Con-way Freight is the industry’s leading less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service with exception-free delivery, on-time service performance and faster transit times through a single, unified network of 425 operating locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Con-way Freight offers LTL freight transportation across North America and through Global LTLTM delivery in the United States from around the world. Global solutions include international less-than-container load (LCL) ocean shipments from Asia through its OceanGuaranteed® service; direct service to more than 30 Bahamian and Caribbean ports through TropicalDirectSM; and domestic offshore transportation to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Con-way Freight is a certified FAST highway carrier and is C-TPAT/PIP-, ACE- and CSA-certified.
Con-way Freight is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), a $5.5 billion diversified freight transportation and logistics services company. For more information, visit www.con-way.com/en/freight.
The transportation industry has been using technology to monitor and control costs, driver behavior and improve processes for years. Recently, the number of products available to fleets as well as the number of fleets adopting new technologies has increased dramatically. With so many products to choose from, it can often be difficult to know where to start.
When Con-way Freight, the trucking industry’s third largest less-than-truckload (LTL) freight company, decided to add an in-cab solution that would improve safety, driver performance and efficiency, they conducted a comprehensive evaluation of technology products through in-depth analytical reviews and pilot programs. As a result, Con-way Freight concluded that the best fit for its needs was the DriveCam system powered by Lytx™, a product which improves safety by combining video and predictive analytics with real-time driver feedback and coaching to support improved driver performance and reduced safety incidents; and Vnomics, a fleet management solution which uses on-board technology to analyze interactions between the driver, vehicle, load, terrain, and environment to identify the optimal way to operate the vehicle.
Once the solution was identified, the next challenge was to determine how to implement the solution as rapidly as possible to maximize operational benefits, while minimizing any potential disruption to daily fleet operations. Con-way Freight knew from previous experience that attempting to implement this technology utilizing its own staff, while technically feasible, was not the optimal strategy. Con-way understood that a professional deployment strategy, and precise execution of that strategy, would be a critical factor in the overall success of the investment.
Velociti had been contracted by each of the potential technology providers to perform the required deployment services. Therefore, Con-way Freight had the opportunity to consider the value of engaging a partner with demonstrated experience in successfully implementing large and technically complex system platforms such as DriveCam and Vnomics. Con-way Freight ultimately decided that Velociti had the right solution to the deployment challenge.
Velociti was able to provide Con-way Freight with a comprehensive deployment solution that included project management, inventory management, staging and configuration, installation services, real-time testing and verification, and post-installation support.
Velociti began by assigning a team of account managers, project managers, field technicians, system engineers, quality control agents, staging/warehouse agents and call center agents to oversee every aspect of the deployment. More than 80 Velociti team members were committed to the success of the project.
Working closely with Con-way Freight, Lytx and Vnomics, as well as cellular carriers, Velociti established comprehensive installation guides, manufactured custom brackets for mounting the Vnomics devices and created custom placement templates for ensuring consistency when placing the DriveCam units, each one specific to the tractor model. This ensured consistency in installation and maintenance across the Con-Way Freight fleet.
Managing the supply chain was a critical piece of the puzzle. With only 4 months to install multiple in-cab devices in some 8,600 tractors, there was no room for error or delays. Velociti worked closely with Con-way Freight and the technology providers to analyze the supply chain requirements, evaluate potential risks and establish regular delivery schedules to ensure sufficient inventory for maintaining the aggressive deployment schedule.
Inventory was received at Velociti’s Kansas City facility, then kitted and shipped based on number and type of vehicles at each Con-way location. Con-way was provided with full visibility to the entire life-cycle of the project for inventory, trucks and locations within Velogic, Velociti’s web-based project management tool. Velogic gave Con-way Freight multiple options for data analysis, ranging from “executive dashboards” to automated detailed reports.
Gaining access to trucks as expected in the deployment schedule is typically the biggest challenge when deploying in-cab technology. Due to its aggressive timeline of 4 months, the field installation schedule was understood to have inherent risks. Deryk Powell, President of Velociti said “Con-way Freight’s commitment to the success of this project was unmatched in our 20 plus years of deploying fleet technology. We challenged them to implement aggressive tactics to ensure we could meet the rapid completion timeframe and they really stepped up. That commitment allowed us to achieve a 99.2% schedule adherence, which is unheard of in the industry.”
“Velociti was truly our partner throughout this entire process,” said Tom Clark, Senior Vice President of Operations for Con-way Freight. “They were proactive in their approach, and collaborated with us at every stage about what it would take to get this project done right, on time and on budget. It was one of the smoothest technology implementations we’ve ever done.”
Upon completion of each install, Velociti transitioned each tractor and system into its fleet maintenance program, which provides Con-way Freight with 24/7/365 call center support for any technical issues with the solution during a 48-month term. Con-way Freight’s device agents around the nation contact Velociti with any issues and Velociti works jointly with the technology providers to resolve issues. Where new parts or on-site support is needed, Velociti ships replacement hardware and dispatches a technician to perform troubleshooting and repair. Fleet maintenance information is also managed through Velogic.
The return on investment from these technology solutions was naturally a focus for Con-way Freight. The professional and on-time completion of the project supported Con-way Freight’s financial objectives, but these were secondary to the company’s priority goal: improving safety by supporting its operators with proven on-board systems that help drivers improve safe-driving skills, apply best practices and increase situational awareness. Having these systems installed on-schedule and operating flawlessly were critical to Con-way Freight’s objectives for continuous safety improvement.
“Velociti truly understands the four pillars of our company, which are safety, integrity, commitment and excellence,” said Clark. “And while there were a number of factors that went into our decision to deploy this solution, they really understood that safety was at the top of our list.”
“It’s our responsibility to identify our client’s priorities and tailor our services accordingly. Con-way Freight made it perfectly clear to us that safety improvements achieved by implementing these technology solutions were its top priority. We’re pleased to have been able to play a role in making these safety advances a reality for Con-way Freight as quickly as possible”, said Powell.