Swing Over to a New Freight Delivery Philosophy

swing over to a new freight delivery philosophy

One of Tony Maney’s customers was looking for a regular overnight freight service into country Queensland, so he took the opportunity to make the operation swing over to a new freight delivery philosophy, from the declining newspaper work and developing the local delivery side of the business.

The task was servicing the corridor either side of the Warrego Highway heading West across Queensland. In the beginning five trucks were enough to carry the freight and cover all of the different drop off points. 

Maney Transport now has grown to 20 body trucks, five prime movers, 12 trailers and ten utes and vans. Most of the body trucks are based in SE Queensland hauling freight into the depot for onward transport to the west or performing pick up and delivery work from the Toowoomba and Roma depots. 

The business now employs 70 people across the three depots, the majority based at Meadowbrook, in Logan south of Brisbane.

swing over to a new freight delivery philosophy

“It’s not easy getting people to work in the business,” say Tony. “Once you get hold of a good employee, you got to make sure you keep hold of them. We’ve been bringing people up through the business. A couple of our line-haul drivers started off driving vans and body trucks for us. Young people aren’t attracted to the industry, but you can’t blame them for that.

“We’ve got a good bunch of people here. I am fortunate to have a good team, good operational people, good accounts team and good HR. Everybody works well together. 

This change in the nature of the operation has seen a small high speed, night time paper delivery service, a part of the industry with a colourful reputation, transform into a modern safety conscious enterprise meeting compliance rules and customer expectations, as well as meeting the high standard of service needs of large clients. 

“Everything is monitored, and everything is tracked,” says Tony. “We use the Scania system, and then another one, Fleet Complete, in the rest of the trucks. Our trailers are curtain siders , but we do have some flat-tops. A lot of the time the trailers are running as B-doubles. 

“In terms of freight, we never know what we’ve got, for that night until about 3.30 in the afternoon. Then we have to decide, what’s going where and then load, and get it out. It’s a very busy part of the day.

“90 per cent of our freight is outbound, so there’s very little comes back in. We might send five trailers out at night and then only have six pallets spaces coming back in. It’s all one way traffic really. You’ve got to get it all going one way.”

swing over to a new freight delivery philosophy

At the heart of the business are three people working in the schedulers office, who are fielding incoming calls, arranging pick ups and feeding the information into the system. Maney’s are now using the TransVirtual system with the customers able to access services via a web portal and all of the drivers armed with PDAs in the truck cabin to keep them up to date and scan consignments at the pick up point.

“The drivers can set the route if they want to,” say Tony. “They just have a list on the PDA and they can go through it to suit themselves. We tend to keep the local drivers in one area so they get to know their routes. There are about eight to ten runs in Brisbane, divided up in their areas. It helps them to build up a rapport with the customers.”

The business handles everything from from large industrial components to a small parcel or jiffy bag, but no foodstuffs or refrigerated.

In many parts of Australia, this kind of operation seems to be able to thrive, while the large corporates are not interested in such a high mileage, low margin business being part of their portfolio.

There is growth to be had in this sector of the trucking market. On the first night Maney’s loaded out of its current depot, six years ago, there was a body truck and mezzanine deck trailer loading out. Now it’s common for five B-doubles to hit the highway in the early evening. 

swing over to a new freight delivery philosophy

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