Wabash has announced it is partnering with Phoenix-based freight brokerage FreightVana to support the trailer manufacturer’s new trailers-as-as-service (TaaS) platform with the brokerage’s power-only offering.
Historically, Wabash has focused its business on semi-trailer manufacturing, although recently, the company has rebranded itself with its One Wabash campaign, showcasing the manufacturers interest in expanding into other product offerings including last-mile transportation products, a parts and services network and technology-driven product development.
Under the new partnership, Wabash will supply FreightVana with its TaaS platform to power the brokerage’s strategic service offering, providing customers with trailer pool services under its power-only offering known as FreightVana X. With these offerings, shippers are able to reduce their daily number of live loads, making shippers operations more flexible overtime.
In recent earnings calls, Brent Yeagy, Wabash president and chief executive officer, has noted the emergence of trailer pools and power-only offerings among logistics providers and the trailer manufacturer’s ability to provide the assets behind these emerging models.
Wabash is now building its TaaS platform to fit the needs of these power-only offerings to “deliver value differently than just a traditional OEM sale.”
“The trailer is a significant part of creating an efficient digital brokerage,” Yeagy said. “We see TaaS as something more than leasing, something more than rental. We see it as a way we can create custom solutions for different digital partners as they try to maximize their business.”
According to Yeagy, TaaS will not be a static platform, instead it will be designed to fit the needs of each of its power-only partners, including the trailer types offered to the type of insurance provided with the trailer.
Yeagy believes these services will become a significant revenue driver for Wabash as well.
“If you were to combine the [Wabash] trailers that are going into some type of trailer pool [within] some type of digital enablement that makes up somewhere between 10 to 15% of our revenue today,” he said. “We picture it going up another 3 to 5% in 2023 and another 5% in 2024. … That brings value to Wabash and our shareholders.”
Choosing FreightVana to be the manufacturer partner in its new TaaS offering came down to aligned ideals on the future of logistics and the transportation industry.
“This is a collaborative effort, meaning we are not trying to take advantage of the OEM and the OEM isn’t trying to take advantage of our work. This is a transparent relationship we think can add value to supply chains,” said FreightVana co-founder and co-CEO Shannon Breen.
Yeagy agreed, saying, “Now the OEM and broker are aligned in what we are both are trying to do. We are both trying to understand the imbalances in the market. We are both trying to make sure that the shipper gets their goods moved from point A to point B in the most efficient way. There is enough economic surplus that the driver can make a living as well.”
Together with FreightVana, Yeagy sees Wabash being able to leverage the company’s innovation and insight into the future of logistics to position itself as a leader in providing the assets, and the technology for securing those assets, as the trailer pool market grows.
“We have restructured this company in the last two years. We have rebranded it and we have recapitalized it. We are deploying capital at four times the rate that we were over the last 15 years on an annual basis,” Yeagy said. “We are purposely constructing a world where our customer centricity is so far above the norm. Now we can trust that we can do things on a bet that others just can’t follow. And if they do, it will just be a copy but it won’t be the same.”
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