trucking profitability experts

KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) exclusively serves the trucking industry, providing freight network engineering and profit improvement services.

learn more  

our offerings

assessmentslearn more  

 

Our carrier profitability assessments are designed to be self-funding, provide a thorough analysis of the current situation and create a roadmap so the identified issues can be quantified, prioritized and pursued.

productslearn more  

 

Our products are designed to support and improve carrier profitability, and are used within our assessments and implementations to provide the intelligence and knowledge for change and action.

KSMTA insights

Technology Helps Carriers Communicate Their Fact-Based Needs to Shippers  

Technology Helps Carriers Communicate Their Fact-Based Needs to Shippers

A recent article published in Fleet Owner, “Projecting Trucking’s Future Pricing Path” builds on some of the key takeaways from last week’s webinar, “Freight Accessorials – Augmenting Revenue While Covering Rising Costs” presented by John Larkin of Stifel and Ben Cubitt of Transplace. Of particular interest is the last paragraph of the article, which states:

“Carriers still haven’t done the best job relating their needs,” Cubitt added. “Shippers and 3PLs are very data-based and data-driven, so carriers need to have more ‘fact-based’ discussions about the need for rates and accessorial charges. They need to ‘arm’ shippers with accommodating data to support their rate requests.”

KSMTA’s clients utilize our Freight Network Intelligence Platform and our Freight Network Engineering Process combined with TMW's IDSC Netwise® technology to create pricing that is compensatory to the carrier and competitive in the market. Our clients do not bid all lanes; they bid the lanes on which they know they can be profitable, competitive and provide superior service. This pricing intelligence combined with analytics about driver recruiting and retention and cost creep provide a powerful means for carriers to communicate their ‘fact-based’ needs to their shippers.

For more information, contact David Roush, president of KSM Transport Advisors, at 317.452.1390 or droush@ksmta.com.   

.
Webinar: Freight Accessorials – Augmenting Revenue While Covering Rising Costs  

Webinar: Freight Accessorials – Augmenting Revenue While Covering Rising CostsThis week, John Larkin, managing director of Transportation Equity Research at Stifel, and Ben Cubitt, senior vice president of Consulting and Engineering at Transplace, presented a webinar entitled, “Freight Accessorials – Augmenting Revenue While Covering Rising Costs,” which offered participants some great insight into shippers’ thoughts and actions in 2014.

Below are KSM Transport Advisors’ (KSMTA) solutions to two of the key points made in the presentation:

  1. Transplace has conducted 22 bids for truckload services on behalf of its customers so far in 2014. Savings accruing to shippers are still averaging 2%-3%, relative to the prior 12-month period. Most of the reductions currently are derived from Transplace’s ability to match freight lanes with carriers most suited to efficiently haul freight in those lanes.

KSMTA has built our Freight Network Engineering practice around this specific point. Our clients’ goal is to maximize the margin generated by the entire freight network, not maximize the margin on each and every load. We believe it is impossible to achieve this level of pricing sophistication without a strong freight network strategy and a toolset; our clients use the TMW IDSC Netwise® product combined with our Freight Network Intelligence Platform  and Freight Network Engineering Process to provide pricing sophistication, and most importantly confidence.

  1. Fuel surcharge programs are “all over the map.”

KSMTA certainly sees this same phenomenon in our client carriers’ data. This trend has required us to shift away from the paradigm of analyzing only linehaul rates when comparing client carrier rates to outside rate indices or when comparing rates internally within a shipper’s network. The result of the trend is that the amounts being paid for linehaul and fuel surcharge (FSC) are effectively reclassified and dollars are shifted from one bucket to another; the end result is that carriers can no longer confidently compare linehaul rates. KSMTA utilizes a new metric linehaul + FSC when comparing rates.

Download the key takeaways here. The audio replay is available by dialing:

 800-332-6854 (Domestic) or 973-528-0005 (International)                                            Passcode: 428741

David Roush is president of KSM Transport Advisors. For more information, contact David at 317.452.1390 or droush@ksmta.com

.
Trucking Roundtable Participants Foresee 2014 Capacity Crunch  

Recently there have been numerous articles in Reuters and trade publications such as Fleet Owner and Transport Topics about the incipient capacity crunch. 

