You’ve heard of dedicated lanes and they sound like a great deal: guaranteed work without the hassle of going through a load board for every load you want to haul. But how can you get a dedicated lane and what are the benefits?
In this blog, we’ll explore what dedicated lanes are, weigh the pros and cons, and provide you with valuable insights on how to get dedicated lanes for your trucking business.
What is a Dedicated Lane?
A dedicated lane refers to a specific route that a trucking company exclusively operates regularly. In simple terms, it’s an agreement between the carrier and the shipper or broker to transport freight along a predefined route consistently. This arrangement often involves regular shipments to the same locations or between specific origins and destinations.
Pros and Cons of Dedicated Lanes
Dedicated lanes sound great, but let’s weigh the pros and cons:
- Reliable Revenue Stream: Dedicated lanes offer consistent freight volume, ensuring a stable revenue stream for your business.
- Operational Efficiency: By operating on fixed routes, you or your drivers become familiar with the lanes, resulting in improved efficiency and reduced transit times. With a dedicated lane, you get to establish a predictable routine and become familiar with how things work.
- Stronger Relationships: Collaborating with a select group of shippers and brokers allows you to build stronger relationships based on trust, leading to potential long-term partnerships.
- Reduced Deadhead Miles: Dedicated lanes can minimize the number of empty miles your trucks travel, increasing overall profitability.
- Limited Flexibility: Operating on dedicated lanes can restrict your ability to take on additional shipments or explore new markets or geographical areas.
- Dependency on Partners: Relying on a few shippers or brokers for consistent work can pose a risk if they face disruptions or decide to change their transportation strategies.
- Missed Opportunities on the Spot Market: when you haul on dedicated lanes, you can miss out on higher-paying work on the load boards.
How to Get a Dedicated Lane:
Now that we understand the concept and potential advantages and disadvantages of dedicated lanes, let’s explore the steps you can take to secure these lanes for your trucking business.
Legitimize Your Business:
Ensure that your trucking business is fully compliant with all necessary licenses, permits, and insurance requirements. Shippers and brokers prefer working with carriers that meet all regulatory standards.
Collect Contact Information:
Gather contact information from bills of lading or directly from representatives at pickup and delivery locations. Maintain a database of these contacts, as they can be valuable for building relationships and securing dedicated lanes in the future.
Make a Good Impression on Brokers and Shippers:
When interacting with brokers and shippers, presenting yourself as a reliable and professional carrier is important. Don’t just tell them you can be on time, communicate effectively, and deliver loads safely – show them. Provide excellent customer service and go above and beyond to meet their expectations.
Getting Paid Fast
Whether you choose to work with dedicated lanes or operate solely in the spot market, as a small trucking business owner, it’s crucial to receive timely payments to meet your financial obligations. This is where factoring comes in.
At Bobtail, we offer next or same-day payments, a dedicated support team, and no long-term contracts or hidden fees. With Bobtail, you can focus on growing your trucking business while ensuring consistent cash flow to keep up with your expenses.
Remember, securing dedicated lanes can provide stability and increased profitability for your trucking business. By following the steps outlined above and considering the benefits and drawbacks, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your long-term goals.