Cheetah, TCG solutions paying off for Central Freight Lines

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Updated Jul 15, 2011

Central Freight Lines, a less-than-truckload for-hire common carrier, announced that it is benefitting from its investment in enterprise management system technologies. The Waco, Texas-based company says the adoption of a comprehensive set of solutions has resulted in an increase in productivity cost savings totaling more than $1.5 million.

“The implementation of a number of enterprise management, communications and operations analysis systems has had a very positive impact on our ability to profitably provide outstanding service,” says Donald Orr, president of Central Freight. “We now have unmatched visibility into our fleet operations and have been able to reduce our costs by consolidating dispatch operations at several terminals into other locations in our network. However we measure it, these investments are paying off for us and our customers.”

Central Freight says it is realizing numerous several benefits from its information and communications technology investment, including:
• A seven percent increase in productivity, measured in bills per hour at cross-dock facilities, that comes from integrated pickup-and-delivery information used to build linehaul loads;
• A 5 to 10 percent decrease in miles per stop, improving vehicle utilization and cutting fuel costs;
• A 99.58 percent claims-free operation, up from about 93 percent prior to the implementation of the management solutions; and
• A decrease in communications costs by equipping drivers with GPS-enabled cell phones and negotiating a favorable data plan with its cellular service provider.

Central Freight says it also is realizing labor cost savings by consolidating dispatch operations at 22 of its 77 terminals. With the new technologies, freight management and dispatch activities at the “dark” locations now are handled from other terminals in the same region, enabling management and dispatch personnel to handle other duties.

Implemented by Central Freight was the Cheetah Freight SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution from Cheetah Software Systems Inc. The project also involved integrating data from Central Freight’s mainframe with LTL/CIS and Traffic/CIS cost and lane analysis solutions from Transportation Costing Group. The TCG integrations provide the carrier with a deeper ability to analyze data more rapidly, making its activity-based costing processes increasingly beneficial.

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“The technologies we’ve adopted let us move information back and forth rapidly,” says Mark Stein, director of operations services for Central Freight. “The ability to make more effective decisions leads to better customer service and more efficient operations. Our return on investment in these solutions has gone far beyond what we anticipated.”