Delivery Optimization: One Small Change Can Save You A Trip To The Rack

Each day your driver gets into the office at 6am, grabs a cup of coffee, performs a pre-trip inspection on the truck, and heads to the rack to load just to wait in line with the rest of the drivers filling up. The process, on average, takes about 45 minutes before the driver is ready to make the first delivery. Once the morning deliveries are made, the driver heads back to the rack to refill the truck and complete the rest of the deliveries scheduled in the route, likely finishing the day with about 1,500 gallons left in the truck.

Should the driver fill up his truck that night, the next morning or neither and just start the next morning off making 1,500 gallons worth of deliveries?

Loading the truck usually 2 times a day is what many of us have done for years. But what if you tried something new? Something that could give you fewer stops at the rack? And what if this something new was as simple as a shift in mindset?

Here’s how it works

We’re going to say your driver’s name is Bob. Bob just got a brand-new truck and takes the 45-minute trip to the rack (which includes drive time, waiting in line, and driving to his delivery territory) and fills the truck with 3,000 gallons (stop 1). He then makes 3,000 gallons worth of deliveries and returns back to the rack to fill the truck with another 3,000 gallons (stop 2). After that 2nd fill, he delivers another 1,500 gallons in the afternoon, concluding with 1,500 gallons in his truck at the end of the day. The next morning Bob comes in at 6am, but instead of waiting in line to fill up in the morning, he starts his route until he’s delivered the 1,500 gallons that remained on the truck from yesterday. Now he makes his trip back to the rack and loads 3,000 gallons, avoiding the morning rush, saving time (Stop 2)! This time, he ends the day by emptying the truck – having delivered the regular 4,500 gallons in Day 2, but has only loaded at the rack 3 times, instead of four stops!

Let’s check the math

Day 1

  • Stop 1
    • +3,000 gals loaded
    • -3,000 gals delivered
  • Stop 2
    • +3,000 gals loaded
    • -1,500 gals delivered

Totals Gals Delivered in Day 1: 4,500
Total Gals Left in the Truck on Day 1: 1,500


Day 2

  • Deliver the remaining 1,500 gals from Day 1
  • Stop 3
    • +3,000 gals loaded
    • -3,000 gals delivered

Totals Gals Delivered in Day 2: 4,500
Total Gals Left in the Truck on Day 2: None


Bob is still delivering 9,000 gallons over the course of the 2 days but:

  1. He’s saving time by not spending an extra 45-minutes going to the rack
  2. He’s more efficient

It’s a delivery efficiency strategy that you can start TODAY

Even though it may seem like a big change, it’s not. Many companies get caught up in “topping off” the truck due to the change in the price of the commodity, instead of thinking (like some of their competitors) of cutting down on trips to the rack. It’s thinking outside of the box and trying something new that could have an immediate impact on productivity. Have more questions? Our tank monitoring experts are here to give you more information on how you can implement this concept into your operations. Click here.

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