Throughout the Texas market and Gulf Coast region there are heavy restrictions on weighing loads. Freight spend management encourages shippers to maximize what is going over water, but creates more challenges when the shipments hit land. In port proximity, a shipment can carry up to 55,000 lbs. in cargo weight, but that limit drops to an average of 48,000 lbs. over the road. When a national flooring retailer held a grand opening in Houston, TX, they faced costly freight and logistics solutions. Aside from state freight guidelines, many of these flooring retailers have small stores, making it hard for a 53-foot trailer to navigate in and out. Additionally, the stores have limited dock availability, so it is ideal to have fewer vans moving in and out.
To counter these restrictions, Dunavant uses an optimized, innovative system involving light chassis and light tractors over the road. Dunavant decreased the number of loads from 72 to 58 by using heavier domestic loads. Dry freight was managed using 40-foot containers instead of 53-foot vans, ensuring that the space and weight was maximized. These containers are lighter and resolve the waste management issue inherent in the fact that it is uncommon to use all the space in 53-foot vans. Since deliveries were all night-appointment based, we pre-pulled to our yard and another driver delivered at night with fresh hours.
Complementing the business from the grand openings, Dunavant manages domestic deliveries through the Dray Freight to Dry Freight program, which takes drivers who are traditionally handling drayage freight and incorporates domestic driving into their scheduling. This program is essentially a flexibility play for driver retention. If the drivers are consistently moving, there is less volatile pricing for customers and it creates more overall capacity. Value is created for the customer due to reduced loads, appointments, and truckloads.
Through the cost savings and seamless custom logistics provided by Dunavant, the initial grand opening was successful and the retailer decided to award the company all future openings. We have completed three openings in Texas and California and are currently working on upcoming stores in New Jersey and San Diego.