The transportation and logistics industry is highly competitive and remarkably complex. It’s a bit like a big puzzle where the pieces are constantly moving around the board.
Every day last year, more than 50 million tons of freight was moved along North America’s highways and interstates by more than 3.6 million trucks.
A system so complex can, from time to time, become inefficient—the pieces don’t fit together (i.e. truck options don’t match shipping needs), time and money is wasted. That, of course, is a problem for businesses that are under enormous pressure to be more efficient with their supply chain and cut costs. This is where Fuel comes in.
As a freight-broker, Fuel helps shippers find the trucks they need when they need them at the rates they want to pay. Unlike most brokers, which act solely as intermediaries between trucking firms and shippers, Fuel also owns its own fleet, giving it an extra option when looking for the best solution for a client.
However, owning our own trucks also ensures we share the perspective of those on the other side of the shipping equation: carriers. The system works best when our clients and carrier partners feel they are being treated fairly and getting the best possible deal. By owning our own fleet, we understand the realities of being a carrier and how we can add value to their business just as much as our clients.
But what really sets Fuel apart from everyone else is a unique vision for how logistics can be done, a more sustainable and efficient system that leads to real bottom-line benefits for its clients.
Fuel wants to forge long-term, strategic partnerships with its clients, to reduce empty miles by finding synergies in the system that have a meaningful, positive impact on the bottom line.
“Usually when someone is looking for a logistics partner they want to know about capacity, pricing and if we have the equipment to meet their needs,” says Peter Perrella, Fuel’s director of operations. Most of the time Fuel can match or beat its competitors on each criterion. “But for us, the real goal is not just to win your business, it’s to help change it for the better—to find ways to be more efficient and save you money,” he says.
It could be anything from ways to improve inventory management, reduce detention charges or ship fewer partial loads without in any way impeding the core processes of the business.
But the big break-through comes as the client is more deeply integrated into Fuel’s expanding network and new synergies are identified between the needs of different shippers. Fuel’s vision is to create a network of clients and carriers that can mesh together, with the lanes of one client complementing the lanes of another. When the destination for one load is the starting point for the other, empty miles are reduced and the timing for pickups and deliveries is more precise.
Fuel is building that network in three ways: first, through a large and growing pool of trusted and reliable carriers; second with more long-term clients with as many lanes as possible (more lanes means more possibilities to fit the puzzle pieces together); and third an exceptional operations team who can skillfully move those pieces around the board.
“We want to be a strategic difference maker for your business,” says Perrella. “Shipping and logistics can be incredibly complex, but when you give us a chance to move some freight, to learn your business and how you do things, we will find ways to improve your supply chain. It’s as simple as that.”