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Estes finds multiple benefits of using optimization technologies

Aug. 25, 2023
One of the nation’s largest LTL companies uses fleet optimization platform provider Optym to improve real-time decision making and further contribute to its broader digital transformation.

One of the nation's largest LTL companies, Estes Express Lines, is using fleet optimization platform provider Optym to improve real-time decision-making and further contribute to its broader digital transformation.

Optimization technology adoption in trucking fleets is becoming more common. According to Dieselmatic, an estimated 90% of all commercial truck fleets will use some form of optimization technology by 2025. One fleet optimization solution, Optym, helps fleets achieve efficiency through network optimization and AI algorithms. The company's offerings are in use in several fleets today. Current customers include FleetOwner 500 fleets Saia, Southeastern Freight Lines, Roadrunner, and more. Estes is also on its client list, and now the LTL carrier is expanding its partnership with Optym to increase efficiency further.

See also: Fleet leaders see more AI technology in their immediate futures

Making use of efficiency technology

Optym currently offers four core LTL products for middle-mile planning: HaulPlan, DriverPlan, RouteMax, and FreightiQ. Optym also offers two core truckload products: LoadAi and LoadOps.

For LTL operations, HaulPlan helps fleets maximize linehaul profitability and efficiency. DriverPlan is a driver schedule planner. RouteMax provides management tools such as real-time routing and dispatching. FreightiQ provides advanced freight pricing optimization tools to help fleets develop more accurate rates. For truckload products, Optym offers LoadAi, which automates driver-to-load assignments, and LoadOps, which allows fleets manage loads, automate their back office, and track it all on a live dashboard.

An early adopter of trucking technology, Estes, the largest privately owned freight carrier in North America and No. 11 on the FleetOwner 500 For-hire list, has used Optym's HaulPlan since 2019. Optym launched DriverPlan in 2022, and Estes implemented the product in its fleet that same year.

"Optym HaulPlan has enabled us to plan more efficiently and make adjustments to lanes quicker," Webb Estes, president and COO of Estes, said. "As market fluctuations happen, the ability to model impacts to lane changes allows us to be flexible, provide even greater service to our customers, and keep our linehaul costs under control."

See also: Leveraging technology in challenging times

After the successful and beneficial implementation of HaulPlan and DriverPlan, as of this week, Optym announced Estes will expand the partnership to license three more Optym products: RouteMax; LiveHaul, which Optym will release later this year; and DockAi, which launches next year.

LiveHaul offers fleet managers a real-time optimization solution that assists in linehaul scheduling to reduce middle-mile costs. DockAi is a real-time dock management system that works to reduce costs and increase processing capacity using optimization and AI technology. This agreement means Estes will now use Optym's entire LTL product suite in its operations, from planning to execution.

"The industry continues to change and evolve, and Estes has been evolving as well," Estes said. "The partnership with Optym has allowed us to improve our real-time decision-making and fits well in our broader digital transformation. Their expertise in AI and trucking allows us to seamlessly integrate their products into our operations, improving our efficiency and freeing IT capacity to work on other improvements, all while allowing us to meet our employees' and customers' needs for access to data in real-time."

See also: Five steps to get better ROI from fleet technology

Benefits of optimization technology

According to Optym, the company's solutions save more than 10 million miles for its clients daily. This results in carrier efficiencies that lower costs, minimize the risk of damage and claims, and improve sustainability. And this benefits shippers and consumers alike.

According to Optym, the company's HaulPlan platform resulted in 80% decreased planning time, 5% reduction in empties, and a 2% reduction in linehaul miles. Additionally, Optym's DriverPlan platform resulted in 75% time saved in scheduling, 5% reduction in empty miles, and 3% reduction in total scheduled miles across Optym's client operations.

Not only is Optym helping fleets improve efficiency, but each product line also houses its user-friendly online dashboard. For example, the RouteMax dashboard features an Intelligent Dispatching Module that allows carriers to see and control more of pickup and delivery operations and easily enable route changes, which the driver will receive notice of on their mobile device via the RouteMax Smart Driver Mobile App.

"Optym has continually proven that they bring more than just optimization and AI prowess to the table," Estes CIO Todd Florence said. "Their profound understanding of LTL operations, extreme client focus, and a relentless focus on delivering results uniquely positions them as our strategic partner. We are delighted to work with Optym and engage in this journey of continuous improvement of both our systems and processes alike."

Fleet optimization technologies offer a multitude of benefits. These include efficiency improvement as well as improvements in safety, driver satisfaction, and cost reduction. According to Optym, as LTL carriers invest in optimization technologies, they'll reap these benefits regardless of industry and economic variables, such as changes in cargo volume, laws, or other concerns.

About the Author

Jade Brasher

Senior Editor Jade Brasher has covered vocational trucking and fleets since 2018. A graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in journalism, Jade enjoys telling stories about the people behind the wheel and the intricate processes of the ever-evolving trucking industry.    

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