10 Years of Driving Change
Since the beginning, the Mercury Group consisted of some of the nation’s leading supply chains. The attendance for the event in 2009 included nine clients in a hotel conference room in Green Bay, WI. Topics for the event included discussing new findings that greenhouse gasses cause a threat to public health, the passing of the Economic Stimulus Plan, and the Kyoto Protocol.
The topics and concerns from that first event seem dated after ten years of evolution in the marketplace, but at the time they were pressing matters for shippers to understand and navigate. They set the groundwork for the policies and market dynamics we see today. By meeting as a cooperative group, it was the beginning of a shift—a shift in how shippers collaborate around solutions to today’s challenges.
Now, ten years later, the collective impact of the group has grown tremendously. In 2017, over 50 clients came together in downtown Chicago to discuss the rapid rate of change seen in transportation technology. Since 2009, the collective truckload shipment volume of Mercury Group members has grown by more than 350 percent.
The Breakthrough Advantage
We call it “The Breakthrough Advantage” – it is the difference between reimbursement using Fuel Recovery versus a DOE-based fuel program – and it represents every penny of savings our clients see. At our inaugural Mercury Group event in 2009, Breakthrough reported gross benefit among clients was nearly 45 million dollars since our inception in 2004.
Recently in the marketplace, wholesale diesel to DOE spreads remained strong across modes during 2017, with an average truckload spread of 31.83 cents and average rail spread of 81.80 cents per gallon. Compared to the gross benefit in 2009, our clients collectively saved $215 million between July of 2017 and June of 2018 alone—because they have The Breakthrough Advantage.
Breakthrough clients consume fewer diesel fuel gallons thanks to truckload efficiency increases. As fleet technology becomes more efficient in operation, shippers often miss out on these benefits—specifically by reimbursing at less efficient levels. By increasing fuel efficiencies in their programs, clients have more accurate insight into the fuel that is moving their goods to market. Fourteen clients rolled out plans to increase their truckload program efficiencies since last year’s Mercury Group event. The average increase across these programs has been 0.35 MPG, with several clients moving their truckload MPG above 6.50 miles per gallon. More than 25 percent of Breakthrough clients are now reimbursing with a truckload fuel efficiency of at least 6.50 miles per gallon.
In 2009 Breakthrough’s business looked far different from the organization seen today. Our primary services consisted of North American Fuel Recovery and Advisory Services—more specifically our monthly Advisor publication. Over the last decade we added intermodal Fuel Recovery services, natural gas fuel programs, launched the Breakthrough Insight tool, and took our services global in over 40 countries. We developed a marine fuel recovery solution, as well as a fixed-price fuel management solution to mitigate increasingly volatile risk environment. Our team has expanded, and our data sciences capabilities are more expansive. Our most recent addition of Breakthrough Supply Chain consulting is a testament to just how far innovation and thought leadership can take a once small organization. We continue to challenge the status quo and are committed to delivering new value continually for our clients.
The growing influence that members of the Mercury Group deliver within the transportation marketplace strengthens every year. As our company grows, so does our ability to make change real—and that value becomes exponential thanks to the collaboration and thought leadership of our clients at this yearly event. The opportunity to partner and create long-term solutions to support the next wave of change in the industry is unique to the Mercury Group. In ten years the experience of the event has been revolutionized, and this year we expect to unlock unseen opportunity to propel both our clients and Breakthrough into the future.