Most types of trucking trailers have an often over-looked and under used function: storage. The only problem is that you’ll be hard pressed to find a trucking company that will leave its dry-vans with you idle without charging you for what those “containers” could be making out there on the road. A growing trend that addresses this issue for shippers and haulers is the concept of “Power-Only” shipping.
Power-only shipping is a trucking industry term for using an independent driver’s or a logistics company’s tractor to move your trailer that you have either purchased or leased. Since most logistic companies operate as much as three times the trailers as tractors, they may also resort to using power-only shipping if they become overburdened with work. In any case, it’s a great way to extend the efficiency of your existing logistical assets.
There are also some types of trailers that are designed to remain in one place for a long time. If you own or plan to own any of these, power-only shipping may be your best option for your inevitable transportation needs. Consider trailers designed for:
- job sites, both for offices and equipment storage,
- heavy equipment that is occasionally moved,
- hosting modifications to run specialized equipment,
- exhibits and promotions,
- or disaster relief or mobile operation centers.
Each of these situations feature scenarios where having a trailer full time is necessary, but running a tractor is neither necessary nor cost effective. The cost of staffing a driver alone would be excessive without even mentioning the cost to purchase and maintain a tractor. Power-only shipping is instead, considered a rather thrifty option for someone who requires it. The market is large and competitive; there are many drivers willing to take on a power-only haul when if they have no other work at the time. There are also many power-only haulers who operate solely in this market, and possess specially fitted tractors that are capable of hauling nearly any type of trailer.
The most important factor of power-only shipping is communication with the hauler. It is crucial that the hauler knows precisely where to pick up and drop off your trailer. Scheduling and timing may also be very important. Make sure your trailer is packed and in a moveable state at your agreed-upon pickup time. This is especially significant if you’re working under a tight schedule with little room for delay.
Power-only shipping should also be considered for moving tractors in certain situations. A common example is when you need to move a tractor of your own from place to place, but don’t have a driver available for the job. Many tractors are capable of hauling several other tractors at a time.
A great deal of international shipping can also be performed in this manner. A power only hauler with a license for his own country may deliver a trailer to his borders, where the driver from the neighboring country will pick it up and deliver it to its destination.