Transportal Network, Atlanta, (www.transportalnetwork.com
), has announced the first 26 fleets to sign up for the Internet-based service, which offers business-side and operational benefits for members.
Transportal is assembling what it has called a "virtual fleet" to operate as a single large entity, taking advantage of volume discounts on one side, sophisticated truckload operations software on the other and passing the benefits on to members.
Familiar names among the 26 charter fleets include Dick Simon Trucking of Salt Lake City; FFE Transportation Services, Dallas; Boyd Bros. Transportation, Clayton, Ala; and Cornhusker Motor Lines of Omaha, Neb.
Cornhusker's president, Ed Trout, recently served as chairman of the American Trucking Associations. Coincidentally, Lana Batts, TCA president at the time, is now executive vice president and chief development officer for Transportal.
Transportal spokesman Kevin Sullivan said that some prominent member fleets will not allow their names to be released, at least for the time being.
According to Transportal, the 26 charter members represent 15,000 tractors, 30,000 trailers and nearly $2 billion revenue which would make Transportal the second-largest truckload carrier in the U.S., after Schneider National -- at least if all member fleet activity were carried out under the Transportal banner. However, members are not required to commit entire fleets to Transportal.
Sullivan said specific commitments of individual fleets are being considered now.
Whatever its actual size, Transportal's "virtual fleet" will employ operations software from Logistics.com, a Massachusetts software company with a transportation web-based service of its own (www.logistics.com