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Roadrunner announces new Denver LTL service expansion

Downers Grove, Ill.-based Roadrunner, a national less-than-truckload (LTL) services provider, with a focus on long-haul metro-to-metro shipping, recently announced it has expanded its Smart Network offering, with new inbound service to Denver.

Company officials said that this represents the first step of new market expansions, with 2023 openings also planned in Kansas City and Portland.

“Our first priority is our customers,” said Phil Thalheim, Chief Linehaul Network Engineer at Roadrunner, in a statement. “We constantly ask ourselves how we can enhance our network to better service their needs, and this resulted in us offering service to Denver. We are thrilled to expand our network to Denver, giving our customers one more destination to enjoy our fast transit times, minimal rehandle of freight, and outstanding customer service.

A Roadrunner spokesperson provided LM with the following details about the company’s expansion into Denver and its Smart Network.

LM: What drove the need to expand with new inbound service to Denver?

Roadrunner: Thanks to our sophisticated machine learning capabilities and the vast amounts of big data that we have at our disposal, we have successfully expanded and improved our network, ultimately allowing us to identify new markets in Denver. By leveraging the power of machine learning algorithms and utilizing the insights derived from analyzing large data sets, we were able to gain a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and preferences and identify key trends and patterns. Armed with this knowledge and driven by data, we strategically positioned ourselves in Denver, allowing us to tap this new market and connect with a new set of customers. As a result, we have been able to drive growth and achieve our business objectives while also providing our customers with the high-quality services they deserve and desire.

Roadrunner's internal data analytics, including those generated by our proprietary AI algorithms, combined with customer feedback led to our decision to offer inbound service to Denver that would meet our high-quality standards. Denver has a metro population of approximately 3 million people, so re-entering the market in a methodical way was a logical step in Roadrunner’s long-haul, metro-to-metro growth strategy.

LM: How did the company previously serve customers in Denver?

Roadrunner: Roadrunner served Denver until the beginning of 2021. We made a strategic decision to reinvent ourselves and focus on our core competencies. We exited certain markets to help us pivot with increased agility and focus on what we are good at. Since then, we have entirely transformed ourselves through changes in both technology and reengineering our processes enabling us to transform Roadrunner into a data-driven organization. We saw significant demand for Denver capacity at that time, but we did not have the tools and processes to service it to our high=quality standards. As a result of our network and technology improvements in the last two years, we are now offering 3-day transit where we previously offered 4 or 5-day transit, along with improved tracking.

LM: What are the main benefits of this for customers?

Roadrunner: Customers will see additional zips/lanes in service, allowing them to ship more of their freight with Roadrunner. We are loading directly from Southern California, meaning we do not need to mark up our rates to cover extra rehandles and out-of-route miles. As always, our customers will benefit from our optimized, direct network, which enables them to ship freight quickly and with less handling.

LM: How does Roadrunner define its Smart Network?

Roadrunner: By utilizing sophisticated algorithms and decisions to support our systems, we are able to optimize our network and expand into new lanes and markets. With the help of these advanced algorithms and machine learning models (Operational Research in particular), we are able to analyze vast amounts of data in real-time and identify new opportunities for growth. By examining factors such as customer demand, shipping routes, and pricing data, we are able to identify underserved markets and develop new lanes that meet our customers' needs. Our Smart Network also enables us to optimize our supply chain, reducing costs and improving efficiency. Overall, our use and trust in data has allowed us to expand our business and serve a broader range of customers while improving our transit times and service levels, all while protecting our bottom line. 

Roadrunner’s reliable LTL freight network runs metro-to-metro across the United States to deliver freight on time, intact, and damage-free. Our team utilizes proprietary technology to optimize volume to build direct loads and eliminate rehandling. This ensures that our customers’ freight runs over the road (and rail free) via the most direct route possible with the least amount of handling by our expert team members. Roadrunner’s on-time pickup and delivery percentages are industry leading and our customers report less than 0.4% exceptions on freight delivery. Our goal is to completely eliminate exceptions.

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About the Author

Jeff Berman's avatar
Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review and is a contributor to Robotics 24/7. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis.
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