Mastering Supply Chain Agility Requires Multiple Options

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Mastering Supply Chain Agility Requires Multiple Options

The supply chain is increasingly complex and demanding, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for moving freight. In today’s demanding freight environment, shippers are turning to a range of solutions to get the efficiency and agility they need at the optimal price point. Third-party solutions can complement shippers’ in-house capabilities or even other providers if companies source multiple partners.

Utilizing a custom mix of transportation solutions allows shippers to get the service levels and operational benefits they require and can enable shippers to flex to meet shifts in their supply chain needs. Options that can be integrated into a broader portfolio of supply chain services include:

An Owned or Leased Fleet

Some shippers opt to manage and operate their own fleet of trucks. According to the National Private Truck Council (NPTC), the primary reason companies report operating a private fleet is to provide high levels of customer service they can’t get on the open market. Operating a private fleet guarantees availability, operational control and capacity. Among private fleets, 51% of the Class 8 vehicle population is leased while 49% is owned, NPTC reported. Private fleets are also turning to rentals to supplement their equipment needs, with 32% of private fleet respondents in the latest NPTC benchmarking report saying they are utilizing rentals.

As part of its services, Penske can evaluate a shipper’s overall network to determine if there are lanes where running a private fleet is more advantageous than outsourcing to an outside provider and vice versa.

Dedicated Contract Carriage

While there are several benefits to operating a private fleet, NPTC’s latest benchmarking survey noted several challenges private fleets face, including driver shortage, maintenance-related issues and inflation.

Some companies are turning to dedicated contract carriage (DCC), which dedicates for-hire trucking capacity exclusively to one shipper. DCC provides the same fixed capacity and control as a private fleet, but shippers fully outsource the operation and management of their fleet to a third-party logistics provider (3PL) or lead logistics provider (LLP). Companies might choose DCC for all their needs or utilize it in some parts of their business while managing their own fleet or using other solutions in others.

Penske’s DCC guarantees capacity and handles recruiting and training drivers to meet the shippers’ specific needs, so shippers can avoid the day-to-day management of drivers or vehicles while still getting the customer service they need.


Freight brokers can serve as strategic partners for shippers and carriers, matching available capacity with freight needs. The majority of trucking companies in the United States operate six trucks or fewer, and smaller carriers provide critical capacity within the trucking industry. Brokers connect shippers with a broad base of carriers and their network is larger than asset-based providers. Tapping into all available carriers is especially important when trucking capacity is tight, or shippers need to flex due to planned or unplanned surges.

There is no minimum amount of freight shippers must have to use Penske’s freight brokerage solutions. Penske utilizes a thorough vetting process for shippers and carriers to ensure both are quality partners, and carriers all have insurance and active operating authority.

Freight Management

Freight management — the process of efficiently and strategically moving freight across a network — offers overall strategic network management with a 3PL or LLP coordinating various modes of transportation, intermediaries and technologies to move freight efficiently and cost-effectively. Freight managers ship cargo by air, rail, road, and water or use a combination of modes to provide optimal solutions.

Penske freight management solutions provide visibility and control over the entire freight management process, including tactical planning and procurement, which creates the most efficient routes to move product, maximizes carriers’ efficiency, and increases reliability and visibility.

By leveraging a full portfolio of transportation solutions as part of a freight management offering, Penske also evaluates mode selection, backhaul opportunities, and consolidation prospects to create a customized solution and capitalize on cost savings, cost avoidance and cost mitigation.

Contact Us

As one of the top-ranked 3PLs and one of the industry’s original LLPs, Penske’s team draws upon over 50 years of experience helping market-leading shippers succeed with safe, on-time and efficient deliveries. To learn more about how we can help you meet your supply chain needs, contact us at 1-844-847-9518.

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