P&O Ferrymasters Drive Down Haulage Costs and Gain Competitive Advantage, With Help From the Quintiq Planning Solution

By Quintiq, PRNE
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH, The Netherlands, September 14, 2011 -

P&O Ferrymasters, one of Europe’s leading providers of tailor-made transportation and logistics services, have achieved a significant reduction in empty mileage, cut haulage costs and simplified pan-European freight forwarding operations. The Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software solution from Quintiq was fully cost-justified within the first half year of operation.

In July 2010, P&O Ferrymasters announced plans to introduce Quintiq’s software to handle all aspects of the company’s planning. Quintiq is working with logistics systems integrator The Logic Factory with the implementation, and Phase One went live in January 2011. This first phase focused on the company’s freight forwarding division, a major business unit that represents around 60% of the company’s transport operations. The division has twenty-seven offices in thirteen countries, working with up to 5,000 hauliers and managing around 6,250 orders a week. This is a complex operation that relies heavily on the knowledge of local dispatchers.

A single view across 13 countries

The new solution has introduced centralised planning, where a single view of operations is helping P&O Ferrymasters to identify opportunities to achieve return loads between countries. This initiative alone fully cost-justifies the solution. As a bonus, the company is able to extend the concept to ‘triangulate’ the movement of freight across more than two countries, taking into account compatibility of loads and routes with different hauliers and different trailers or units. The combined capabilities of Fr8 Manager, P&O Ferrymasters’ Transport Management System, and Quintiq’s Advanced Planning & Scheduling capability gives P&O Ferrymasters a very tight grip across the business to enhance their competitiveness and operational agility.  

Before the Quintiq solution was introduced, P&O Ferrymasters used common practice within the industry leaving local dispatchers to manage their own operations. Not having a global view meant that return trip and combined load opportunities were missed. Today, central planning prepares a recommended pairing and provides a shortlist of suitable hauliers leaving local planners to negotiate best rates. Dispatchers are not forced to follow recommendations, but have to justify any deviation. All the benefits of a ‘black box’ solution combined with local knowledge. In a fiercely competitive industry, the new system gives P&O Ferrymasters a significant advantage in relation to its competitors.

It was originally envisaged that up to five people would be required in the new central planning team. In practice it is taking just two persons.

In the competitive logistics industry, P&O Ferrymasters differentiates itself by offering grade A customer service, including tailoring logistics solutions to its customers’ specific operational processes. The new Quintiq planning solution helped P&O Ferrymasters surpass their customer service goals by decreasing transport costs, improving communication between P&O Ferrymasters and its customers and reducing P&O Ferrymasters carbon footprint with efficient transportation resource utilization.

Bas Belder, Managing Director of P&O Ferrymasters sums up: “This has been a model IT project. Quick to implement the Quintiq system provides real planning transparency and, most importantly, quick returns. Having seen the operational, the business and the financial benefits of phase one makes it so much easier for us to extend the system right across the enterprise into our Asset Division.”

Benefits to extend to Intermodal and Trailer activity

Implementation of the next phase of Advanced Planning is well under way, with P&O Ferrymasters’ Intermodal and Trailer activities due to be operational by early autumn, on time and on budget.

In this phase, the Quintiq solution will be extended to support planners find the most cost effective routes and handle the complexities of optimising movement by road, rail and ferry. In the Asset division, the system will be used to optimize utilization of P&O Ferrymasters’ own road trailers, containers and coil carriers. The aim is to cut costs and improve efficiencies even further. Having a single planning system across all divisions will also help P&O Ferrymasters to identify the best fit for each job, own equipment versus freight forwarding.

About P&O Ferrymasters


About Quintiq


Contact: Robin Sands, Global Marketing Communications Manager, Tel: +1-415-655-6612, robin.sands at quintiq.com

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