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Third-party logistics firms woo owner-operators

As truck capacity continues to tighten across the industry, many third party logistics firms are showing renewed interest in bringing owner-operators on as contract carriers. “We’re dealing with a capacity issue – the U.S. economy is starting to come back, there’s more freight available, so we definitely want to work more with them,” Russ Dixon, spokesman for 3PL Vexure Inc., said. “We have 12,000 carriers contracted with us, and they can have anywhere from one truck to 500. As long as they have the critical ingredients – proper operating authority, insurance, and a good safety record – we’ll definitely work with one-truck operators. That’s fine with us,” he said. Dixon noted that owner-operators that show good customer service qualities and take the initiative in calling the 3PL offering their capacity, instead of forcing the 3PL to hunt them down, are the ones most likely to do well in getting a 3PL’s business. “If we don’t have to spend a whole lot of time looking for that one truck serving a particular area, and if we know that operator is trustworthy and will be on time for our customer, they’re going to get our business,” he said.

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