Power Only Shipping

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Power Only Shipping Services

Power only trucking is used when the shipper owns the trailer that needs to be transported but does not have any trucks available to haul it. In power only shipping, the truck and driver are hired to transport the trailer/freight. Power only is used mostly for local runs so that the driver ends up near their home base.

Benefits of Power Only Shipping


With power only you have an extra degree of control since you own the trailer that is being transported. Also, similar to drop trailers, you don’t have to get to the trailer immediately, you can wait if you need to.

Cost Saving

Hiring a truck driver and buying a tractor can be pretty pricey, especially if you would only need them for 2 months out of the year. By using power only shipping, you are able to rent out these additional services when you need them.

Avoid Fees

As mentioned before, the driver simply has to drop off the trailer and they can leave. That means they won’t be stuck around waiting and racking up a huge detention fee.

Price Affecting Factors of Power Only Shipping

Power only shipping has some unique factors that will end up affecting the price. It is important that you know these so that you can plan accordingly and make the most of your transportation budget. Additionally, you can partner with a third-party logistics company that will be able to help you with any problem.

  • Deadhead distance – Deadhead in shipping is when the truck driver is driving without any load or fright attached. So, in power only it is how long the driver must travel in order to get to the pickup point and what kind of market they up delivering the trailer in, as a driver it’s better to be in a major hub looking for a load than the middle of nowhere.
  • Weight and size – These are the big two factors that will impact how much your shipment costs. Weight impacts fuel usage by the truck which is obviously a big factor when determining the price of shipping.

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Information Needed for a Power Only Quote

Pick up and drop off locations are important in all shipping but power only freight companies need this information to determine the deadhead. Deadhead refers to the distance the driver will have to travel in order to get to the shipment. Additionally, the type of trailer/equipment plays a role in the final quote, especially if it’s some kind of specialty trailer.  Lastly, the weight, commodity, and dimensions are needed to provide an accurate quote.

Power Only Shipping truck in sun

Specialty Power Only Services

  • Over-dimensional – There is a lot of over-dimensional freight that is best suited for power only shipping, for example, large construction equipment that needs to go from one construction site to another.
  • Hazardous – Shipping hazardous material is available via power only. As long as the driver is trained to carry hazardous material and all of the effective processes and compliance rules are understood then the freight is good to be shipped.

Tips for Power Only Shipping

Power only is great for moving trailers within a company’s own fleet, especially during times of surge freight.  So if you have a busy time coming up try to schedule with a power only freight company ahead of time in order to get the best rates. Additionally, you want to ensure that there is a good line of communication.  The trailers are usually just being dropped off and left there so you want to ensure that the driver knows where the trailer needs to be.

Power Only FAQs

  • Should I hire numerous drivers to move all of my trailers at once?
    This will usually end up being more expensive than just hiring one driver to go back and forth (depending on the deadhead distance). If it is a short run then it’s better to just hire out 1 driver for the day to go back and forth.
  • Is Power only shipping always cheaper?
    It is not, even though you own the trailer power only shipping can be more expensive than shipping a dry van for the same distance. This mostly comes down to the fact that the driver is going to have to drive for some amount of distance without freight.

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