Using HaulPLAN, you can reduce your linehaul costs and simultaneously improve service quality.

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What Does HaulPLAN Do?

HaulPLAN creates an optimized linehaul plan based on historical shipment volumes and customer service commitments. This web-based decision support system determines the number of loads to make each day of the week on every lane in the network, schedules these loads, and routes shipments on these schedules so that they reach their destinations on time and at minimum cost.

HaulPLAN is revolutionizing how less than truckload shipping (LTL) carriers create plans and optimize network operations. The system can be used by linehaul planners, network planners, and central dispatchers to create better linehaul schedules and shipment routes.

DECADES AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION

HaulPLAN is more advanced than the software currently used by most LTL carriers. It features unique functionalities that have been desired, but unavailable until now.

Further, our commitment to continually innovating HaulPLAN, so that we may meet evolving business needs, will keep it the software of choice for LTL carriers for decades to come.

How Does HaulPLAN Work?

OPTIMIZATION ENGINE

At the heart of HaulPLAN lies a proprietary technique developed by Optym through decades of R&D – simulation-guided optimization, an ideal technique for solving complex planning and scheduling problems.

For a given load plan, this technique simulates the movement of shipments on a time-space network created by linehaul schedules and determines their complete routings from their origins to their destinations. Through this simulation, we determine the cost and service quality of the given load plan. Then we repeatedly modify this plan, evaluate it with respect to cost and service quality, and keep the most effective plan.

We repeat this process until the load plan is in its optimal state and can no longer be improved.

Multiple Optimization Modes

HaulPLAN can be used in four modes of optimization. These modes enable an LTL carrier to engage in a constant process of improving its linehaul plan and continuously adapt it to changing shipment volumes and service commitments.

User-Driven Optimization

HaulPLAN allows you to make selective changes to a given plan and evaluate the impact of these changes. You can delete a load, add a load, or change the load plan of a service.

Full Optimization

In this mode, HaulPLAN allows you to do a clean-sheet optimization of the entire linehaul plan. The system makes as many changes as needed to reduce linehaul costs and improve service quality. The scope of optimization can also be controlled to make plan changes only in specific regions of the network.

Incremental Optimization

The system generates the best changes to improve cost and service. You can specify the number and types of changes you’d like to see, and HaulPLAN will generate those recommendations.

Terminal Upgrade/Downgrade Studies

You can upgrade some terminals to hubs or downgrade some terminals to end-of-lines, or change their processing capacities, and generate a new load plan to study the effectiveness of these changes.

REALISTIC MODELING

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Multiple Product Types

HaulPLAN can consider multiple product types (e.g., expedited or economy) with different service levels.

It prioritizes the loading of shipments at terminals based on product types.

2

Day-of-Week Modeling

Shipment volumes vary by day of the week, with Mondays and Fridays often being the heaviest. HaulPLAN creates plans and schedules that change by the day of the week and keep the linehaul cost at a minimum.

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Terminal Operating Windows

Each terminal can have a time window that permits different types of operations – for example, inbound operations, outbound operations, breakbulk operations, etc. These time windows can be set individually for each day of the week.

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Different Equipment Types

HaulPLAN considers different equipment types operating on different parts of the network; some lanes may use single van, while some may use two pups and others may use three pups. HaulPLAN supports weight and cube based trailer capacities.

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Relay Operations

Relay operations are critical for some LTL carriers to reduce their linehaul costs. HaulPLAN incorporates relay operations while creating linehaul plans.

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Rail and Purchased Transportation

HaulPLAN can recommend an optimized plan for both road and rail purchased transportation, providing additional opportunity to save costs and reduce network imbalance and empty movements.

Insightful Analysis

HaulPLAN’s user interfaces provide visualizations of the input data and deep insights into the optimized linehaul plan created by the system.

  • Multi-User Web-Based System

    HaulPLAN is a server-based web system accessible by any user with login privileges. User preferences for each page visited are saved and applied when the user visits the same page later.

  • Personalized Views:

    Users can organize their views based on their preferences. In any data grid, the user can show or hide any column or change the ordering of columns. The system stores these settings in that person’s profile and uses them whenever he or she logs in.

  • Multi-Scenario Capability

    HaulPLAN allows you to create multiple scenarios, each representing a specific linehaul plan. All previously created scenarios are available to the user for review.

  • Comparison

    You can compare the current scenario being studied with any scenario stored in the database using data grids, charts and maps. HaulPLAN provides different ways to compare two scenarios – from service, cost, load plan, schedule and shipment route perspectives.

  • Multiple Drill Downs

    The HaulPLAN UI allows the cross-referencing of data and multiple levels of drill down to analyze the plan from different perspectives, including services, loads, schedules and shipment routes.

  • Export

    Data can be exported into spreadsheets to perform further analysis and generate reports. Comparison of scenarios, cross-referenced data and customized reports can also be exported.

Use Cases

With HaulPLAN, you can perform a variety of what-if studies and identify opportunities to reduce linehaul costs and improve service quality.

Complete Optimization of the Linehaul Plan

HaulPLAN can help you perform a clean-slate optimization and choose some of the recommendations coming from this study. Not all recommendations may be implementable due to reasons not modeled in HaulPLAN.

Determining Improvements to the Current Load Plan

Find the best incremental improvements in the current load plan, considering both the linehaul cost and service errors. You can control the number of changes and their scope (terminal, region, or the entire network).

Service Rationalization

HaulPLAN provides the capability to trade off between linehaul cost and service quality. You can perform studies to reduce costs in various ways; for example, improving service quality by running extra linehaul schedules.

Periodic Adjustments to the Load Plan

Various origin-destination shipment volumes have strong seasonality in their volumes and density. HaulPLAN can periodically optimize your load plans, rail, and purchased transportation plans.

User-Driven Manual Changes

HaulPLAN allows you to make manual changes to the current load plan, such as adding loads, deleting loads or changing purchased or rail transportation options, and assess their impacts before pushing them into production.

Terminal-Related Studies

Using HaulPLAN, you can perform studies to assess the impact of opening, closing, upgrading, or downgrading terminals, as well as changing shipment processing capacities of hub locations.

Key Benefits

Reduce Linehaul Costs

Large LTL carriers spend hundreds of millions of dollars in linehaul costs each year. Optimized load plans and schedules created by HaulPLAN can reduce a carrier’s linehaul costs between 2% – 5% annually.

Improve Service Quality

HaulPLAN can reduce the number of service errors for various origin-destination services, resulting in greater delivery and overall customer satisfaction.

Frequent Updates to Linehaul Plan

The creation of linehaul plans as a manual process requires months of painstaking effort. HaulPLAN reduces this effort to days, enabling faster and more frequent changes to plans.

Robust Linehaul Planning

Only 70% – 80% of an LTL carrier’s shipments move as per the plan, with the rest of the routings decided dynamically each day. HaulPLAN creates better linehaul forecasting so that the largest possible percentage of shipments move according to the plan.

Proactive Decision-Making

Most LTL carriers operate reactively, and hotspots are dealt with on a daily basis as they show up. HaulPLAN uses historical shipment volumes to proactively create better linehaul forecasting and minimize potential hotspots.

Enhanced Strategic Planning

LTL carriers currently use their experience and institutional knowledge to make important strategic decisions. HaulPLAN adds science and data to this decision-making, which augments human experience and insight.

Find out how our software can drive your decisions.

See how HaulPLAN can improve your network