Looking For Ideas To Improve Efficiency Of Regional Carrier.

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J B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all, this is my first post on here so forgive me if I make any faux paus. I am a driver manager of a company that hauls our own hazardous materials to our locations throughout the middle third of the US, from US/Canada border to US/Mexico border, based out of central KS. Our current SOP is that we have drivers deliver the product, pick up empty packages from the location, and bring them back to our manufacturing plant. Generally they are able to make 2-3 runs a week, depending on the location, and are home on the weekends. We are hauling full trailers to locations, generally we don't do split loads, and have several warehouses that need multiple loads a week. Does anyone have ideas on how we can become more efficient? We are generally utilizing our drivers pretty well as far as maximizing their available hours, but need to be better at having efficient routing/scheduling. I have been wracking my brain for the last couple of months and I cannot think of a better way to do this. Does anyone know of software to help schedule that integrates HOS? We've looked at a few and they don't fit our needs very well. I know that is not a lot of information but I can give more if anyone is interested.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Hello all, this is my first post on here so forgive me if I make any faux paus. I am a driver manager of a company that hauls our own hazardous materials to our locations throughout the middle third of the US, from US/Canada border to US/Mexico border, based out of central KS. Our current SOP is that we have drivers deliver the product, pick up empty packages from the location, and bring them back to our manufacturing plant. Generally they are able to make 2-3 runs a week, depending on the location, and are home on the weekends. We are hauling full trailers to locations, generally we don't do split loads, and have several warehouses that need multiple loads a week. Does anyone have ideas on how we can become more efficient? We are generally utilizing our drivers pretty well as far as maximizing their available hours, but need to be better at having efficient routing/scheduling. I have been wracking my brain for the last couple of months and I cannot think of a better way to do this. Does anyone know of software to help schedule that integrates HOS? We've looked at a few and they don't fit our needs very well. I know that is not a lot of information but I can give more if anyone is interested.

Howdy, J.B.; and welcome!

As you've probably noticed, we are a website/forum geared toward helping potentials obtain their CDL's, mostly via paid company training. We do, however, have a few O/O's on board, and many many folks that have been in the industry for years, (like my guy...ergo, myself.)

What type of trailer(s) are you hauling your HazMat in? Saying packages, I'm assuming van, perhaps?

It's interesting you mention that warehouses 'need' multiple loads a week; could you perhaps integrate some LTL type runs, even farm a dedicated run or two out, to meet that need?

I'm just thinking 'outside the box' myself, for ya. Have you looked at any OOIDA postings/forums/publications for advice? Do you follow FreightWaves dot com at all???

Just a few thoughts, from myself; hoping others will stop by, with what little we may be able to do for you.

Best of luck; stop back~

~ Anne ~

p.s.: If you ever come across anyone looking to get their CDL , send them our way! :) The HRTP is top notch!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OOIDA:

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Who They Are

OOIDA is an international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. The over 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Their Mission

The mission of OOIDA is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I haul for a grocery store chain that covers Iowa and the 7 surrounding states with probably close to 300 stores by now. When I first started here we used a routing software called prospero. About a year ago we switched over to Manhattan and that's been a big mess frequently routing it in idiotic ways and crashing quite a bit. Manhattan actually has us running more miles than prospero did.

Does your return trip with empty packages fill your entire trailer? Although delivering groceries is our #1 priority we also have a substantial volume of LTL freight we haul for other companies. At a minimum it pays for our fuel to get back to the DC rather than running us potentially over 300 miles back empty. Sometimes we'll deliver it same day if it's on the way otherwise most times the next day when a different truck is heading to that general area. I only mention this because I'm assuming you're looking at ways to lower costs. Although it may slightly increase costs those should be easily offset by the revenue you receive from hauling others freight if your trailer has room.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Scott M's Comment
member avatar

JB Here’s an idea. Do what the best does. On YouTube every Fri Prime Inc MO has a meeting. What is your companies advertised public gross revenue? In 2015 Prime had about $1.5B. The last I googled was about 2.2 in 2021. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s way above 2.5 this year. I assume this is just transport revenue. In other words I see several/many other ways the owner is bringing it in. I’ll probably get beat up over my numbers, then I’ll have to post it. Good luck!

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

What is your company name and DOT number?

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

What are the areas where you believe the greatest improvement in efficiency is needed? E.g.: Fuel consumption, loads completed weekly, value of load to cost of shipping ratio, value of load to cost of warehousing ratio.

Have you made attempts to improve efficiency and failed, made attempts and succeeded, or is this the first attempt?

