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Transportation Moneyball

Using Statistics to Transform Truck Delivery Performance

In the voice of John Chang, CPO at Clockwork

Sunset with baseball player silhouette

The 2001 season looked dismal for the Oakland As.

Star players left the team in the offseason, and ownership refused to raise payroll to replace them. Undaunted, General Manager Billy Beane hired a scout with an economics degree named Paul DePodesta.

Together they pioneered a technique that uses analytics to value players. Beane and DePodesta focused on players with a high “On Base” percentage. While other teams focused on home runs, Beane went for simple consistency.

The A’s won their division that year and achieved a record 20-game winning streak. Today, all major league teams utilize a similar analytical method.

My job at Clockwork is to re-think legacy transportation systems. My goal is to help our clients achieve consistency across their delivery chain and provide a modern truck rate engine with other performance data to get a better view of delivery quality and timeliness. Instead of building a rate engine that simply searches for the lowest rate, my focus is to help clients deliver consistency of performance. To do that we can now track the quality of deliveries provided by contracted Truck power over time.

Rates are all we know:

Low rates are the singular focus of the entire transportation industry. However, modern logistics is screaming for more than simple rates. Customers want a service that is dependable and resilient. Hitting a home run with a low rate is great, but a better winning strategy is to make sure you get on base with quality service as much as possible. Quality of service means many things to different customers. It can mean “on-time/in-full”, accurate and automated invoicing and quality can also refer to the digitization of data and collection of high-definition data at the time of delivery. For customers shipping valuable products, performance to them means a picture of the delivery proving the shipment is in good order (or a detailed damage report if it is not) and a clear chain of custody and security. While others invest in devices or locks, we focus on the overall delivery experience. We want to know our network of truck carriers is a winning team, with a proven history of consistent, secure, and digitized deliveries.

Building a Winning Team:

While statistics carefully measure a baseball player’s performance, a truck carrier and driver often have no performance record. This is particularly true when considering a low-cost carrier found via a broker or load board. Hiring a driver who is anonymous through a broker will not yield the level and consistency of delivery performance our customers demand. Our customers are changing the game with new metrics and re-thinking their operational and contractual relationships with Truck power. We added two (2) new factors into our transportation playbook:

- Digital History: The historic performance of the carrier and the individual driver. The Clockwork rate engine makes smarter decisions and recognizes the “best” drivers for the star players they are.

- % of Truck Power: Contracts must work both ways, if carriers value the relationship and commitment to their business then they will provide a consistent level of service.

Changing the Game:

Because the Clockwork system is automatically registering customer critical metrics, the system can help make smarter decisions. This is how we help 3PLs build a resilient network of truck power that yields consistent quality.

What do our customers think? They would say we're on a winning streak.

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