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Finding Freight & Cutting Deadhead Miles for Private Fleets: How We Help 2 Shippers Utilize Their Assets

As a leading truckload brokerage, we maintain strong relationships with thousands of shippers and carriers nationwide. Some businesses who own private fleets turn to us for help in both capacities.

In recent years, two long-time shippers have tapped into the expertise of our private fleet team to help them find backhaul freight to eliminate empty miles, access unique seasonal hauling opportunities, and otherwise get the most out of their equipment and teams.

Think about the creative solutions we’ve built for these businesses the next time you’re wondering if your private fleet is truly pulling its weight.

Choose a Private Fleet Case Study

Stacking Up Wins: Eliminating Empty Miles With a Global Container Company

About the Shipper

This global shipper produces more than 3,000 varieties of disposable plates, cups and containers under multiple consumer brands, operating out of 35 facilities in 3 countries. Their U.S.-based private fleet maintains its own name and logo when operating as an incorporated interstate carrier.

Coyote Services They Rely On

Challenges & Results

Their Challenge:

Onboarding multiple facilities to our backhaul program to expand the operations of their private fleet (incorporated as an interstate carrier), plus sourcing reliable freight to help them eliminate empty miles.

Results With Coyote:

Our private fleet team helped them convert underutilized assets into revenue generators by expanding their backhaul operations from one lane to a program spanning across multiple distribution centers in their network. Our assistance eased the workload involved in sourcing backhauls for their internal fleet managers and eliminated a vast number of empty miles.

Taking the Lid Off: Growth With Coyote Since 2021 -	7,161 loads moved -	$3.5 million in incremental revenue generated -	1.4 million deadhead miles eliminated -	4.6 million metric tons of CO2 saved

From Shipper to Carrier in the Coyote Network

This disposable container company has been a shipper in our network since 2012. Aware that their private fleet operated as a for-hire carrier for backhaul loads and confident that we could help them expand and optimize their operations, we began a conversation that resulted in a contract with our private fleet team in 2016.

The shipper operates their fleet internally on a hub and spoke model, which means in practice that each U.S. distribution center has its own assets and operators to service each customer that falls within that DC’s regional coverage with little to no overlap between them. Because of this structure, their backhaul program was focused at first on supporting the operations of individual regional segments of the larger fleet.

At this early stage, the fleet was operating as an incorporated for-hire carrier out of just one DC in Kentucky. We helped them tap into our network of 15,000+ shippers to move 37 loads by EOY 2016 into the Kentucky facility as well as one in Illinois.

We continued growing volume with these two hubs into 2018, when they began to place greater internal emphasis on expanding backhaul opportunities for the fleet. When this new business goal emerged, we were ready to jump right in and support their growth.

Breaking Out of the Box: Expanding Operations Smartly and Successfully

The first major step toward growth for the fleet was onboarding more DC hubs into backhaul operations.

In 2018, we helped onboard their Georgia-based drivers into the program, followed by Texas and Southern California in 2020, Pennsylvania in 2022, and Florida, Mississippi and Northern California in 2023.

While this expansion was ongoing, we helped them make three further changes to protect their budget, improve their efficiency and generate incremental revenue.

  1. Secure long-term freight contracts. Contract freight helps this fleet move backhaul freight consistently throughout the year. We’ve leveraged our connections to shippers to help them line up some of these contracts. Currently, 68% of their annual backhaul volume is contracted and is automatically tendered to them through Coyote’s TMS, providing a consistent, reliable revenue stream.
  2. Upgrade their fleet. Because their product — disposable cups, containers and lids — is so light, their fleet initially included a number of single-axle tractors. This severely limited the type and amount of third-party freight they could move. Because of the success we had filling empty miles with their tandem-axle tractors, they’ve started replacing those single-axle vehicles with equipment that is more conducive to the backhaul freight we can provide (and thus better suited for generating incremental, consistent revenue).
  3. Participate in UPS Peak Season. Since 2021, they’ve has been a major participant in UPS Peak, helping reposition more than 1,500 trailers before and after Peak Season and moving power only loads throughout. They bid on UPS Peak freight out of each of their DCs currently.