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

JB I suggest looking into a company called Software Advice.

Google it and add to the search top 10 integrated logistics systems for small operators. There are many low cost and somewhat scalable options to automate your truck routing with HOS.

Your other option is to partner with logistics companies like Ryder. You can glom onto their systems; fully secured SaaS model.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
J B.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow, thanks for the responses! I'm slammed right now so I'll take some time and put some thought into the replies before I answer any of these. Just wanted to say thanks for the responses!

J B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the response Anne! We do a little bit of everything as far as trailers go. Vans, flatbeds, dropdecks, tankers, et cet, depends on the load and the warehouse dock situation. I would say most of the time warehouses are requiring full loads, and any time they don't need a full load, they can order a little bit more just to fill it up. There are smaller warehouses that don't require as much chemical, so I am tinkering with more combo loads (we do one or two right now, just depends on the situation). One of the problems I have been tasked with is reducing the number of loads we have to sell to third party carriers. Currently we are doing about 45ish out of 60ish loads per week ourselves. I know there isn't a magic bullet to make third party carriers go away without hiring 5-6 more drivers, but that is the driving force behind the efficiency push. I get some emails from Freightwaves but rarely dig into them. I'll have to change that. Thanks again.

double-quotes-start.png

Hello all, this is my first post on here so forgive me if I make any faux paus. I am a driver manager of a company that hauls our own hazardous materials to our locations throughout the middle third of the US, from US/Canada border to US/Mexico border, based out of central KS. Our current SOP is that we have drivers deliver the product, pick up empty packages from the location, and bring them back to our manufacturing plant. Generally they are able to make 2-3 runs a week, depending on the location, and are home on the weekends. We are hauling full trailers to locations, generally we don't do split loads, and have several warehouses that need multiple loads a week. Does anyone have ideas on how we can become more efficient? We are generally utilizing our drivers pretty well as far as maximizing their available hours, but need to be better at having efficient routing/scheduling. I have been wracking my brain for the last couple of months and I cannot think of a better way to do this. Does anyone know of software to help schedule that integrates HOS? We've looked at a few and they don't fit our needs very well. I know that is not a lot of information but I can give more if anyone is interested.

double-quotes-end.png

Howdy, J.B.; and welcome!

As you've probably noticed, we are a website/forum geared toward helping potentials obtain their CDL's, mostly via paid company training. We do, however, have a few O/O's on board, and many many folks that have been in the industry for years, (like my guy...ergo, myself.)

What type of trailer(s) are you hauling your HazMat in? Saying packages, I'm assuming van, perhaps?

It's interesting you mention that warehouses 'need' multiple loads a week; could you perhaps integrate some LTL type runs, even farm a dedicated run or two out, to meet that need?

I'm just thinking 'outside the box' myself, for ya. Have you looked at any OOIDA postings/forums/publications for advice? Do you follow FreightWaves dot com at all???

Just a few thoughts, from myself; hoping others will stop by, with what little we may be able to do for you.

Best of luck; stop back~

~ Anne ~

p.s.: If you ever come across anyone looking to get their CDL , send them our way! :) The HRTP is top notch!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OOIDA:

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Who They Are

OOIDA is an international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. The over 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Their Mission

The mission of OOIDA is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.

Dropdeck:

A stepdeck , also referred to as "dropdeck", is a type of flatbed trailer that has one built in step to the deck to provide the capabilities of loading higher dimensional freight on the lower deck.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
J B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the response Rob. We do not haul outside freight at all right now, with the exception of picking up bulk materials for our manufacturing plant on occasion. Generally they are full trailers, but we could stack packages a little more since they would be empty. This may be something we'll look at thanks. I'll check out Prospero too, thanks!

I haul for a grocery store chain that covers Iowa and the 7 surrounding states with probably close to 300 stores by now. When I first started here we used a routing software called prospero. About a year ago we switched over to Manhattan and that's been a big mess frequently routing it in idiotic ways and crashing quite a bit. Manhattan actually has us running more miles than prospero did.

Does your return trip with empty packages fill your entire trailer? Although delivering groceries is our #1 priority we also have a substantial volume of LTL freight we haul for other companies. At a minimum it pays for our fuel to get back to the DC rather than running us potentially over 300 miles back empty. Sometimes we'll deliver it same day if it's on the way otherwise most times the next day when a different truck is heading to that general area. I only mention this because I'm assuming you're looking at ways to lower costs. Although it may slightly increase costs those should be easily offset by the revenue you receive from hauling others freight if your trailer has room.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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