Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services announced Monday (May 6) it will offer a new trailer pool and drop-and-hook service for businesses and carriers starting this summer. The new service, J.B. Hunt 360box, will allow businesses to reserve from a pool of 500 new 53-foot-long trailers for drop trailer purposes, and the company plans to increase the number of available trailers as market demand rises.
Carriers will make offers to transport the trailers using Carrier 360 by J.B. Hunt, the company’s digital freight matching platform. The new service is expected to increase efficiencies in the transportation network across North America, according to a news release.
“360box adds capacity to a customer’s supply chain while moving more freight in a way that’s efficient for both the customer and the carrier,” said John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt. “Usually only large carriers with available resources can provide this type of drop-trailer service. By using our trailers, however, shippers with consistent freight can now connect with the power of small carriers and owner-operators, which together represent 83% of all drivers.”
The new service will eliminate the immediate need to unload and load trailers and reduce productivity losses that can happen during delivery such as the waiting time at docks, the release shows. Drivers can drop off the trailer in a designated area and go on to their next load. The service also will allow shippers flexibility with their freight management and increase capacity to their supply chain. For carriers, 360box will reduce the cost to maintain trailers and increases driver productivity.
“As much as one-third of a driver’s day includes idle time and empty miles,” said Shelley Simpson, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for J.B. Hunt. “When considering there are 3.5 million drivers, that’s a lot of waste. 360box is designed to transform that inefficiency into productivity, keeping drivers on the move with full trailers.”
360box trailers will be equipped with technology that provides end-to-end load tracking. The company completed the installation of tracking technology on all the company’s more than 100,000 trailers and containers in 2018.