Trucking firm uses optimizing tool to manage operations

Contract Freighters Inc. (CFI) was looking for a way to cut costs by better matching drivers to the loads that needed to be delivered.

Herb Schmidt, president of Joplin, Mo.-based CFI said he found what he was looking for in the OptiYield Driver&Load tool from Inc. Burlington, Mass.-based, an application service provider (ASP), helps shippers and transportation companies buy, sell, manage and optimize transportation services over land, air and sea.

Schmidt said he was looking for a tool that could determine the best way to match 700 drivers to 700 loads every day.

“There’s a lot of criteria that goes into that [decision],” he said. “We have to find out the driver’s availability, his needs – if he has to get home on a certain date – his proximity to the load, how many miles he’d have to drive with an empty load.”

He said he saw how’s product worked for other trucking companies and decided to try it.

With’s tool, Schmidt’s route planners input various criteria and weight that criteria in order of importance. The tool then comes up with the three best choices for matching drivers with loads.

“We’re not using it exactly the way those other carriers are using it. We weight criteria differently. But the [product] is very versatile,” said Schmidt. CFI has been using the product for about four months, he said. Previously, the company used a system developed in-house to help with the planning process.

“I know it saves us time and money, but right now it’s too soon to say how much,” he said.

Schmidt said the route planners still use some in-house software to help make final decisions.

Evan Eggers, director of marketing at, said the Driver&Load tool, one in a suite of OptiYield optimization tools, offers three major benefits to transportation companies: It allows them to deliver the best possible service to their customers; it helps them retain drivers by addressing their specific needs and better using their equipment; and it finds the cheapest way to do it.

Eggers said Driver&Load recommended the best driver-to-load assignments while maximizing customer service and minimizing “deadhead miles,” the number of miles a driver travels with an empty truck.

“’s optimization technology provides us with another tool to improve service to our customers by improving our drivers’ load-to-planning process,” Schmidt said.