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Trimble Dispatch Advisor Increases Efficiency and Reduces Empty Miles for Over-the-Road Carrier

Since it was founded in 1990, Paper Transport has grown to some 900 trucks and almost as many drivers, all while maintaining its values of supporting personnel and providing the highest quality customer service.

But with growth comes challenges. “We realized that as the fleet grew, it might not be sustainable for our planners to make decisions individually,” says Julie Decker, a fleet manager with Paper Transport. “There are so many metrics to consider that even though planners are making good decisions, they may not be making the best decision.”

But the company also recognized that planners have knowledge about certain drivers and customers, beyond the data that appears in a Transportation Management System (TMS), and they didn’t want to lose that knowledge.  

Paper Transport began searching for a dispatch solution that could recommend matches, while allowing planners to make final choices based on their relationships with drivers and customers. The solution was Trimble Dispatch Advisor.

Paper Transport was already using Trimble’s TMW Suite solution and modules including Asset Maintenance and Data Warehouse so Trimble Dispatch Advisor was an easy addition.

Trimble Dispatch Advisor reviews available driver-customer matches based on variables like location, driver Hours of Service (HOS) and time windows. The system then makes a recommendation for a match and the reasons behind the recommendation as well as backup matches. Planners make the final decision.

“Our planners were very willing to transition to Trimble Dispatch Advisor, since it supports the heavy lifting of matching,” Decker says.

Beyond streamlining the scheduling process, Trimble Dispatch Advisor also has reduced empty miles. “Our biggest win has been lowering the fleet’s deadhead percentage,” Decker says. “That’s a big expense for an over-the-road carrier. Our planners are excited about reducing that metric.”

After using Trimble Dispatch Advisor for just a few months—and despite market fluctuations due to COVID-19—the company reports a 2 percent decrease in empty miles, with goals for future reductions.

That’s a big win for planners and drivers alike, Decker says.