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1/15/2016 4:07:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Technology Helps Fleets Find Lanes That Are Profitable and Efficient

This story appears in the Jan. 11 print edition of iTECH, a supplement to Transport Topics.

As capacity tightens and government regulations make drivers’ time even more valuable, carriers and shippers are embracing technology to choose the most profitable and efficient shipping lanes, set rates and reduce empty miles.

That same technology can give carriers insight into lane density and a route’s market rate, which is compelling some carriers to direct capacity to underserved markets and capitalize on spot rates, fleet and technology executives said.

BEST OF JANUARY iTECH: More stories, columns

“There are markets that I’m very aware of opportunity in,” said James Winton, vice president of operations for Trimac Transportation, of Calgary, Alberta. Winton said he uses multiple sources to monitor the company’s historical rates and market trends. “We try to capitalize on that and make sure we tie the inbounds into that market so it is a win-win,” he said.

Trimac Transportation relies on technology from TMW Systems that allows carriers to examine their yield management, pricing and freight network design along with their historical reporting.

“They can see their activity by lane, geography, customer as well as freight flow information and timing,” said David McKinney, a vice president with Beachwood, Ohio-based TMW. He noted that carriers can also look at a customer’s contribution to the network and efficiency.

Trimac uses the technology to choose the specific routes from existing customers that fit best with their model.

“Most shippers, especially on big books of business, don’t put all of their eggs in one basket,” Winton said. “If you have multiple baskets, why not let the baskets decide what works best for them? You get a better rating and coverage.”

TMW’s truckload market rate index indicates the load-to-truck ratio by sharing the number of load movements and participating carriers for any given lane. It also provides pricing information, including the minimum, maximum and average pricing on a lane for van, reefer and flatbed freight.

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By Mindy Long
Contributing Writer

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