What’s the best time of day to secure capacity? What’s the best day of the week to send loads out of specific cities? Mystic Logistics knows.
Mystic, a non-asset-based 3PL, moves more than 250 loads per week, using data from DAT to take advantage of current market conditions.
Mystic harnesses spot market transportation to support a successful business as a bulk mail consolidator. Mystic picks up its clients’ direct mail advertisements and other printed material from East Coast print shops and consolidates them in a Trenton-area warehouse. From there, the mail is trucked to more than 200 U.S. Postal Service distribution facilities across the country. By moving the mail closer to its final destination, Mystic saves its clients a significant amount of money, compared to standard bulk rates.
Examining load-to-truck ratios
Mystic Logistics’ warehouse, located near Trenton, N.J.
To anticipate how difficult or expensive it will be to secure a truck, Mystic looks at current load-to-truck ratios: the number of loads posted on DAT load boards vs. the number of trucks posted.
Mystic uses DAT Connexion™ web services to query DAT load boards every hour, checking load-to-truck ratios in Trenton and in each of the destination markets it serves. Mystic pulls that information into its TMS, and emails hourly reports to its dispatch team. (Tip: DAT Power load board users can find daily load-to-truck ratios in the Hot Market Map, accessed through the Tools menu.)
Time of day can influence the outbound rate, according to Shaun Nicholson, Mystic’s vice president. “Going out of Trenton, sometimes we find that if rates are high in the morning, that by 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. there’s a huge shift in the load-to-truck ratio in our favor and rates come down,” Nicholson said.
Mystic also examines load-to-truck ratios in the destination markets where the trucks make their deliveries. High load-to-truck ratios in those markets are desirable, Nicholson says, because carriers will find loads more easily on the return trip.
“Looking at the data right now, I can see that Saturday is the best day of the week to book a truck out of Houston.” said Nicholson.
Find out more about any of the DAT products used by Mystic Logistics:
- Web Services for TMS integration
- DAT RateView for prevailing freight rates
- DAT Market Intelligence for custom reports
- DAT CarrierWatch to validate and monitor carriers
Relying on other DAT services
In addition to using the DAT Power load board to find trucks and DAT RateView™ to benchmark rates, Mystic relies on DAT Market Intelligence for custom reports. Recently, Mystic used that data to build new partnerships with carriers who post trucks frequently in the Trenton area.
Once Mystic identifies a new carrier, the company’s carrier relations team uses DAT CarrierWatch® to validate each one’s operating authority, safety scores and insurance coverage.
“Data from DAT has helped us make more intelligent decisions,” said Nicholson.