There are many ways to get information about trends and possible opportunities in almost all fields.

This morning, I was reading the October, 2020 issue of Trains magazine and found an article on intermodal opportunities.

While Strategic Movements does not handle intermodal shipments, the article cited some interesting statistics on motor freight in general.

Larry Gross, the author, cited other sources that, in 2019, there were 356 million loads carried on dry vans and reefers, of which 198 million were short haul, 250 miles or less. Although there was no breakdown of this mentioned, a significant part of this had to be multi-stop loads.

There are many opportunities for reducing transportation costs when shipping via motor freight.

When a full truckload is shipped to a single consignee, there may be choice of carriers.

When a full truckload is shipped to multiple consignees, good decisions on which shipment is placed on which truck and in what order the stops should be made, can yield significant savings.

Adding to this mix, an organization may have trucks in their private fleet and it may be cost effective to use a few of these trucks making round trips to consignees in the local area.

And finally, there are opportunities to mix truckload and less than truckload carriers. For example, it might be cost effective to ship using a truckload carrier or a private fleet truck when there are a few stops to be made in a small geographic area. But if there is only one stop, shipping LTL could be more cost effective.

I have seen simple rules applied here, like shipment moving fewer than some number of miles use the private fleet, and when shipping to more distant places using an outside carrier instead. While rules of thumb like this are simple to apply, there are many borderline cases where making the choice using the usual rule costs more, rather than less.

Carrier assignment and route planning can be done using an artificial intelligence process. If the cost of making an individual delivery is known (whether it be a local delivery company or an LTL company), it can be compared to cost of placing the delivery on multi-stop route, whether it be done by a private fleet vehicle or a truckload carrier. And when the cost of operating the private fleet vehicle is compared to the outside carrier’s cost per mile plus accessorial charges, an intelligent decision can be made on how the shipment should leave the dock.

There are so many variables to consider that the human route planner would have a hard time considering all the options to make the most cost effective decision.

Using a dynamic routing process with an artificial intelligence algorithm, like the one in Strategic Movements, can quickly identify the most cost effective solution. The benefits are twofold: reduce the labor needed for planning, and produce a very cost efficient plan for moving freight.

Please visit our website at to see how we can improve the efficiency of your last mile delivery work assignment.

Like the blog? Sign up and be the first to hear what we have to say.