Fleets online: Effective routing



John Elliott, president & CEO of Taylor, MI-based asset- and non-asset based expedited carrier/logistics provider Load One, figured there had to be a better way for the firm’s 55 company drivers and 295 other drivers (who operate 315 power units) to avoid out-of-route miles and their associated costs and improve on-time performance as well as make their time behind the wheel safer and more satisfactory.

“First and foremost,” says Elliott, “we wanted an onboard navigation solution that would improve our on-time performance and reduce out-of-route (OOR) miles to save us and our contractors money on fuel and fuel taxes. We also felt that running fewer OOR miles would improve safety, as a high percentage of accidents were occurring when drivers were searching for an address.

“We also thought that a better navigation solution than the one we had would give drivers a tool to reduce their stress and increase their success,” he continues. “Expediting freight can be a frustrating job, especially if the driver has to drive up and down a road looking for an address.”


Load One elected to be one of the first fleets to beta-test the ALK Co-Pilot Truck navigation solution on the Qualcomm MCP200 mobile computing platform. The fleet’s TMS is supplied by Sylectus and it also runs ALK’s PC*Miler routing, mileage and mapping software.

“Some of the key features of Co-Pilot Truck that especially appeal to us are its truck-approved routes, custom points of interest, and hazmat routing,” advises Elliott. “It provides our drivers and contractors with turn-by-turn routed directions. And they’re able to just enter a customer code instead of the address, making it very easy for them to use.”

The Co-Pilot Truck beta-test was conducted as a side-by-side test with another navigation solution and involved both company and contract drivers.

“The feedback from the testing was very positive,” reports Elliott, “including fast data-processing speeds, a higher rate of address recognition, more optimal routes, map updates included in the monthly price, and a high rate of driver acceptance.”

According to Elliott, the testing showed these benefits to Load One: reduced out-of-route miles; improved route compliance; reduced fuel and operational costs; reduced fleet liability; greater operational consistency; improved driver safety and satisfaction; and increased back office efficiency with PC*Miler synchronization.

Elliott relates that the ROI on the solution is highly positive. “By reducing out-of-route miles by less than a quarter of a percent a month, the technology pays for itself,” he states. “But CoPilot Truck has cut OOR miles by 2.5 to 3%. On top of that, we have seen on-time percentages increase, fuel consumption decrease and accidents reduced.”

With all that in mind, Load One decided to migrate all of its trucks, including those of its contractors, onto Co-Pilot Truck through the MCP200. “We felt it was worth providing it free to our contractors as well for all the stated benefits, plus it would help us with recruiting and retaining them,” explains Elliott.

“We were pleased to be selected as a beta-test company for this product,” Elliott adds, “and it continues our goal of being an early adopter of competitive technology.”

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