World’s Largest Equipment Rental Company Saves Millions in Shipping

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The Challenge

A Transportation Insight client involved in heavy equipment rentals had an initiative to manage its complex shipping network that included thousands of moves between more than 1,000 branch locations and hundreds of original equipment manufacturers. Many times the company had a need to move pieces of equipment from one branch to another and faced difficult challenges in moving that equipment in a timely manner. The client also faced significant challenges in sourcing enough service providers with sufficient insurance coverage to safely move their highly specialized payloads.

Having worked with another logistics provider with no customizable parameters, the equipment rental company instead was seeking a supply chain partner that listened to their needs before making recommendations on how to develop and implement a solution.

The Solution

Transportation Insight created a customized enterprise logistics solution for the client using its Co-managed Logistics® approach. The third-party logistics provider (3PL) allowed the client to retain decision-making control where the client preferred, while contributing expertise, technology and resources to manage much of the heavy lifting behind the scenes.

At the client’s direction, Transportation Insight developed a plan in which the equipment rental company had visibility to all inbound shipments but allowed Transportation Insight operations staff to make all carrier decisions on those shipments. The end in mind with this approach was not only to allow client staff to focus all of its efforts on intra-branch shipments, but also to reduce inbound transportation costs.

To expedite the moving of equipment between branches, Transportation Insight designed a client Load Center, allowing branch managers to submit a customized Bill of Lading complete with all necessary information. Upon receipt of the shipment information, Transportation Insight’s load planning team verified all shipment information and submitted the shipment to a Bid Board environment within Insight TMS®, Transportation Insight’s modular, scalable and web-based Transportation Management System.

On the Bid Board, more than 350 client-approved carriers had a two-hour window to bid on each load. Upon closure of the bidding process, true to the co-managed model, Transportation Insight submitted a short list of recommended carriers to the client’s logistics staff based on the delivery requirements for each shipment. Transportation Insight then tendered the shipment to the desired carrier, tracked the shipment and ensured its safe and timely delivery, proactively alerting client staff to any issues that arose along the way.

In addition to shipment execution, Transportation Insight implemented processes to manage many of the administrative and analytical functions to support the client’s transportation network such as:

  • Ensuring all approved carriers had current certificates of insurance that met the company’s requirements for coverage
  • Auditing all freight invoices to strict tolerances before paying carriers
  • Collecting all transportation data to produce customized, actionable business intelligence reporting to uncover additional opportunities for improvement including:
    • Load Center cost savings
    • Total volume and total spend by mode
    • Freight pay metrics (time from receipt of invoice to carrier payment)
  • Developing action plans for continuous improvement initiatives (e.g., increasing Load Center usage by more branch locations)

The Results

Through collaboration on the development of a customized supply chain solution, the client and Transportation Insight utilized the best of their respective skill sets to achieve significant positive impact. More importantly, the client’s relationship with Transportation Insight improved its overall customer experience. Transportation Insight continues to:

  • Source and maintain a large carrier base able to make specialized equipment moves
  • Make carrier recommendations while allowing the client to maintain as much control as desired
  • Reduce transportation costs throughout its network
  • Provide actionable reporting to improve corporate network visibility
  • Control and reduce accounting administrative costs with best-in-class freight bill audit and payment services

“Transportation Insight is as good in reality as they are on paper. They are more customer focused than any of the 3PL companies I have previously encountered and employed in support of our transportation program. Their Information Technology, Account Management, Accounts Payable and Outsourced Execution groups are agile, responsive, proactive and driven towards delivering a comprehensive and efficient solution. Transportation Insight employs a strong operational, cross disciplined approach towards serving the customer’s needs. They build the solution around the customer and do not try to ‘box’ the customer into a solution that does not fit the customer’s business.”

Senior Manager
Logistics and Transportation, Heavy Equipment Rental Service


Case Study: Heavy Equipment Rentals