world of pharmaceutical delivery, where accuracy and timeliness are critical, reflects the commitment we put into the work we do. It has proved to be an invaluable experience, as the logistics industry has been required to adapt to the demands created by the pandemic.

What items are needed most?

There has been a growing need for COVID-19 testing kits along with personal protective equipment such as:

  • N95 Masks / Respirators
  • Surgical Masks / Medical masks
  • Face-shields
  • Surgical Gowns
  • Goggles
  • Gloves (including household rubber gloves)
  • Shoe covers
  • Sanitizers
  • Sterilizers
  • Disinfectants

 

 Medical supplies such as:

  • Ventilators and ventilator parts
  • Thermometers 
  • Syringes
  • Two-sided tapes
  • Swabs
  • Pipettes
  • Miscellaneous Mechanical Parts or Components

 

With round-the-clock service and nationwide reach, we offer agile PPE warehouse and fulfillment solutions that minimize touchpoints while maximizing inventory accessibility. Our team works to ensure everything we ship adheres to federal regulations and, most importantly, gets to where it is meant to go on time.

Who are our PPE services for?

We provide warehouse, fulfillment and distribution solutions for anyone who needs to get critical personal protective equipment moved domestically. Those shipping destinations can include, but not limited to:

  • Healthcare Organizations
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Research Facilities
  • Hospitals 
  • Clinics
  • Doctors Offices
  • Universities
  • Community Organizations
  • Retailers

Whether you’re looking to ship front-line protective equipment, testing kits, or medical supplies, Expak is ready to work with you to get PPE and medical supplies to their destination quickly and safely.

Warehouse & Fulfillment Integrations

When it comes to Warehouse and Fulfillment Services, reliability is the cornerstone of a
successful vendor relationship. Can you rely on your distribution partner to deliver the level
of product security you’d insist on within your organization? Can you trust that partner to
quickly move shipments so deadlines are not missed, and sales are not lost? And can you
rely on that partner to stay at the forefront of fulfillment innovation, so you’re not falling
behind your competitors by missing the kind of opportunities today’s technology offers?

At Expak Logistics, reliability and trust are the foundation of successful partnerships
ranging from household names in both brick and mortar and online retail to final mile
delivery for national carriers like FedEx, UPS and DHL. Trust is earned with every
integration and delivery. While reliability does not only mean doing the same things well,
year in and year out. It also means being reliably and consistently agile, offering
best-practice solutions to complex business problems, rather than relying on an
off-the-shelf approach to integration and implementation.

We offer a full suite of solutions that continually evolves to embrace automation and
provides critical visibility into the supply chain. Data-driven companies like Amazon have
played a large role in revolutionizing the distribution landscape, with the scale to set
customer expectations at an increasingly high bar. The importance of granular supply
chain visibility can’t be ignored.

Meanwhile, companies like Target and Walmart, who combine a strong online presence
with easily accessible brick and mortar locations — for an average American, the median
distance from a Walmart is just 4.2 miles, with Target not far behind at 5 miles. Even
before the Covid-19 crisis, these companies created omnichannel expectations for
customers blending online and in-person shopping. In part, those experiences exist
because warehousing and fulfillment have evolved to meet changing consumer
expectations and retailer demands.

We’re proud to have worked with all of these category leaders, from Amazon to Walmart,
and alongside retail leaders from Macy’s to Nordstrom. Expak works alongside the US
Military servicing their Army & Airforce Exchange Service, with household names like
Lowe’s, Overstock, and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and as a final mile delivery resource for
aforementioned national carriers DHL, FedEx, UPS and USPS.

Each relationship has been built on hard-earned trust, demonstrable best-in-class
distribution capabilities, and the ability to deliver service tailored to the partner’s specific
needs reliably. When reviewing your warehouse and fulfillment options, we’d ask you to
consider how much you feel you can rely on your current partner, both for day-to-day
business logistics and the challenging job of moving your business forward. Perhaps it’s
time for a partner that’s ready to go the extra mile to earn your trust

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