Faced with oil prices of over $100 a barrel and a softening market, regional LTL carrier Ward Trucking searched for a way to overcome the looming recession and soaring fuel costs hacking away at the bottom line.
According to Bill Graves, President of the American Trucking Association, fuel is gaining on labor as the largest expense for carriers. Current industry forecasts estimate truckers will spend over $135 billion for fuel in 2008, and fuel surcharges don’t come close to covering the cost of fuel for most companies.
Realizing that times are likely to get even tougher, Ward decided to do something proactive and implemented Cheetah Freight. In very little time and with minimal start-up costs, Ward was using an optimized real-time dispatch and routing solution saving them big money on fuel and labor-related overhead, while simultaneously handling more customers and stops.
“We needed to figure out how to break the back of escalating fuel costs by boosting driver efficiency and slashing costs,” said Greg Confer, Vice President of Asset Management for Ward Trucking. “Implementing Cheetah helped us increase stops per driver and still reduce their miles driven. The decrease in miles driven alone has saved us over a million dollars per year.”
After an extensive evaluation of about twenty vendors that included price, capabilities, scalability, and effectiveness, Ward selected Cheetah Software Systems as the best fit for its operations. Ward was able to obtain advanced functionality and still protect their margins by using Cheetah Freight to simultaneously deliver dynamic, optimized routing, delivery, dispatch, and tracking information. Furthermore, because Cheetah’s solutions utilize a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, Ward was able to realize benefits and ROI almost immediately.
While Cheetah software has improved the efficiency of Ward’s P&D operations, its service improved as well. Consequently, Ward sees Cheetah as an important competitive advantage, giving the carrier the ability to overcome economic adversity. By reducing labor costs, fuel usage, and miles driven, Ward has strengthened its competitiveness and increased customer satisfaction.
“With Cheetah, a dispatcher can quickly determine the most efficient routes and update them on the fly in real time, allowing him to do the job proactively with spectacular boosts in customer service,” said Stephan Karczag, Vice President of Cheetah Software. “We are gratified that we can help Ward revolutionize their speed of service and save money doing it.”