Is 2014 the year that carriers have been anticipating since deregulation? Industry analysts Thom Albrecht (BB&T Capital Markets) and Bryan Merolla (Cleveland Research Company) supported this view at the Trucking Owners Business Roundtable sponsored by Katz, Sapper & Miller, KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) and Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary held recently in Indianapolis. The only difference in their outlook was timing (now vs. later this year) and severity (2-3% vs. 5-8%).    

An informal poll taken at our first annual KSMTA Freight Network Roundtable provided a unanimous answer to the question “Will there be a capacity crunch in 2014?” with all participants answering in the affirmative. Many shared anecdotal information regarding their recent experiences in meeting shipper capacity needs. 

Participants also agreed that a strong freight network optimization strategy will be essential during a capacity crunch; as freight choices become available it is important that those opportunities be evaluated not only on their one-way margins but how those opportunities fit into the carrier’s freight network strategy. “Across the board” rate increases were also discussed with most carriers voicing a preference for lane specific increases; again ensuring that each piece of business fits the freight network strategy. Updated tools to assist carriers in these freight network and pricing strategies were also unveiled.

Conditions seem to be aligning for a capacity crunch; carriers need to invest and be ready with knowledge, processes and tools so that they may respond strategically rather than opportunistically when opportunities are presented.

David Roush is president of KSM Transport Advisors. For more information, contact David at 317.452.1390 or droush@ksmta.com.

.
 

Click on a logo to see what our clients have to say about us.

%%clientname% Logo

We have worked with several consultants over the years, and KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) is truly a cut above the rest. While many consultants will try to “strong arm” you into buying into their recommendations, KSMTA most certainly doesn’t operate that way. In fact, I felt as though they became a fully integrated part of our team. They are able to leverage their industry experience and tools to deliver options that are well thought out, quantified, and most important, can be realistically implemented. They offer real-world solutions to real-world problems.

One example is their maintenance assessment. We felt confident about how we handled our maintenance practices, but they showed us innovative ways on how we could improve even further. The report they compiled contained metrics and analyses that were both thorough and easy to understand. We were so impressed that we engaged them to help us implement their solutions. I would recommend KSMTA to anyone who is interested in driving down their maintenance costs in order to maximize profits.


Averitt Express, Inc.

%%clientname% Logo

Working with David Roush has been an invaluable experience. David worked with us in the details of our business, but also guided us at a higher, strategic level. In both instances, TransCorr was led in a better direction. David's experience in the trucking industry is vast, and he used that knowledge to help us in many different business scenarios. With KSM Transport Advisor's (KSMTA) help, we have been able to improve our LH/Mile by $0.14 within 12 months. And with David's guidance, we were able to more strategically develop a new market.

In addition, David is extremely personable and easy to relate to. He's been a reliable person to converse with for quick questions or for longer strategic discussions. I have greatly enjoyed the experience working with David and KSMTA and I look forward to continuing working together.

Michael Kuebler, Director – Business Intelligence
TransCorr

%%clientname% Logo

We called on KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) to evaluate our company's recruiting strategy. We did not believe we were properly configured to achieve the performance benchmarks we'd outlined for ourselves, and needed assistance with improving our core recruiting methods to ensure we were bringing in the right people.

KSMTA brought decades of experience to the task and continues to play a large role in helping us to strengthen our recruiting group. The firm made several site visits and offered a series of recommendations regarding the metrics, advertising, and other tools we were implementing to attract new hires. In the past month alone, we've seen a 10 percent increase in seated trucks. Moreover, our new hires have been a great fit for our firm. I'd highly recommend KSMTA to anybody who wants to improve their driver recruiting results.

Chip Watkins, President, Transportation Division
Watkins Associated Industries

%%clientname% Logo

Boyd Bros. hired KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) to evaluate our freight network. We had purchased and implemented TMW’s IDSC Netwise® software, but our use of the software was sporadic, and thus so were the results.

We do not use a lot of consultants as we have had several negative experiences in the past. Our experience with KSMTA was very positive.

We have implemented a systematic weekly and monthly review of our freight network based on the best practices shared with our team by KSMTA. We have integrated KSMTA as an integral part of our go-forward network design to ensure we continue to maximize our operating margins.

