BBG Logistics Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Brunswick Corp., is using ALK|FleetSuite Tolls from ALK Technologies to calculate the overland delivery costs of about 100,000 sport and recreation boats a year.
Brunswick Boat Group, based in Knoxville, Tenn., is the largest manufacturer of pleasure boats in the world; its premium brands include Sea Ray, Bayliner, Maxum, Hatteras, Meridian and Sealine, to name just a few. ALK Technologies, based in Princeton, N.J., is a developer of profit-driving routing, mileage and mapping software solutions for the transportation industry, including the PC*Miler mileage application.
BBG Logistics, also located in Knoxville, is responsible for the transportation of new watercraft from Brunswick Boat Group manufacturing sites in the United States, Canada and Mexico. BBG Logistics uses specialized boat carriers, including four private fleets working from specific manufacturing facilities, and more than a dozen commercial carriers, eight of them regarded as core providers. BBG Logistics uses ALK’s PC*Miler for mileage verification, and last year began using ALK|FleetSuite Tolls as well.
According to Jonathan Young, controller for BBG Logistics, tolls were becoming a problem for their group. “In the past, a carrier’s truck would go through a toll booth, pay the toll and get a receipt,” Young says. “The carrier then sent a copy of the receipt with their invoice, and BBG Logistics allocated that cost to the related load. It was then possible to distribute toll expenses accordingly to the boat level on multiple-boat loads.”
But the increasing popularity of national toll programs and wireless toll collection changed this arrangement; as more trucks passed through toll facilities without stopping to pick up paper receipts, some carriers were seeking to recoup toll costs by submitting monthly toll statements. BBG Logistics was unable to link tolls on those statements with individual loads. “We were trying to allocate toll costs to the boat level,” Young says. “We had to first allocate tolls to the truckload level.”
The best way to do that, BBG found, was to cost each load using ALK|FleetSuite Tolls. “We implemented a new policy for our carriers — you may invoice us using paper toll receipts, or you may invoice us using ALK|FleetSuite Tolls, but that is all we will accept,” Young says. “We no longer accept the monthly statements that could not be allocated to specific loads.”
ALK|FleetSuite Tolls solved a problem and met an immediate need, but BBG Logistics sees an important role for the application in the future. “We anticipate that more and more carriers, striving for efficiencies in their operations, will move to electronic tolls and national discount programs,” Young says. “We are now prepared to deal with that.”