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Cross-business Visibility Leads to Enhanced Productivity and Opportunities for Global Sustainability Leader

Service: Network Intelligence


The global sustainability leader offering water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions and services began their partnership with Breakthrough in July 2022 to implement market-based fuel reimbursements across their Europe, United States, and marine operations. The global sustainability leader was seeking innovative ways to scale further while providing best-in-class service to their clients. Roughly one year later, they implemented Network Intelligence and RFP solutions for greater visibility and efficiency to manage their freight.

Cost Savings and Visibility through Fuel Recovery

In July 2022, the global sustainability leader began calculating their fuel reimbursements to carriers through Fuel Recovery. Due to their rapid growth, they were operating on three separate transportation management systems (TMSs). To get to one central dataset, Breakthrough connected weekly with stakeholders to meet the two-month implementation goal.

Data for Truckload, Intermodal, Bulk, and Dedicated shipments was collected, organized, cleaned and enhanced to provide visibility to the global sustainability leader’s complete transportation network. This dataset revealed synergies between the previously separate systems, allowing them to request volume discounts and share insights across business units. They have also been able to view deviations from plan, actively monitor compliance, identify regional carriers to fill gaps, utilize data to leverage market rates, and strengthen carrier partnerships. Through streamlining operations and improving transparency and communication with partners and customers, the global sustainability leader quickly achieved a 20% fuel cost reduction compared to the Department of Energy (DOE) diesel fuel price index which provides a once-weekly, single national retail price for diesel fuel.

By implementing an automated system for calculating fuel reimbursements, the global sustainability leader also relieved team members’ time to allow the company to scale even further. Fuel Recovery automatically calculates fuel reimbursements across multiple modes and geographies. The process is simple. They send a copy of shipment data to Breakthrough who then calculates the market-based fuel on the load. Breakthrough then returns the fuel data to the carrier and the shipper’s payment processing system. This process removes time, price, tax, and geographic distortion and creates fair and accurate partnerships.

In November 2023, the global sustainability leader took an additional step forward in their fuel management journey by implementing a zero-base strategy into their Fuel Recovery program. This strategic approach enables them to distinguish fuel costs from freight costs, empowering them to make data-driven decisions based on accurate data. As a result, it provided greater transparency and visibility for both the shipper and their carriers.

Enhanced Strategy and Reduced Cost through Freight Solutions

In the same year, the global sustainability leader expanded its partnership with Breakthrough, integrating Network Intelligence and RFP solutions. This collaboration empowered them to streamline operations, from procurement strategy to execution, resulting in cost-effective processes.

By using Network Intelligence, an agile contract freight procurement & management technology, the company gained access to a range of tools for optimizing their strategy, including carrier search, SMRT prices, and compliance management for every shipment daily.

The company was also able to achieve a 21% savings in their RFP process. This significant cost reduction was made possible with Breakthrough’s real-time transportation visibility and pre-sourcing strategy development. By utilizing these resources, they were able to aggregate and adjust their baseline and conduct a multi-round RFP with scenario analysis and data-driven insights. The unified RFP process across multiple business units also allowed for better communication and collaboration, achieving 102% of their projected RFP savings. This not only showcases the effectiveness of a comprehensive freight strategy but also highlights the value of change management and data-driven negotiation support.

Continued Improvement Initiatives on the Horizon

The global sustainability leader achieved the first step in network optimization: organizing data in one central platform in a format that drives action. While this offers greater visibility and enhanced productivity and efficiency, they unlocked a plethora of additional opportunities for their transportation network. Fuel efficiency improvements, mode conversions, and other value-add considerations are now within reach. This shipper will continue to be a company to watch for its leadership in transportation.

The partnership between the global sustainability leader and Breakthrough is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in the transportation industry. They have not only achieved cost savings but unlocked opportunities for future growth and success.

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