- J.B. Hunt will launch a trailer pool and drop-and-hook service this summer called 360box, the company announced in a press release this week. Carriers will be able to access the loads placed on 360box using J.B Hunt's existing Carrier 360 application, the company said.
- "Usually only large carriers with available resources can provide this type of drop-trailer service," J.B. Hunt CEO John Roberts said in a statement. "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."
- 360box makes 500 trailers available to rent for drop-and-hook purposes. These trailers will be outfitted with technology for tracking and monitoring loads, the company said.
Drop-and-hook shipments tend to create more efficient supply chains. Carriers don't have to wait around for the trailer to be loaded as they do with live shipments, which can take up to three hours to load.
As Roberts pointed out in his statement, drop shipments have largely been an area reserved for carriers with more capital. That's because the traditional model for drop-and-hook requires the carrier to own the trailer, Michael Zimmerman, a partner at A.T. Kearney, told Supply Chain Dive when Convoy introduced it's drop-and-hook service.
"In order to be drop-and-hook, you have to have at least two trailers: one on your truck and one someplace else," Zimmerman said.
Shippers with less predictable production schedules might prefer drop-and-ship as they can have trailers waiting in their yard, move them to the dock when they're ready and move it back to the yard to await the carrier. With live loads, the shippers can risk making the carrier wait around, Zimmerman explained.
J.B Hunt is entering a drop-and-hook field that already includes Convoy Go and Uber Freight's Powerloop. While J.B. Hunt may be entering the field a little later, as a legacy freight company it has more in the way of resources. According to Transport Topics, it is the fourth largest carrier by revenue with an existing fleet that includes thousands of tractors and trailers.