SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

October 08, 2008 14:58 ET

Tending the Fleet: Keeping Today's Private / Dedicated Fleets Moving, Despite Rising Costs

With the Rising Cost of Fuel and Shipping Charges, 98% of Companies Surveyed Plan on Reviewing and Improving Fleet Operations in the Next 12-24 Months

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - October 8, 2008) - Newly released research by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), reveals that with their hands tied behind their backs when it comes managing fuel costs, today's Best-in-Class companies are turning their focus on improving tactics and visibility to help decrease shipping costs. To obtain a complimentary copy of the latest Transportation Management report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5312.

Aberdeen Group surveyed over 150 logistics professionals and found that over 50% of them were turning their attention to improving their routing and scheduling of their fleet as one way to help offset the rising costs of managing those fleets. This new report, titled "Tending the Fleet: Paving New Roads with Effective Fleet Management," uncovers the key pressures facing today's transportation managers and the actions and capabilities they are putting in place to deal with the rising cost of fuel and surcharges.

Almost 100% of the companies surveyed will be reviewing and improving fleet operations in the next 12-24 months, hoping to bring even more visibility to procedures and personnel that are currently in place in order to identify strategic areas for improvement. According to the research, two of the most prominent areas of focus for today's logistics professionals are (1) improving vehicle and operator utilization with better scheduling and routing, and (2) increasing visibility and real-time activity tracking in order to reduce the amount of idle time across the fleet.

While the Average and Laggard companies are beginning to improve their routing and scheduling efforts, the Best-in-Class have moved on and are focusing on being more strategic and improving visibility between vehicle and operator assets and the back-office for improved planning and flexibility. Today's Best-in-Class have been able to reduce the number of safety incidents by 5% and decrease overall freight spend by 1%, despite the rising costs associated with operating and maintaining their fleet.

"It's clear that today's Best-in-Class have turned their attention away from trying to control the uncontrollable, in this instance the cost of fuel, and instead focused their energy on improving areas that are within their control," said Brad Wyland, Sr. Research Analyst, Aberdeen. "By utilizing the technology available, today's logistics professionals have been able to connect in real-time with their vehicles and operators in order to help reduce idle time, empty loads, and other costly inefficiencies and actually increase overall utilization and flexibility."

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Cadec Global, TeleNav and XATA Corporation. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5312.

To access all of Aberdeen's complimentary research, please visit: http://research.aberdeen.com.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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