Trucking firms turn to logistics ASP to cut costs

Truck driver Ronald Cherry is tired of eating in fast-food restaurants while he's on the road. His employer, Stevens Transport Inc., is just as tired of paying high prices for fuel and then wasting that precious commodity because drivers are logging more miles than necessary to get to their destinations.

So, like other trucking companies that are dealing with increasing fuel prices and inefficient route planning and that are also trying to keep their drivers happy, Dallas-based Stevens Transport turned to Logistics.com Inc. for help.

That help will save Stevens almost US$800,000 per year -- $550 annually for each of its 1,400 trucks, according to Matt Welding, director of quality assurance at the refrigerated-trucking company.

"Prior to Logistics.com, we did all-manual routing maps," Welding said. "But we weren't taking fuel stops into consideration. Logistics.com routes you to the cheapest fuel stops that also have the best driver-friendly services."

Logistics.com, an application service provider (ASP), helps shippers and transportation companies buy, sell, manage and optimize transportation services over land, air and sea.

Stevens uses the ASP's online OptiYield Fuel&Route tool.

"It tells the driver where he should stop for fuel and how much he should get at each stop," said Logistics.com CEO John Lanigan.

The software also allows Stevens' management to make better business decisions by evaluating other data, such as state taxes, miles on toll roads and on-time pickups and deliveries.

"We looked at other companies like Comdata, but none of them could devise the system we needed: a system that would take into consideration our specific route preferences," Welding said. "And Logistics.com also had the largest list of references, something the others we looked at did not have."

Ting Piper, an analyst at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass., said that Logistics.com's OptiYield tool has a lot of strengths and that it helps companies with their inbound and outbound logistics.

"I wouldn't say it was the best, but it does have a lot of functionality," she said.

Karen Brigham, director of technology at Prime Inc., a trucking company in Springfield, Mo., said her company tried products from several vendors and ultimately selected Logistics.com's OptiYield Fuel&Route, which was formerly called Optistop.

One advantage, said Lanigan, is that OptiYield Fuel&Route ranks stops based on amenities like shower availability, food quality and other services.

That makes Cherry a very happy driver. "Who wants to eat in Wendy's five days a week?" he said.

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