A family-owned motor carrier out of Butler, IN, Evans Equipment provides a variety of shipping and freight-management services including running flatbeds and long-haul van trailers in the Midwest as well as in all states east of the Mississippi River and in Texas.
Running so far and wide from its home base led to Butler drivers fueling vehicles on the road based on discounts negotiated with several providers.
The problem with taking that basic solution to managing fuel purchases was that the carrier was not necessarily paying the lowest available price at all times, points out Mike Blomeke, Evans Equipment's IT manager.
What's more, this scattershot approach did not easily, let alone automatically, take into account the differences in various state fuel-tax contributions.
Short and sweet, according to Blomeke, Evans Equipment needed to implement a system that would take into consideration which would be the most cost-effective states in which to purchase fuel based on each route's origin and destination.
Determined to get a better handle on what it costs to fuel its trucks, including the taxes it paid on that fuel, a year ago Evans Equipment began using the IDSC ExpertFuel program from TMW Systems.
Now when the carrier's TMWSuite enterprise transportation system completes a dispatch assignment, the solution automatically generates an optimal travel route and a specific plan for fueling along the way, relates Blomeke. The IDSC ExpertFuel purchasing plan includes the location and amount of fuel that each driver should purchase at a given stop so that the fleet's expenditures on fuel can be reduced.
According to TMW, fuel plans are generated by IDSC ExpertFuel using an unique algorithm to calculate all essential factors including current fuel prices, fuel level, vehicle fuel consumption, state tax implications, fuel network implications, out-of-route miles, route policies, terminal fueling policies, tank fill policies and driver amenities.
The resulting plan for Evans Equipment contains specific fuel-buying instructions for its drivers — right down to the number of gallons that should be purchased at each individual stop.
Blomeke says that using IDSC ExpertFuel to map out the most cost-effective fuel stops for each route has enabled Evans Equipment to take “maximum advantage” of available discounts — even when buying small amounts of fuel at a time.
He reports that paying the lowest available price at all times is delivering savings of $50,000 and $70,000 per year to the carrier. And that's just on fuel. Because the program also determines the best locations with the lowest tax contribution required to buy fuel, on top of the direct fuel-cost savings the carrier is realizing a savings in fuel taxes of $12,000 per quarter.
“Previously, we didn't have a program that enabled us to maximize our fuel-cost savings,” Blomeke says. “With IDSC ExpertFuel, we are able to determine the most cost-effective fueling strategies for each route, taking into account the cost of fuel, discounts, gallons needed and fuel taxes. This program is adding to our bottom line by putting money back into our pockets.”
Carrier providing flatbed and long-haul dry van services in and across several regions