CarrierFleetXchange debuts to for-hire motor carriers

Aug. 1, 2002
For-hire motor carriers now have the potential to boost their buying power regardless of actual fleet size. AmeriQuest Transportation and Logistics Resources

For-hire motor carriers now have the potential to boost their buying power regardless of actual fleet size. AmeriQuest Transportation and Logistics Resources Corp has extended its e-commerce procurement portals to serve for-hire fleets with the debut of CarrierFleetXchange, the third of its procurement services. The other two procurement sites are FoodFleetXchange, which operates in partnership with the Food Distributors International association of wholesale grocers, supermarket chains, and foodservice distributors, and FleetXchange.

The new service provides procurement, education, and management research to for-hire carriers. Based on the performance of its two sister services, CarrierFleetXchange projects purchasing savings of 10% to 25%, depending on the products. In total, the three services represent the purchasing power of a fleet with 750,000 tractors.

AmeriQuest Transportation and Logistics Resources is a privately owned service company for fleet management. It arranges preferred pricing with a wide range of suppliers. It is the exclusive purchasing provider to Amtralease, FoodFleetXchange (which was launched in 2001 in cooperation with FDI, the National Grocers Association, the American Wholesale Marketers Association, and the Food Marketing Institute), and now CarrierFleetXchange. Partners in the AmeriQuest procurement programs include Allison Transmission, Bandag, Citgo, Continental General Tire, Cummins, Fleetguard, Freightliner Trucks, GMC, Imperial, Morgan Corporation, Sterling Truck Corporation, and Yale Lift Trucks.

These exchanges offer a patented service to enhance purchasing power for efficient competition by large and small fleets. Registered users of AmeriQuest services now include operators of 15% to 20% of all trucks and trailers in the country. The programs allow fleets to buy major brands of tires, lubricants, batteries, brakes, engines, transmissions, tools, truck bodies, shop tools, lift trucks, and other products at negotiated competitive prices. Total volume of AmeriQuest users raises the buying power of individual fleets to that previously available only to the very largest companies. In addition, the programs provide interactive Internet forums for review of products and for product support information from vendors. The AmeriQuest web site solicits independent reviews of products and buying programs. Reviewers are paid for their reviews.

AmeriQuest filed the application for its patented collective business system in May 1999 and received approval for the patent in November 2001. According to the application, the collective business system is not an association, buying service, or franchise. Instead, it is a group of participants who may or may not be shareholders in the company. Prior to receiving patent approval, the system had been in operation for three years among independent truck leasing companies.

A number of purchasing sites developed during the Internet bubble, most disappearing almost as soon as they were announced. Many suffered from a lack of support from vendors, some of whom actively discouraged their use by fleets. AmeriQuest, founded and managed by a board of directors with experience in trucking, truck leasing, and truck equipment sales, has built its services by forming partnerships with vendors and with industry associations to ensure its success. For example, FoodFleetXchange has been in operation for almost a year with solid support from wholesale food distributors.

Users of AmeriQuest services continue to purchase from their existing suppliers, maintaining business relationships that have taken years to build. Ordering and fulfillment stays the same. Fleets with multiple locations can continue their centralized purchasing programs with delivery to satellite operations. Credit and payments are handled on the Internet with the AmeriQuest e-commerce system for automated accounting with little or no paperwork, eliminating unnecessary back office activity and putting all procurement information on a secure, password-protected web site in real time for managers to review. The system provides purchase history and tracking. Use of the purchasing programs does not commit users to specific purchase volume or order sizes. All information remains confidential. AmeriQuest does not sell purchasing histories or other information to third parties.

James Webster, a familiar presence at Truckload Carriers and Refrigerated Division meetings, is vice-president of sales and responsible for AmeriQuest business development for for-hire carriers. For more information on AmeriQuest services, CarrierFleetXchange, FoodFleetXchange, or FleetXchange, visit www.ameriquestcorp.com.

About the Author

Gary Macklin

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