There have been some interesting developments in the area of private fleet and for-hire carrier operations over the past few years. We have seen a significant increase in customer interest in solutions that integrate the planning and execution functions of shipments.

Previously, most private fleet operating businesses we had talked to viewed the fleet as a separately managed entity that was typically focused on outbound distribution. In some cases, the fleet would have static backhauls for inbound goods. For-hire carriers were typically managed by a different team.

Combining Private Fleet and For-Hire = The State of Being United

The details of how to plan and execute across private fleet and for-hire operations is complex and requires the combined capabilities of a fully-featured route planning and dispatch solution and a transportation management system. These traditionally distinct systems must also be combined in a way that provides excellent usability, flexible business processes, and the ability to address the ebbs and flows between order management systems, carriers and fleets.

Descartes has developed strong fleet management and transportation management software in anticipation of a growing customer need to integrate these functions. While most customers used to treat the domains as separate challenges, Descartes understood that the time would soon arrive when that balance would shift to uniting private fleet and for-hire planning and execution.

During our development process, we designed the Descartes Route Planner™, Descartes Dispatch™ and Descartes Transportation Manager™ solutions that all share the same technology platform. This approach enables them to be deployed together and accessed via a single sign-on and an integrated navigation plan. Our solutions support workflows that allow freight to be analyzed against both private fleet and for-hire functions at the same time. Business rules are also incorporated that allow operators to override standard cost metrics to define how and when a private fleet option must be used. Our platform also supports the movement of freight back and forth across the private fleet and for-hire options as daily plans evolve.