Published July 16, 2013
Volume 21, Number 7

IronPlanet Launches TruckPlanet, Expands into New Headquarters  
Online Marketplace Erases Geographic Boundaries of Supply and Demand, Offers Sellers Maximum Exposure

Iron Planet's web site is the gateway to the company's auctions.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

IronPlanet’s online auctions for used heavy equipment continue to rack up record-breaking numbers. The most recent was reported back in March, when the largest single unit to be sold in company history fetched $3 million. The item was a 2,000-ton walking dragline, a type of excavator used in aggregate production.

A month after the milestone transaction, the company launched TruckPlanet, its new online marketplace dedicated exclusively to buying and selling used commercial trucks.

With more than $500 million of used trucks sold to date, IronPlanet has clearly built up strong expertise in this asset class, which extends from day cabs to sleepers, refrigerated trucks to flatbeds, and light-duty work pickups to heavy haul tractors.

“This trading platform aligns with our model of the utility type purchase, similar to what we’ve done in capital assets and used heavy equipment,” relates Doug Feick, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and General Counsel.

TruckPlanet brings transparency to a market where fragmentation has typically made it difficult for small players to dispose of their assets when they needed liquidity. The online marketplace erases the geographic boundaries of supply and demand, offering sellers maximum exposure for what they are selling.

“When demand is localized, you may not achieve fair market value for that piece of equipment,” Feick explains. “We open up a global buyer base so there will be more bidders and buyers. People all over the world look at this equipment. That is the power of this business model, using technology to bring demand to a supply base.

“It’s what IronPlanet excels in, providing a marketplace and liquidity for assets that have long-term value,” he adds.

Another company hallmark is its IronClad Assurance, the industry’s only program of guaranteed inspection reports, which introduces unprecedented trust and integrity to the process. In support of the new trading platform, this past February IronPlanet acquired Omaha, Ne.-based Asset Appraisal Services to handle the associated operations and inspection services.

IronPlanet also prepared for the TruckPlanet launch by addressing the specialized shipping needs of the over-the-road commercial truck industry. Height, weight, and road restrictions make shipping a 30,000-pound piece of equipment a very complex undertaking.

In this “online marketplace on steroids, we don’t leave buyers to their own devices,”Feick comments. To close the loop, IronPlanet has forged an alliance with a transportation provider that allows buyers to get reasonably accurate cost estimates and schedule shipping services as part of the transaction. These functions are integrated into IronPlanet’s own back-end systems to make the marketplace as seamless as possible.

On June 21, the company made a different kind of trade: vacating long-time offices on Chabot Drive in favor of19,200 contiguous square feet at 3825 Hopyard Road.

“We’ve added about 6,000square feet in a single floorplate,” Feick says. The move unites the workforce into a more collaborative and open workspace.

The 11-year-old firm, which has approximately 70 employees, is backed by a “stellar group of investors,” including Accel Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Caterpillar, Komatsu, and Volvo. In 2010, IronPlanet had filed for an IPO but pulled back in the face of adverse market conditions to focus on organic expansion. “We hope to get back on that path very soon,” Feick concludes.

For more information, visit www.ironplanet.com or www.truckplanet.com.

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