Publication Date
Authored by
Elisa Fankhauser, Ge Li
Advisor(s): Lars Meyer Sanches
Topic(s) Covered:
  • Transportation

With the current imbalance of supply and demand of truck drivers in the U.S., improving driver utilization is critical to secure reliable freight transportation. The largest source of downtime for carriers is the time spent at shippers’ facilities during the unloading and loading process, during which carriers might be detained for longer than two hours and fees charged to shippers. Powerloop provides an alternative model by allowing small carriers to participate in its trailer pool model that provides round trips to carriers and allows shippers to pre-load freight at their convenience.  This improves the utilization of carriers by using dropped freight compared to the traditional live-load model. This project focuses on the benefit Powerloop provides to shippers, and assesses the quantitative impact of Powerloop on on-time delivery performance and detention fees. To model the expected on-time delivery and detention fees of Powerloop, we conducted a discrete event simulation by separating each activity during the load delivery process for both the traditional and Powerloop models. The simulation model results indicate that Powerloop loads have a 2% higher on-time delivery rate compared to the traditional live-load freight model, and can expect to save $11-16 per load in detention fees. As Powerloop moves along the learning curve and gains greater density through more customers, we expect these values to improve and provide and even greater benefit to shippers.