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Trailer Repositioning: How Moving Equipment With Coyote Can Add Incremental Revenue to Your Network


Are you a carrier with equipment in your network out of alignment?

Maybe you’re coming out of Peak Season and you need to transition from power-only work back to your ordinary year-round hauling. Or maybe you’ve completed a large, dedicated project and you need to move your equipment to where it’s needed next.

Or maybe you’re just looking for a revenue opportunity with steady work that can keep you closer to home and out of the long hauls for a bit.

These are very different scenarios, but they have a common solution: trailer repositioning.

We’re excited to offer a wide variety of trailer repositioning opportunities to interested carriers of all sizes, with all capabilities and all business needs. Learn about them and how they might benefit you below.


What Is Trailer Repositioning?

At its most basic, trailer repositioning is the act of moving trailers from an origin point to a destination point. 

Say a shipper has 100 trailers in Chicago. They need to get those trailers to their Atlanta terminal because they have a deficit there — they don’t have enough trailers to move the orders that will be shipping out of Atlanta.

They need these trailers moved in bulk, but they don’t want to disrupt the operations of their fleet of drivers to do it.

That’s where a third-party logistics provider (3PL) like us steps in.

We help shippers relocate those trailers more efficiently and more cost-effectively than they could do on their own by connecting them to carriers who would benefit from taking part in the move.


What Kinds of Businesses Need Trailers Repositioned?

There are four main types of company who are candidates to need trailer repositioning help.


Companies who transport freight in their own private fleets (or in equipment that they lease) often need trailers moved around before, during or after seasonal surges.

These companies often don’t have the fleet of drivers necessary to distribute trailers in a timely manner to meet their customers’ needs. We can help them move their trailers to their customers via over-the-road or intermodal solutions. 

Shippers also often require assistance moving trailers in bulk during facility relocation projects or when purchasing new trailers to update their fleets to support increases in freight volume.

Equipment Leasing Providers

When these companies have customers terminate their use of equipment, they need a way to get it transported to the next customer. We can step in and have it picked up in a timely, cost-effective manner and minimize dwell time for that equipment at their previous customer’s facility.

Equipment Manufacturers

Producers of trailers generally outsource the driver capacity to move them out of their facilities and on to their customers.


For large asset-based carriers, it often makes more sense to have a third party reposition equipment at the end of a dedicated contract rather than interrupt their operations by trying to execute this big move with their own drivers.


Why Do Carriers Participate in Trailer Repositioning?

First and foremost, trailer repositioning is a source of additional revenue and a way of reducing waste within your network.

If you need to relocate a driver and power unit, your last resort should be to deadhead. It wastes fuel that you’re responsible for paying for, and it wastes the time your driver could be spending hauling revenue-generating freight.

Trailer repositioning is a great way to avoid racking up deadhead miles over a long-distance move without any freight to haul (or a trailer to haul it in).


Is Trailer Repositioning Only a Long-Haul Option?

No — there are many local and short-distance trailer repositioning jobs out there.

Many of these are associated with long-term projects like facility moves. If a shipper owns a fleet of assets and is relocating to a new facility in their current metro area, they’ll need drivers and power units to haul all those trailers across town. Projects like this can be a great way for an owner-operator to make consistent revenue for a period of time while remaining close to home.


How Do I Make Money With Trailer Repositioning?

There are two main revenue models for trailer repositioning work:

Load Out

This is when a shipper who owns or leases an asset allows us to load their trailer with freight from other shippers. The rate shippers pay to book this service is the lower of the two options because transit times are typically longer (the driver will make additional stops to pick up and drop off freight along the route).

Tow Away

Shippers pay a higher rate to have you pick up and haul their trailer empty with no additional stops and with no freight loaded on the trailer. In exchange, they’ll receive direct door-to-door service and a shorter time in transit.


What Kinds of Carriers Work Best for Trailer Repositioning?

All kinds of carriers, from owner-operators to large asset-based providers with fleets in the thousands can participate in trailer repositioning. However, some opportunities are better suited to different kinds of carrier.

If you’re an owner-operator or a carrier with a very small fleet, you might be suited for more local shuttle movements. Once you start getting into long-haul opportunities — particularly those with a high number of assets in play — smaller carriers will struggle to execute them efficiently due to their own capacity and hours of service limitations.

For longer, larger moves, bigger carriers are typically best suited, and they often have their own needs as far as repositioning their drivers and power equipment that can make them a great match for trailer repositioning projects.

Whatever your size, your capabilities and the kind of work you’re looking for, there’s one constant that will make you a great candidate for trailer repositioning: a strong record of daily, clear, open communication.


Why Is Coyote a Great Place to Access Trailer Repositioning Work?

We have a lot of factors working in our favor that make us an outstanding place to access trailer repositioning opportunities.

4 reasons to choose coyote for trailer repositioning

  • Network size — we move more than 10,000 shipments for companies nationwide every day. Our connections mean we’re the first to know when trailer repositioning work becomes available, and we can often find you freight from shippers you might not be able to access on your own.
  • Connections with UPS — especially during Peak Season, our ties to UPS mean that we’re their go-to provider when they need their assets relocated.
  • Load out freight opportunities — the volume of freight we help shippers move means that we’re a good bet to find you a load and help you double your revenue on a load out move.
  • Dedicated team — We have team solely responsible for customers who have equipment that needs to be repositioned. We created this team after being acquired by UPS in 2015 to help reposition their equipment, and over the years we’ve honed our sense of the nuances and special requirements necessary to do this well.


How Do I Find Trailer Repositioning Opportunities Through Coyote?

If you’re already in our network, you have two simple options.

First, you can ask your dedicated carrier rep. They should understand your capabilities, your needs and the lanes you service the best, and they can look for trailer repositioning opportunities in a cadence that should match up with your availability.

Trailer repositioning opportunities are also listed in our digital load board, accessible through the CoyoteGO® digital freight platform. The listings in CoyoteGO include details such as whether it’s a load out or tow away opportunity.

Not a member of our carrier network yet? You can join today!


Reach Out Today for Your Next Trailer Repositioning Opportunity

There’s no reason not to explore the trailer repositioning options we connect carriers to every day. whether you’re looking for local, regional or long-haul work, we have projects both large and small that can get you steady work for up to months at a time.

Want the quickest access possible to trailer repositioning opportunities? Sign up for CoyoteGO today and start browsing our digital load board.

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