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Load Out vs. Tow Away Trailers & Digitizing the Load-Out Process

What happens when you need to relocate one of your trailers? You might need to solve this problem if you buy a new trailer from a manufacturer several states away or if you have a trailer abandoned at a loading dock. There are two main ways to manage relocation without using your own tractors and driver time: load out or tow away.

This article will cover the basics so you can understand load-out and tow-away solutions to help move your assets. Plus, learn about how modern technology is re-engineering this process with an organized and streamlined marketplace solution through vHub.

What is a Tow-Away Trailer?

If you need to move your trailer, you probably already thought about the tow away process — even if you didn’t know that’s what it was called. You can hire a tow-away company to move your trailer for a set price per mile.

The upside is that tow-aways are a reasonably simple transaction; you agree with the tow-away company on a timeline, and the job is done based on the quote they give. You will also get your trailer as soon as possible since nothing was loaded on it.

The problem is that this method is also more expensive. The company is only getting paid for their trip to bring you the trailer, so their price has to consider empty miles and the lack of cargo.

What is a Load-Out Trailer?

A load out is when the company that agrees to move your trailer loads it with goods for the move. In a load out, the company moving your asset will still get paid per mile and have a return timeline, but the agreement includes the understanding that they can use the trailer during the trip.

The upside is that this is a much cheaper option for you. You might pay the mover one-third or even one-fourth of the typical tow-away price with a load out. The company is more motivated to take the job; it’s also getting paid for the cargo it is transporting with your trailer along the way. It is a more sustainable solution that creates fewer emissions by reducing empty miles.

The problem is that many companies don’t want to deal with the complexity of finding a load-out company or the possibility of their trailer not arriving on time. vHub helps solve this issue by providing a marketplace that organizes and enforces the load-out process. Digitizing load-outs makes finding efficient routes easier, managing damage claims, protecting timeline agreements, and more.

What is the Load Out Process?

There are a lot of moving parts to the load-out process. If you have to manage these pieces by yourself, it may not seem worth the discounted move.

  • The Old Way: Brokers, carriers, and owner-operators might have an empty or partially empty trailer to move. They can typically find load-out jobs on load boards. When they find a job that aligns with their route, they can take it on. However, if the trailer is damaged along the way or returned late, the asset owner has a huge headache to deal with.
  • The New Way: With vHub in place, power-only operators can look at available trailers listed for relocation or load-outs to find the ones that align with jobs on the load board. Our technology helps match the best trailers to their timeline and delivery route. We require verified users and uploaded proof of insurance. After getting the asset, they can take pictures of the condition (noting any pre-existing damage) and are held to the timeline they agreed on — facing fines if they don’t get the trailer back in time. Both parties save time and energy on the load-out process, making it a much more efficient solution.

Sometimes, a company will have idle assets that aren’t bringing in any profits. Listing those trailers as load-outs or rentals makes it possible to earn money from companies with excess power and wanting a temporary capacity increase.

Who Benefits from Digitizing Trailer Load Outs?

By design, vHub supports both sides of the load-out process. Logistics companies of all kinds and sizes can benefit from digitizing load-out trailer agreements.

  • Asset-based carriers and fleet managers can create load-out trailer pools to increase profitability with higher asset utilization or reduced relocation costs.
  • Brokers and logistics service providers find capacity for their shipper customers at a better rate per mile by loading goods into a nearby trailer that needs relocation with a similar destination.
  • Carriers, drivers, and owner-operators increase profit margins with higher asset utilization if they have extra trailers on hand they list as available rentals. Or they can get a higher cost per mile when they choose to turn a relocation job into a load out.
  • Shippers find more capacity at a better cost per mile than the spot market, making it possible for them to manage their own shipping lanes and keep loading docks clear.
  • Enterprise carriers can improve your operating ratios by connecting drivers to available trailers or posting relocation jobs.
  • Enterprise shippers and brokers can form their own rental companies or load out the marketplace with white-label solutions. Maximize trailers rented out by exposing them to carriers, shippers, and logistics service providers.

What Makes Load Out So Valuable to the Trucking Industry?

Finding cost-effective and sustainable solutions for moving or utilizing your assets makes sense. It is undoubtedly easier to tow an empty van or reefer from point A to point B, but it isn’t very efficient. Tow-aways waste fuel and increase carbon emissions by increasing the trips taken to move assets and goods. Rising pressure on the industry to reduce the carbon footprint makes load-outs an increasingly popular option.

The savings alone motivate many logistics companies to consider a load-out marketplace: load-outs increase lane and pricing flexibility. There are advantages for every logistics player, so it’s time to invest time in understanding the load-out marketplace.

Getting onto the boards now means participating in cutting-edge technology and getting a leg up on the competition. Logistics players are slowly seeing the light with a modern solution for rentals and load-outs. Learning the technology and process now helps you stay ahead of the curve.

Carriers, Fleets, or RentalCos can easily integrate their trailers into the vHub platform. vHub created Badger and Interlock features to digitize the load-out process, ensuring asset utilization at scale and helping you manage agreements.

How to Digitize Load Outs or Tow Aways?

We are in a new age where everything is moving towards digitization. Automating billing, organizing paperwork, and streamlining agreements are just a few benefits technology brings to the load-out process.

You can sign up for a FREE vHub account to explore our live 360° maps and look at trailer listings available for load-outs. You could also choose to list your own assets—they won’t go live until you set the availability.

Getting started with vHub is easy. We take the hassle and headache out of the load-out process, making coordinating with other logistics providers easier. Start your free account today!

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