They also rely on our CoyoteGO digital load board to help them find spot freight throughout the year that fills one-off gaps in their operations.

Today, the fleet is thriving, consisting of 312 power units and 263 drivers, operating out of 10 DCs nationwide.

In 2023 alone, they moved 3,400 backhaul loads with us, generating $1.3 million in incremental revenue and eliminating more than 555,000 empty miles. 

The distance they’ve traveled since 2016 is a testament to their trust in our private fleet experts to help them scale in an intelligent, sustainable way.

Freight for All Seasons: Generating Year-Round Volume & Revenue for a Lawn & Garden Private Fleet

About the Shipper

Based in the Midwest, this multinational producer of lawn care products sells under 25 separate brands in the U.S., plus 4 additional global brands.

Coyote Services They Rely On

Challenges & Results

Their Challenge:

Sourcing steady work to increase driver utilization and expand their private fleet’s value outside of their conventional surge season.

Results With Coyote:

By tapping into opportunities created through our brokerage as well as our relationship with UPS, we’ve effectively helped them fill the gaps in their freight network and kept their private fleet busy during their slow months, generating incremental revenue in the process.

Sowing the Seeds of an Efficient Private Fleet -	810 trailers repositioned for UPS Peak 2022 -	1070% growth in loads moved from 2021-2022 -	97,000 empty miles eliminated since 2021

Learning to Keep Their Fleet From Lying Dormant

As a producer and seller of lawn care products, this business operates in perhaps the most seasonal industry in North American freight.

With growing seasons in the U.S. kicking into gear in the springtime, most of the internal freight they deploy their private fleet of 38 trucks to haul is moved from late Q4 through early Q2.

By around Memorial Day, those internal volumes slow drastically, and the fleet into which they’ve made a significant investment needs additional work to keep their drivers and trucks in motion.

How did we enter the picture? The reputation for excellence we’ve cultivated with carriers over the years planted the seeds and our unique relationship with UPS helped them grow.

Supporting UPS Peak Season While Waiting for Their Own

In 2018, a new member of their team who had previous positive experiences with us while working for another private fleet reached out, confident we would be able to provide them with some off-season hauling opportunities.

We helped them set up a backhaul program and matched them with their first load through our brokerage in 2019, and this productive relationship has only blossomed from there.

The first consistent solution we were able to provide their fleet was repositioning of empty trailers for UPS in the run-up to Peak Season 2019. UPS’s window of need for this service, typically in October and November, matches up perfectly with the deepest lull in the calendar for lawn care businesses in the U.S.

In 2022, their fleet became the single most active private fleet participant in the annual pre-Peak trailer repositioning project, moving 810 empty trailers into position for UPS.

While their team focuses on their internal shipping volumes after Peak Season, they pick up business with us again in the summer. We’ve helped them find:

  • Additional trailer repositioning work.
  • Short-term projects including a drop trailer project for a customer moving warehouses between OH and KY.
  • Full truckload freight and backhaul freight to augment their regular operations.

They rely on both our team of private fleet experts and our technology solutions to find freight for their drivers. Since 2019, they have completed more than 1600 moves (including repositioned trailers and spot TL shipments) with the help of their experienced Coyote reps and CoyoteGO, our digital load board for carriers.

And starting in 2022, they’ve also participated in the My Smart Routes digital route optimization program to help them get consistent freight, revenue and weekly routes for drivers in their fleet. My Smart Routes helps them find the extra level of stability they need to keep their operations smooth — and helps their drivers return home at the end of each week — in what would otherwise be their most inconsistent season.

Eliminate Deadhead Miles & Keep Your Private Fleet Moving

Our dedicated private fleet team is here to help you maximize the value of your assets. We can help you build a backhaul program from the ground up, tap into our shipper network to find freight, optimize routes, set you up with power only or project freight opportunities, and more.

Fill out the form below to set up a conversation about your fleet and get the ball rolling on a custom solution to meet your needs.

Ask Us About Fleet Optimization