Roadrunner rolls out new direct lanes and transit time improvements

Earlier today, Downers Grove, Ill.-based Roadrunner, a national less-than-truckload (LTL) services provider, with a focus on long-haul metro-to-metro shipping, said it has added five additional direct lanes to its service network. And it also noted that it has improved transit times by at least one day in 66 of its major lanes.

In February, Roadrunner heralded a reduction in transit times throughout its network driven by what the company called “transformational improvements to its operations over the past year,” at that time. Roadrunner also said in February that these improvements have led to transit time reductions, for its shipper customers, in 120 long-haul lanes across the 32 United States-based markets it serves, adding that these new transit times are available in the company’s online tools, including its free TMS, RapidShip LTL, which it said can be uploaded to other transportation management systems through API connectivity.

What’s more, Roadrunner said today that its continuous investments in technology, training and service center improvements are resulting in faster delivery times and more direct lanes for its customers. And as the company reengineered its lanes, Roadrunner said it increased its volume capacities, added more direct routing and all but eliminated rail usage and, among others, it said lanes heading Eastbound from Phoenix, Westbound from St. Louis and Detroit and Southbound from Cincinnati and Indianapolis are all seeing notable improvements in transit times.

“Moving transit times up in these 66 lanes is just the beginning. Our analytics team proved that we run faster than our stated transit times in more than 650 lanes, almost 20% of our 3,700 lanes,” said Philip Thalheim, Director of Linehaul Analytics at Roadrunner, in a statement. “Following previous operational improvements, which included the installation of dimensionalizers in all our facilities, dock automation, network restructuring and static load plan implementation, our data confirmed that our freight delivers early in these lanes due to earlier pickups and improved daily capacity.”

Roadrunner President Frank Hurst told LM earlier this year that Roadrunner’s improved service offering to customers has been underpinned by increased consistency on the dock and over the road.

“This began with a drastic change in service offerings in April 2021 to refocus on Roadrunner’s strength: long distance, major metro-to-major metro movements,” he said. “In August 2021, Roadrunner began a review of its loading practices and network routing. Each lane was reviewed and a defined set of two routing options was developed, with an eye towards reducing circuitous miles and rehandling of freight. Along with defined cut times for each load, this has improved consistency and velocity in the network. Freight moves more directly and more frequently than before, even as the industry has faced significant challenges in the last two years.”

What’s more, Hurst said that these improved service offerings, combined with upgraded technology and new management in operations at the executive and service center levels, enable Roadrunner to execute its new strategy and deliver these service enhancements. 

The company’s upgraded technology advancements include:

  • upgraded dock operations through automation
  • simplified self-service and delivery processes for its drivers through its Haul Now app;
  • real-time fleet visibility, increasing shipment transparency for customers; and
  • streamlined operational and financial analytics to increase agility

“Roadrunner has made significant investments in technology to allow for more-accurate tracking of freight as it moves across the dock, then as loads as they move within the network,” explained Hurst. “We are collecting more data, more quickly and analyzing it more thoroughly, than ever before. This allowed our team to determine which lanes were moving faster than before. Once we were comfortable with the consistency of the faster times in these lanes, we made the move.”

Article Topics

Global Logistics
Motor Freight
Motor Freight
Transit Times
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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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