Switching From FedEx to Amazon

by Elyse Byers
2 min read
January 6, 2023

In our last episode of The Road Forward we got the chance to interview Kyle Behnke of United Federal Logistics. Kyle started out as a FedEx contractor, got his own DOT authority and now hauls freight for Amazon.

Even before he became a contractor, Kyle always liked the Linehaul model and knew he wanted to start his own business. When he first began contracting for FedEx, all he had was good credit and a few loans. With this he was able to grow organically from 3 trucks running teams all the way up to 23 trucks.

About a year ago Kyle decided to go outside of FedEx. He took his unassigned teams out of FedEx and now has about 15-16 trucks per week running for Amazon. 

The Trouble with Teams

Kyle has plenty of experience running a company where drivers run teams, but he explained to us that this comes with some challenges.

First, trying to put together driving teams is a bit like playing matchmaker– it’s rare to find an existing team that already works well together, and it can be difficult to pair drivers up not knowing how they’ll get along. 

Another challenge has to do with the changing market. A team truck can gross between $500-$600,000 per year, but as the market goes up and down it can make driving solo more profitable. At times like these, it’s even harder to recruit drivers to run on a team.

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Advice for New Carriers

Kyle started as a FedEx contractor and mentions that contracting through FedEx is a good way to get your feet wet. For example, as a new carrier you may not know all the ins and outs of IFTA or even what it is, but FedEx will do all that for you. You have the opportunity to learn and grow before starting an independent business.

As far as hiring, Kyle tries to match up his employees with the work they are best suited for. Believe it or not, some drivers do better on certain routes than others. Staying in tune with the needs of your drivers is always important. 

Going out on your own authority isn’t easy. Kyle discovered that sometimes shippers and receivers can hold his trucks for hours to live load and unload the freight. So he decided to apply one of the key aspects of line haul (drop and hook) when he would approach direct customers. 

Kyle went on to share with us his advice on buying routes as well as what trucks he prefers. 

Be sure to check out the rest of the episode where we talked about toll roads, bad weather, used truck prices and drug testing. 

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