I highly recommend KSMTA and their Freight Network Assessment as a high value project that delivers real-world insights and solutions.

Richard Bailey, President
Boyd Bros. Transportation, Inc.

%%clientname% Logo

Our company engaged the services of KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) after our board of directors determined that key ingredients to improving our overall operating performance were missing. KSMTA's challenge was to help our company create a business plan that was attainable, sustainable and would allow us to achieve our profit goals.

KSMTA hit the ground running. They visited every company location, conducted a complete review of our business plan and our existing resources. They asked critical questions about our revenue models and our personnel needs. They examined what our competitors were doing and looked at how federal regulations were affecting our business. They were proactive, results driven and impressed us with their knowledge of the freight industry.

Ultimately, they determined our company was heading in the right direction, but helped to sharpen our focus and make sure that our business model was both strategically and statistically sound. They met their deadlines, were competitively priced and were considerably more engaged than other consultants we've work with. We continued to work with David and KSMTA on various follow-up projects, and I would recommend KSMTA to any industry leader who is interested in improving operational efficiency.

Chip Watkins, President, Transportation Division
Watkins Associated Industries

%%clientname% Logo

Our company, Kane is Able, had experienced significant change in our operations as the result of adjustments to the recession, as well as undergoing cultural change as the company transitions from a family-operated company to a company with non-family professional management. Additionally, we had made some management changes and I was assigned to "right the ship."

Fundamentally knowing that a strong foundation is critical to success and anecdotally experiencing a multitude of "system" issues, I hired KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) to complete their Systems Assessment. I felt comfortable from the start as the proposal was professional and thorough with a well-defined process and very specific deliverables.

The onsite team exceeded our expectations with a strong focus, organized methodology, and instantly apparent expert knowledge combined with industry experience on the carrier side. Our team was highly involved at the operation, administrative, and IT levels; daily briefings kept our leadership in the loop and provided short-term wins as well as made our system and use of the system world class.

Our team was in unanimous agreement that this was a great investment and I would recommend KSMTA and its Systems and Assessment to any carrier who would like to better understand how to configure their systems immediately and in to the future.

Steve Buckman, Vice President Operations
Kane is Able, Inc.

%%clientname% Logo

Bestway engaged David Roush and KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) to evaluate our freight network and it was a very positive experience.

KSMTA delivered exactly what they promised and more. Their entire approach was professional and designed to deliver maximum value with minimal effort on our part. They quickly understood our unique and proprietary concepts and issues and “dialed” them into their analysis and presentation. We learned more about the profitability of our customers and lanes in a day and a half with their team than we had in all the time prior to the visit.

The solutions resulting from their work were easy to understand and actionable as promised. We began immediate implementation resulting in a nice increase in our rate per mile. Our rate per mile has increased nicely as a result of this process, and our operating ratio has declined accordingly. That increase far exceeded our investment in the project.

Terry W. Croslow, COO/CFO
Bestway Express, Inc.

%%clientname% Logo

In today's highly competitive truckload industry, regulatory concerns, driver turnover issues, and a generally soft economy are impacting carriers' profitability. We turned to KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA)'s Freight Network Assessment (FNA) to better equip ourselves to manage through these challenges. KSMTA's data-driven work products and processes support and leverage the power of the TMW IDSC Netwise® Technology.

KSMTA team members went above and beyond in helping us understand how to use advanced analysis to improve our overall operational efficiency. They analyzed every aspect of our revenue stream to allow us to close profitability gaps and find new revenue opportunities. They even provided us with an in-house analyst to manage the FNA technology until one of our own people was fully trained to do the job.

We were impressed with how well KSMTA's people understood the truckload industry. They instilled us with confidence as they guided us through the analytical process. On top of their experience, the KSMTA team members were great to work with – humble, willing to roll up their sleeves on our behalf, and completely focused on our success.

Matt Anderson, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Landair Inc.

%%clientname% Logo

Our initial goal was for KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) to provide an overall analysis of our entire truckload freight network, provide specific deliverables for the project, and to make recommendations for future improvements. Having worked with KSMTA on previous projects, we were very confident that they would bring the same level of enthusiasm and expertise to the network analysis project. We were not disappointed.

