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How Shearer’s Snacks Found New Capacity in a Tight Market

Service: Capac-ID


Across the industry, it is no secret that one of the biggest challenges and highest priorities for shippers is finding capacity to move freight. Many shippers are turning to brokerage and spot solutions in this tight capacity market, but those who are forward-thinking are seeking alternative sourcing methods and tools to meet their imminent needs.

While their peers were using short-term capacity solutions, Shearer’s Snacks, a small snack product manufacturer, took a different approach to fix the underlying problem. They deployed Capac-ID, a carrier search tool that automatically tracks and identifies top opportunity lanes in their network and provides real-time, fair-market benchmarking on every lane across their team.

Brad Wehrle, Transportation Manager at Shearer’s says, “It’s a tool that you can tell was designed by a shipper, instead of someone trying to sell something. It’s addressing the questions and the needs that we already have.”

Capac-ID gave Shearer’s Snacks confidence in their carrier negotiations, bid results, and ongoing network management. As a result, Shearer’s Snacks revolutionized their carrier sourcing strategy, cutting down the time it takes to identify areas of opportunity, find the right carrier partners to correct them, and to solidify more optimized carrier matches.

Finding Carriers in a Competitive Capacity Landscape

As they entered their upcoming bid cycle, Shearer’s Snacks wanted to use the unique attributes of their network to hyper-focus their carrier sourcing approach. They needed a better way to hone in on which lanes were underperforming, and to find smaller regional carriers that were willing to contract out capacity at competitive linehaul rates.

“We knew which carrier profiles were the best for our business—regional carriers 200-500 trucks located in proximity to our plants and customers,” said Wehrle.

Previously, the best option on the market was to wait for large, annual bid events and randomly googling carriers in their regions. This process, familiar to shippers of every size, was time consuming, hard to get engagement from new carriers, and did not guarantee natural network fits across partners.

The Power of Targeting their Sourcing Strategy

Within the first two weeks of using Capac-ID, Wehrle and his team at Shearer’s were able to easily identify an opportunity on one of their highest volume lanes with Capac-ID’s user-friendly dashboard. This targeted their efforts, allowing them to source a new carrier with confidence and maximize their impact.

They used Capac-ID to strategically search for carrier partners by origin and destination zip code. Using custom filters, like carrier size and whether they already operated within Shearer’s network, the team got a shortlist of optimal carrier matches, complete with fair-market rates that allowed them to negotiate prices that would best serve that lane over time.

“Once you factor in that you have a specific need within a massive carrier landscape it becomes next to impossible to effectively find good carrier partners without a tool like this.”

By operationalizing Capac-ID across their small transportation team, Shearer’s was able to increase new carriers to their bid by 27%. Despite the challenging capacity market, Shearer’s said that for roughly every three carriers they called on, two of them were interested and willing to dedicate contract capacity.

“This was a massive improvement from the old way of doing things,” said Wehrle.

Empower Your Team with Better Tools & Data

Beyond their successful bid results, Shearer’s transformed how they think about sourcing contract capacity across their network. Rather than being bound to an annual bid cycle, the team has operationalized it to create continuous improvement opportunities.

They use Capac-ID’s quick and easy visualizations to identify specific lanes that are performing below the custom goals set by their organization. Lanes in the “red” or “orange” are input into carrier search to identify a new carrier partner in seconds. This has armed the Shearer’s transportation team with not only the right data but has lent itself to a major productivity win that corrects on-cost and performance issues immediately.

Wehrle says that the information provided in the tool “also helps you stand out from other potential shipper partners. In this tight market, carriers have to choose which shippers to move for, and having a shipper who has already done a lot of this legwork using data is a huge benefit to everyone.”

In the end, the success that has resonated across his organization the most is that his team is seeing measurable results that empower them to continue to elevate their organization.

“At the end of the day, it’s a really difficult time to be in supply chain. So, when you can see a lane go, week-over-week, from red or orange to green because of something you did…that makes people feel good. It enables people to make improvements and feel good about those improvements.

Uncover your transportation network’s opportunity

Interested in learning more about Breakthrough’s strategic transportation solutions? Schedule time with our team to see the impact on your network.