Dayton Freight Lines, lauded for being a union-free Less Than Truckload (LTL) carrier, is perhaps the most competitively priced (and most efficient) carrier due to its experience and availability. Based in Dayton, OH, the regional carrier has grown from its short-distance roots into a logistical dream come true, offering 1 day transit times within a thirteen-state area, and two-four day transit across the United States.
In an industry saturated with logistics companies vying for business, Dayton Freight Lines stands above all in many aspects, including available hubs and driver vetting.
About Dayton Freight Lines
Founded in 1981 as a union-free LTL carrier, Dayton Freight Lines delivers where many carriers fail in areas like accurate documentation, implementation of technology that allows greater transparency in on-board activities, and creating an environment where drivers have unlimited earnings opportunities throughout its core 13-state service area.
Perhaps one component of Dayton Freight Lines often overlooked yet highly important in logistics is their ability to minimize claims on delivery. Currently, a minuscule .45% of all deliveries to date have arrived in poor condition, meaning 99.55% of deliveries are claims-free. The care each LTL shipment is given, coupled with driver skill, continue to improve upon this statistic.
Because this company is privately held, no stockholder influence or shareholder control exists. The company prides itself in self-sustained success and affordable rates that’s grown their fleet to over 3100 trailers and 1300 tractors.
The company, which opened its Memphis terminal for deeper collaboration with Southeastern Freight Lines in 2016, purchased a 25-acre plot in January 2017 according to Bloomberg. The purpose of this acquisition is unknown.
Service that speaks for itself
Much like UPS and FedEx, on-time deliveries mean everything to Dayton Freight Lines. Imagine if only 95% of historic shipments were delivered on schedule – pretty remarkable, right? Well, the LTL carrier trumps the norm by providing a 98.6% on-time delivery rate. This stems from its .12% per million miles DOT accident ratio.
Pouring resources and money back into their employees, Dayton continually improves safety by educating its drivers and dock workers on protocol and principles of accurate product handling. By offering Million Mile Club benefits, incentivized safety programs, recognition for flawless DOT inspections and on-site safety representatives who act as driver liaisons, the company foresees their service record continually improving.
As Dayton Freight Lines continues to expand operations across the Midwest and strike strategic alliances with other lesser known carriers to service out-of-network customers, education and employee loyalty will remain their central focus. It’s the Dayton Difference.
Investing in loyalty
Ask any trucking company, and they’ll agree: hiring drivers is expensive. From paid training to the ever-important learning curve, it takes strategically planned education and recruitment to vet drivers who intend on calling trucking their career. Driving, in and of itself, takes an inherited appreciation and dedication one cannot train; these are traits recruiters of Dayton Freight Lines look for.
From their first day in class, drivers are educated on roadways and their intricacies beyond normal passenger car usage. Understanding various road conditions, speed fluctuations, how weather can affect eighteen wheelers and understanding proper passing etiquette are just some components of classroom education Dayton drivers undertake before stepping foot inside company trucks.
The company utilizes student fairs, workshops, and traditional advertising to locate potential career-minded driver candidates. Sponsoring many local and national school activities, Dayton Freight Lines is about as community-minded as you’ll find in this industry. Because future success relies on present-day efforts, there’s no limit to what this company will do to protect veteran drivers and educate new ones. In fact, even dockworkers can climb the company ladder thanks to their Dock-to-Driver program.
How Dayton Freight Lines fares vs. competition
Less than truckload rates are calculated using ten specific components:
- Distance between pickup and delivery
- Base rates (established by company)
- Weight of freight
- Density of shipment
- Freight classification (as determined by NMFC)
- FAK, or freight all kinds, which generally involves a prearrangement
- Accessory services needed (liftgate, limited access points, inside deliveries, etc.)
- Discounts which were negotiated during quotation
- LTL tariffs
- Minimum charges (established by company)
Based off our findings, the rates charged by Dayton Freight Lines fall directly down the middle. Larger carriers who traditionally earn higher revenues due to multichannel deliveries (UPS, FedEx) came in cheaper while smaller companies (CH Robinson, Estes) came in slightly higher.
Offering guaranteed services between 20% – 35% of the freight bill ($75 minimum), an internal logistics company (Kelley Logistics) and IT integration make Dayton slightly more appealing to companies located within close proximity to the Ohio carrier.
Safety-wise, Dayton comes in higher than many companies with more than 1000 trucks on the road. Driver retention is rather high, too, owing to exhaustive education and higher than average driver pay.
Will Dayton Freight Lines go autonomous?
Like any other aspect of life, the success of LTL companies largely depends on how adaptively they approach technology. Considering the tremendous competition that trucking companies deal with daily, imagine the introduction of autonomous vehicles as an income drive to gain an edge over competing LTL carriers.
That reality is coming. Quickly.
Autonomous vehicles are beginning to knock on necessity’s door, and with every passing year, we revisit something similar: will futuristic vehicles hinder the need for LTL services, or is there massive growth potential here? According to insurance companies and auto parts supplier, this up-and-coming threat to their revenues is real – yet the benefits LTL carriers like Dayton Freight Lines will enjoy are immeasurable.
Maybe autonomous LTL is a poorly conceived idea…
When trend analysts and tech visionaries are both left scratching their heads, how can any substantive predictions be made about LTL carriers’ technological futures? Simply put, Google, Tesla and many automotive manufacturers are testing driverless technology on roadways you’ve probably never noticed.
Autonomous LTL carriers are being used globally, in areas where you’d probably never suspect. In August 2016, Singapore began using autonomous taxi cabs for select individuals. Uber will soon pick up residents of Pittsburgh in an autonomous Volvo. Even Paris just recently rolled out autonomous minibus pickups for those reliant on public transportation.
Resisting what technological advances are made to LTL carriers will only delay the inevitable. Or perhaps cost trucking companies millions in lost clientele. The focal point in designing fully autonomous vehicles will be crash avoidance instead of crash survival, although Dayton Freight Lines loves their employees too much to consider it.
Overall: Dayton is an ‘A’
Because of their ability to put customers and employees before their own revenue goals, we believe this 36-year old company ranks well above many counterparts who’ve blanketed the logistics world with cheap prices and empty promises.
Although prices could be better, Dayton Freight Lines is perhaps the unsung hero in less-than-truckload shipments, and one you should consider if shipping multiple pallets comes to pass.