- Coyote Logistics said on Wednesday that it is launching dynamic route optimization (DRO), improving weekly routing plans and promising carriers consistent weekly miles, even given the recent market volatility, in a range of 2,100-2,700 miles.
- The machine-learning algorithm is designed to provide fleets with efficiencies and consistency in load deliveries, Coyote officials said. The software will guide drivers to and from home bases by combing over factors such as region, drivers' hours, costs, load attributes, average load and unload times — among other data sets. Coyote said it then mixes the data over open and available loads, reducing idle times and deadheading.
- The program, which has been tested and piloted for a year at the UPS subsidiary, will "reduce the amount of time spent on scheduling and managing through disruption," Nick Shroeger, Coyote chief network solutions officer, told Transport Dive in an interview.
The days of managing truck drivers, their schedules, their loads and supply chain needs using rotary phones and clipboards are long over. But computers, and even digital supply chain tools to allow visibility and tracking, have only added so much optimization. The next step for Coyote and its competitors was to use artificial intelligence (AI) to insert DRO into weekly load plans.
Shroeger said DRO makes changes efficiently and provides visibility to all members of the supply chain. The elimination of much work involved with weekly planning of rates and truckloads covered, carriers can focus on what they do best: "Moving goods," said Shroeger. The efficiencies also reduce emissions, Coyote said.
Route optimization has become more important during the pandemic, according to Coyote. Recent market volatility has made the need for AI larger. The technology addresses inconsistent load volume and rates, as well as scheduling gaps, Coyote said. The DRO strings shipments together so fleets keep moving productively, and drivers can be paid the mileage they were promised, the company said.
Coyote said the DRO software has helped fleets uphold commitments made prior to COVID-19, while giving drivers regular routes even with demand changes.
In May, Tom Regan, VP of Ryder's dedicated transportation solutions, told Transport Dive that the pandemic is the challenge of the year, and DRO was needed to face it.
"The pandemic has touched every aspect of our operations," Regan said. "It was business as usual on a Monday, and an entirely different matrix on a Tuesday ... As I look back on the past couple of months, I realize that part of planning is constant variability. [COVID-19] has accelerated that in a very big way — dynamic routing is the new norm."