The team from KSMTA brought real-world industry experience and a proven track record of success to our project. Their approach is very systematic, thorough and results-driven. We continue to refine our processes and overall approach to our freight network management based on the systems and logic implemented through our engagement with KSMTA. We began to see positive results from the very beginning, and a favorable trend has continued during the six months since launching the project. I would recommend KSMTA to anyone who is interested in analyzing their freight network in order to drive improvements in yield and margin.

Danny Crooks, Vice President, Corporate Transportation
Averitt Express, Inc.

%%clientname% Logo

When our company engaged the services of KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) we had completed an acquisition, but we did not have the opportunity to perform an in-depth evaluation of the freight network. The initial goal was for KSMTA to provide an overall analysis of our entire truckload freight network, provide specific deliverables from the project, and to make recommendations for future improvements.

We made strategic decisions regarding certain segments of this fleet – including where to hire drivers and which markets to grow. We turned to KSMTA to provide the analysis and support to confirm our thoughts, assure this effort would be successful by providing a plan for attaining our objectives within a given timeframe, and provide follow-up measurements to report progress. They responded timely with tools and analysis that supported this effort.

We continue to refine our processes and overall approach to our freight network management based on the systems and logic implemented though our engagement with KSMTA.

I would recommend KSMTA to anyone who is interested in analyzing their freight network in order to drive improvements in yield and margin, and ultimately overall profitability.

Terry A. Wallace, President
Transco Lines, Inc.

%%clientname% Logo

I have spent 20 years helping truckload carriers all across North America with the problem of identifying which shippers and lanes at various rates and volumes make up the best freight mix; yield management. One of the most valuable lessons learned over my years is that there's both a science and an art to freight mix optimization.

Understanding the science is the easier of the two: what data do you need, what's the proper math to apply, and how do you read the resulting information? There are few commercially available yield management systems designed for the truckload industry. These systems are wonderful tools for taking vast amounts of raw information and very quickly producing objective business intelligence. The problem with these systems is that they can lack direction. Lack of direction often leads its users to a condition known as “analysis paralysis” resulting in very little realized improvements.

The art is finding the right blend of real-world transportation experience and the objective measurements to form actionable tasks. It takes many years at various positions and levels within a trucking company for an individual to gain the necessary experience needed to identify actionable opportunities presented in the analytics. Intuitively you know you can't take what a mathematical model says to do 100%; but on the flipside, you can't exclusively rely on an individual's subjective experience either.

I've seen carriers attempt yield management by applying science or art, always with less success than when both are applied. Done right, yield management will bring huge improvements to the bottom line with very little disruption to operations and sales.

Our industry is small with a very small number of yield management experts. David Roush and his team at KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) are truly among the best. They use software to produce objective business intelligence and possess a rare wealth of industry experience needed to guide actions. You won't find a better blend of art and science. KSMTA is a professional group passionate about what they do. I've seen their success firsthand and would recommend them to anyone and everyone.

Ben Murphy, President
BJM Advisors, LLC

 

KSMTA insights

Technology Helps Carriers Communicate Their Fact-Based Needs to Shippers  

Technology Helps Carriers Communicate Their Fact-Based Needs to Shippers

A recent article published in Fleet Owner, “Projecting Trucking’s Future Pricing Path” builds on some of the key takeaways from last week’s webinar, “Freight Accessorials – Augmenting Revenue While Covering Rising Costs” presented by John Larkin of Stifel and Ben Cubitt of Transplace. Of particular interest is the last paragraph of the article, which states:

“Carriers still haven’t done the best job relating their needs,” Cubitt added. “Shippers and 3PLs are very data-based and data-driven, so carriers need to have more ‘fact-based’ discussions about the need for rates and accessorial charges. They need to ‘arm’ shippers with accommodating data to support their rate requests.”

KSMTA’s clients utilize our Freight Network Intelligence Platform and our Freight Network Engineering Process combined with TMW's IDSC Netwise® technology to create pricing that is compensatory to the carrier and competitive in the market. Our clients do not bid all lanes; they bid the lanes on which they know they can be profitable, competitive and provide superior service. This pricing intelligence combined with analytics about driver recruiting and retention and cost creep provide a powerful means for carriers to communicate their ‘fact-based’ needs to their shippers.

