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Fuel for Thought

It's Coming Soon

By Greg Huggins
Posted Jul 2nd 2018 8:25AM

Hardly a day goes by on the road that I don’t run into someone asking about expediting. The most common questions are:

“Do you get many miles?”

“You gotta run team in that kind of truck?”

“You make any money in one those little trucks?”

“What do you haul in something like that?”

 

When I was looking to get into the expediting side of trucking, I did a lot of research. A lot. And then some more. When you ask some ol’ timers of expediting, they would very often tell you “Expediting is like the ambulance service for freight”. For the most part that is true, but there are many different ways to utilize an expedite truck, or as some will say a bobtail, a bob-truck, a short truck, a box truck and from at least one tractor trailer owner operator, a mini-me truck! (to whom I replied,”You can call my truck a Mini-me, but Maximum Service is what the customer receives”.) Just like truckload drivers, expediting has many different options to suit your style. While most expediters will run very time sensitive freight, others will run a more specialized operation, like AA&E or DoD freight. Then there are those who haul show freight, some will haul strictly auto parts, while still others might haul pharmaceuticals and still others will focus on hazardous materials or electronics, and this is just a partial list. Any of these, or all of these can be time sensitive, as each will have deadlines for delivery, but not all expedite loads are straight through trips where you load, drive non-stop (except for required breaks) and deliver. Each expediter has to find what suits them best. I quickly found that auto parts were not my favorite loads. I also found that there are many different commodities that I do like to haul.

As for the questions:

“Do you get many miles?” I believe that is the wrong question. I would be happy with zero miles if I were paid enough to sit still. Miles equal expenses, a lot of miles are useless if the rate is too low, conversely, fewer miles at a high rate per mile will cost you less. Would you prefer $3 per mile or $10 per mile? At $3 per mile you get 3000 miles per week, but at $10 per mile you only get 900. Which would you prefer?

“You gotta run team in that kind of truck?” Nope. That is a common misconception. Many expedite trucks are run by team drivers, but it is not solely for teams. There are many solo expediters out here, of which, I am one. Teams are preferred or required for many loads, but there is also plenty of opportunity for a solo.

“You make any money in one those little trucks?” You might. You might not. It mostly depends on the operator, their carrier, the vehicle, the motivation and the ability to adapt.

“What do you haul in something like that?” My first response is usually “What do need hauled? If it fits, it ships.” As stated above, there are many different load options available for expediters.

I prefer loads where I can be a part of the process of safely loading and securing my customer’s freight, as well as assist when it is time to unload, but not all expediters want to or do assist with loading or unloading.

If you are considering getting into expediting, now is a great time to continue your research. The Expedite Expo in Lexington, Ky is just around the corner. Make plans to attend on July 20 & 21 and gain a wealth of insight into this industry to see if it is right for you. For more info on the Expedite Expo visit 18th Annual Expedite Expo July 20 & 21, 2018 .

 

See you down the road,

Greg

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