Bulk hauler boosts productivity

Throughout the Midwest and Central Canada, Wayne Transport hauls a range of fuels for producers, distributors, and retailers.

Petroleum transportation follows the markets, noted Jason Boushey, VP of operations at Wayne Transports Inc., a diversified bulk transportation trucking company headquartered in Rosemount, Minnesota. “At any time, we can be busy or slow,” he said. “Our focus is on keeping a steady base of work and addressing market changes and customer needs effectively.”

For Wayne Transports, that effort begins with fielding the right equipment. Throughout the Midwest and Central Canada, the company hauls a range of fuels for producers, distributors, and retailers. Among its nearly 600 power units are more than 250 company tractors and tankers dedicated to hauling petroleum products.

“Our company equipment consists of Peterbilt tractors and LBT petroleum trailers,” Boushey related. “We spec lightweight components whenever possible for carrying capacity with heavier products. We’re also focused on how our fleet is seen by our customers, because it portrays the image of our company, and on maintenance, most of which is handled at seven in-house shops by 40 technicians.”

Wayne Transports is not exclusive in the industry in terms of needing drivers, but it is confident in its approach based on a low turnover rate, Boushey noted. “We focus on retention by providing pay plans above our industry segment and equipment with numerous comfort features,” he said. “We also reward drivers for efficient and productive performance, including extra options for senior drivers for years of safe service.

“Additionally, despite our widespread operating area, our dispatch is not centralized,” Boushey continued. “We have multiple centers where dispatchers build relationships, so drivers know they are part of the organization and not just filling a seat.”

Wayne Transports has also set its sights on boosting asset utilization. “We were basing decisions on financial and operational information that was a month or two old, so we couldn’t take advantage of opportunities to optimize the use of our fleet based on the changing volume of orders,” Boushey stated. “We needed a solution that would utilize business analytics tools and provide more timely reporting so that we could make more informed decisions in real time.”

The solution provided by FleetOps is based on data entered in the fleet’s TMWSuite Transportation Management System that is generally no more than one hour old and employs data analytics capabilities to generate customized and detailed summaries used to drive up the efficiency and productivity of the fleet in real time, Boushey noted. Implemented over the course of two weeks at Wayne Transports, the solution is already generating measurable increases in asset utilization and revenue.

Today, the data that Wayne Transports receives from FleetOps is enabling greater visibility into orders and available loads, and asset location and status, Boushey added. “Now, because we have real-time visibility across our locations and operations into the ever-changing volume and make-up of orders, we can relocate equipment immediately to continuously keep our trucks and drivers moving,” he explained. “While we’ve always understood the importance of the data in our systems, before FleetOps we did not have access to it in a way that would facilitate making informed decisions.”

At Wayne Transports, managers at each facility and division in the company have customized dashboards with live data, which are continually being refined by FleetOps as the carrier identifies new analytics needs. With the ability to quickly drill down into information about specific customers, markets, lanes, and loads, the managers have consistent and comparable real-time information they can use to enable best practices.

“With timely and actionable data, we’ve seen a 5% increase in asset utilization and a concurrent rise in revenue,” Boushey reported. “We’ve also experienced a drop in driver turnover, which we attribute in part to being able to assign additional miles to drivers because there are more loads to haul. The improvement in productivity driven by higher asset utilization enhances driver satisfaction as well because they earn more money within their available hours of service.”

Simultaneously, FleetOps is providing the senior management at Wayne Transports with greater visibility into the entire operation’s overall business performance. “This high-level view also leads directly to new opportunities for continuous improvement,” Boushey said. “At the end of the day, the success and steady growth of Wayne Transports is the result of effectively using the tools at our disposal to foster partnerships and manage expectations.”