For more information, contact David Roush, president of KSM Transport Advisors, at 317.452.1390 or droush@ksmta.com.   

.
Webinar: Freight Accessorials – Augmenting Revenue While Covering Rising Costs  

Webinar: Freight Accessorials – Augmenting Revenue While Covering Rising CostsThis week, John Larkin, managing director of Transportation Equity Research at Stifel, and Ben Cubitt, senior vice president of Consulting and Engineering at Transplace, presented a webinar entitled, “Freight Accessorials – Augmenting Revenue While Covering Rising Costs,” which offered participants some great insight into shippers’ thoughts and actions in 2014.

Below are KSM Transport Advisors’ (KSMTA) solutions to two of the key points made in the presentation:

  1. Transplace has conducted 22 bids for truckload services on behalf of its customers so far in 2014. Savings accruing to shippers are still averaging 2%-3%, relative to the prior 12-month period. Most of the reductions currently are derived from Transplace’s ability to match freight lanes with carriers most suited to efficiently haul freight in those lanes.

KSMTA has built our Freight Network Engineering practice around this specific point. Our clients’ goal is to maximize the margin generated by the entire freight network, not maximize the margin on each and every load. We believe it is impossible to achieve this level of pricing sophistication without a strong freight network strategy and a toolset; our clients use the TMW IDSC Netwise® product combined with our Freight Network Intelligence Platform  and Freight Network Engineering Process to provide pricing sophistication, and most importantly confidence.

  1. Fuel surcharge programs are “all over the map.”

KSMTA certainly sees this same phenomenon in our client carriers’ data. This trend has required us to shift away from the paradigm of analyzing only linehaul rates when comparing client carrier rates to outside rate indices or when comparing rates internally within a shipper’s network. The result of the trend is that the amounts being paid for linehaul and fuel surcharge (FSC) are effectively reclassified and dollars are shifted from one bucket to another; the end result is that carriers can no longer confidently compare linehaul rates. KSMTA utilizes a new metric linehaul + FSC when comparing rates.

Download the key takeaways here. The audio replay is available by dialing:

 800-332-6854 (Domestic) or 973-528-0005 (International)                                            Passcode: 428741

David Roush is president of KSM Transport Advisors. For more information, contact David at 317.452.1390 or droush@ksmta.com

.
Trucking Roundtable Participants Foresee 2014 Capacity Crunch  

Recently there have been numerous articles in Reuters and trade publications such as Fleet Owner and Transport Topics about the incipient capacity crunch. 

Is 2014 the year that carriers have been anticipating since deregulation? Industry analysts Thom Albrecht (BB&T Capital Markets) and Bryan Merolla (Cleveland Research Company) supported this view at the Trucking Owners Business Roundtable sponsored by Katz, Sapper & Miller, KSM Transport Advisors (KSMTA) and Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary held recently in Indianapolis. The only difference in their outlook was timing (now vs. later this year) and severity (2-3% vs. 5-8%).    

An informal poll taken at our first annual KSMTA Freight Network Roundtable provided a unanimous answer to the question “Will there be a capacity crunch in 2014?” with all participants answering in the affirmative. Many shared anecdotal information regarding their recent experiences in meeting shipper capacity needs. 

Participants also agreed that a strong freight network optimization strategy will be essential during a capacity crunch; as freight choices become available it is important that those opportunities be evaluated not only on their one-way margins but how those opportunities fit into the carrier’s freight network strategy. “Across the board” rate increases were also discussed with most carriers voicing a preference for lane specific increases; again ensuring that each piece of business fits the freight network strategy. Updated tools to assist carriers in these freight network and pricing strategies were also unveiled.

Conditions seem to be aligning for a capacity crunch; carriers need to invest and be ready with knowledge, processes and tools so that they may respond strategically rather than opportunistically when opportunities are presented.

David Roush is president of KSM Transport Advisors. For more information, contact David at 317.452.1390 or droush@ksmta.com.

.

connect with us:

LinkedInGoogle +