A transport management company from Leicestershire has launched a new software tool this month (September) designed to reduce their clients’ transport costs at the same time as improving service levels.
Developed in-house by 3t Logistics (www.3t-europe.com) who are based in Enderby, the new software, known as the Optimiser, uses state of the art algorithms. Using available data, it creates the most cost effective transport plan for clients, using the tariffs and availability set up on the system.
Founded in 2001, 3t manage multi-carrier, multi-modal transportation solutions for international clients across a range of industries. This new software complements the company’s transport management system SOLO, which automates much of the administration involved in managing logistics. SOLO was also developed in-house by staff at 3t.
The technology for the Optimiser was developed over a two year period as part of a collaboration with the University of Nottingham. Following on from a two year KTP (Knowledge Transfer Programme) with the university, the project was also the subject of several PhD projects.
“The challenge we faced was a little different to the norm,” comments 3t’s managing director Tim Fawkes. “When we are dealing with fleet of vehicles that return back to base, the focus is usually on minimising distance. However, in this scenario, we were working around individual carrier availability with the focus on minimising cost, taking into account carriers who want their routes to end at their next pick up, which could be anywhere.”
The Optimiser facilitates a more structured central planning approach, enabling client-based transport planners to work more closely with carriers and clients. So far, the tool has been successfully deployed by packaging specialists SAICA Pack and LINPAC, and is currently being rolled out to other companies in the 3t portfolio.
Tim is delighted with the results so far. “The feedback we have received has been very encouraging. Our customers report that the software has helped to drive costs down, improving efficiency significantly. It enables us to focus on added value tasks that save our clients money at the same time as improving services.”