I want to put some facts and experience into this conversation since I am a Western driver and do these Walmart loads.
First, the Walmart Private Fleet has to be the most professional group I have ever worked with in my 12 year driving career. If you cant run their loads flawlessly every single time, no one can fix you.
Second, I live near Pittsburgh area, which has allowed me to work in a number of freight lanes due to geographical location alone. Can work North, South, Mid West, ect.
Thirdly, Walmart will not sell out their fleet, at least in the current environment. Their operations are not compatible with the business structure and philosophy and driver treatment with the outside carriers. Walmart brings in a handful of outside drivers when they fall behind due to weather, consumer demand or other logistical issues. This is particularly true of the Raymond, NH GM DC and their sister location in Lewiston, ME GROC DC. Once we catch them up, they cut us loose to our respective carriers.
The Walmart fleet is huge. Selling off the trucking asset would be like the Chineese dumping steel on the American market more than a decade ago. There would not be enough demand to buy up this asset and they would lose their ### off.
Also, because of the incompatibility between Walmart operations and outside carriers, the time would be invested over years to get these systems to work flawlessly. Why would a business owner dump all these assets which would ruin the trucking market value and then deal with bringing all these carriers, getting them trained and working their system properly? Time is also money, and so is system operating efficiency. Especially when they operate purely in JIT all the time, every day. Theres the relationship aspect that is developed between the drivers and the stores. They wont deal with all these headaches, because it scews the micro system operation of these super centers as well.