Case Studies

How Saia handled an influx of freight due to Yellow’s shutdown

Discover how Saia handled a surge in freight due to Yellow's shutdown, using Optym's HaulPlan, DriverPlan, and RouteMax to optimize operations.

“We recognized quite early that these [Optym’s] tools gave us the ability to be more efficient and more productive,” Saia Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Rohit Lal said. “And early on, we saw that this was a game-changer for us on those fronts.”


Background and challenge: 

When rumors began to swirl that Yellow, a major player in the LTL space, could go bankrupt, shippers began preparing for the potential shutdown. With over 10% of the LTL market in flux, there was an opportunity for carriers to capture market share, if they could adapt in time and maintain service. While the average LTL carriers saw a 5% increase in shipments from Q2 to Q3 2023, Saia saw an 11.3% increase in shipments while maintaining a claims ratio of 0.58% and on-time performance of 98%. 
Named the winner of Q3 by FreightWaves, leading LTL carrier Saia navigated the complexities of adapting to this substantial surge in demand. The operational challenges included managing changes in volume, load density, driver schedules, and shippers. 


In response to the complex challenges posed by the substantial surge in shipments, Saia, a long-time Optym client, strategically employed Optym's specialized LTL solutions, HaulPlan, DriverPlan, and RouteMax. 

HaulPlan proved instrumental in understanding the changes in volume, load density, impact on their network and how they could adapt. With features that optimized load consolidation, Saia created more direct routes for shipments, minimizing rehandling and increasing load factor. This sophisticated tool allowed Saia to optimize linehaul plans efficiently, ensuring a seamless adaptation. 

As Saia scaled its workforce, including drivers, Saia used DriverPlan to fine-tune driver schedules, addressing the challenges of managing changes in lanes and adding new drivers into their network. By optimizing schedule utilization, improving driver run consistency, and reducing variances in driver miles, DriverPlan played a vital role in maintaining efficiency with new growth. 

On top of these challenges, planners and drivers were faced with new customers and shipments, which meant new pickup and delivery routes to meet customer needs. RouteMax played a key role in route optimization with intelligent and real-time routing, dispatching, and driver management tools to streamline every step of pickup and delivery.


The implementation of Optym’s LTL solutions yielded significant results for Saia for end-to-end optimization of first, middle, and last mile. The company reported a remarkable 11.3% increase in shipments per day from the second to third quarters of 2023, setting a record for processed shipments and quarterly revenue. Saia's proactive approach not only absorbed the surge in demand but also resulted in an incredible claims ratio remaining at an impressive 0.58%, while on-time performance held steady at 98%.

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