REPOWR, an Alabama-based startup, is a virtual community and digital marketplace that monetizes underutilized supply chain equipment, through B2B equipment rentals. Think Airbnb, but a sharing economy for mobile supply chain equipment. The company is refining the way transport companies hire and lease equipment by connecting transport and rental companies to a networked marketplace.
If the trucks and trailers of a transport or distribution company are not used regularly, they become a major expense for the companies. The REPOWR platform enables equipment owners to generate income from its supply of underutilized equipment. Those who need additional equipment capacity know where to find it, without making dozens of phone calls. REPOWR is due to release its first mobile app in the coming months, but its website is available to gas distributors now. The company started out in the long haul trucking industry, where it created great momentum among some of the largest companies in the trucking industry.
“We have had a lot of early success in the trucking industry, where we connect trucking and rental companies of all sizes,” said Patrick Visintainer, co-founder and CEO of REPOWR. gasworld. “The demand for equipment is growing rapidly and if those wheels aren’t turning, it’s a missed revenue opportunity. Lack of equipment capacity is a hot topic in the transportation world. Many believe this to be true, but the ability is there… it is just not being used effectively. My family has always been deeply rooted in the gas distribution industry and as many gas distributors already share equipment with each other, we have found REPOWR to be ideally suited for gas distributor networks.
Visintainer is the nephew of Bill Visintainer, former chairman of GAWDA and current chairman of Atlas Welding Supply, a distributor of industrial gases and welding supplies based in Birmingham, Alabama. After a few years working at Atlas, Patrick launched REPOWR with his co-founder Spencer Ware in early 2021. The technology platform was made available to IWDC members in May.
“When I was at Atlas, I always found it very difficult to find equipment available for special projects,” Visintainer said. “I would like an end user to call me and say, ‘I need 12 tubular trailers in Panama City, Florida, do you have it? As an independent distributor, we only had one tube trailer, so I just started hammering the phones. Even with Uncle Bill’s network of connections, it was still a very time consuming process. I spent the next few weeks calling dozens of people to ask if they had any tube trailers available? What is the price? How long can we rent it?… And the process took so long. Many companies already share equipment with each other, there simply was no efficient process to locate and collate availability and price details. This is where REPOWR comes in to bring visibility and value to the equipment available nearby. We act as a connection point between equipment supply and rental demand.
The REPOWR platform aims to aggregate the inventory of available equipment and provide tenants with equipment to be reserved at their fingertips, via its mobile application. REPOWR targets gas distributors with idle and stagnant trucks, tubular / cryogenic trailers, bulk tanks, micro-bulk, bottled gases and high-end welding equipment as well as other “vital assets” and connects them with their industry counterparts in need. REPOWR also strategically targets suppliers in the leasing space to provide increased visibility and real-time availability to their equipment inventory.
“The concept is gaining traction in the trucking industry with many reputable carriers, where our networked market provides instant access to truck and trailer capacity. These companies transport general cargo, flat cargo and refrigerated cargo, ”said the COO of REPOWR Ware. gasworld.
“We quickly realized that the IWDC and the gas distributors are essentially small trucking companies, that they happen to haul specialized cargo and that the trailers needed to move that cargo are very expensive. We provide an Expedia-style platform for transportation companies to quickly find the equipment they need and rent it with the click of a button.
REPOWR users can search for equipment rentals and filter the search results by location, truck type, trailer type and availability dates. REPOWR claims that at any given moment, there is over $ 1 trillion in valuable equipment – trucks and trailers – stagnant. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, leasing companies have seen record demand for equipment. Ecommerce platforms have also seen unprecedented growth in 2020, leading shippers to need more rental trailers to keep up with rising orders from e-commerce giants.
REPOWR collaborates with large companies in the gas industry on asset utilization rates and generates a new type of income, by leasing their equipment. Visintainer and Ware view REPOWR software as a value-added feature for existing Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and software platforms around the world.
“I think big players like Messer, Airgas, Air Products will find the REPOWR model useful because these companies have thousands of expensive assets on the balance sheet,” Visintainer said.
“We also believe we have a strong product offering for independent distributors, helping these small and medium businesses to be more flexible in their capital spending, providing them with on-demand access to assets. We would channel demand to companies like KAG, generate new avenues for making money. We work with leasing companies. It scares them at first, but all we do is send a qualified rental request to them. Our goal at REPOWR is not to disrupt the equipment rental industry. We are simply refining the way businesses rent and lease equipment, providing a more streamlined and efficient process, providing a platform for collaboration and instant connectivity.
Equipment damage and insurance payment disputes are not an issue, Ware said.
“We have worked with a very reputable transportation company that has helped us develop the framework we need in our terms of service and rental agreement,” Ware said. “A lot of these gas distributors also have the same insurance company, which alleviates a lot of the round-trip communication regarding proof of proper insurance requirements. We had no problem getting approval from the insurance companies.
Ware says REPOWR is working on an innovative insurance solution that will alleviate concerns for equipment owners and further streamline and improve REPOWR’s digital rental experience.
Visintainer and Ware associate the REPOWR concept with their first Airbnb or Uber experience.
“The sharing economy has changed the minds of millions of people and now Airbnb, Uber and Lyft are preferred among the majority of companies around the world,” Visintainer said. “We had a client in Indiana who posted nine trucks while he was looking for new drivers to fill the trucks. If each of these trucks is rented for a year, they will earn an additional income of $ 400,000. Transportation equipment is expensive, so it’s expensive to insure. Every year, insurance premiums hit a new record. Many asset owners don’t realize they’re still paying ridiculously high insurance premiums for equipment that stays in the yard. REPOWR helps to recover this type of operational expenses.