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Billings Study: LTL Customers Would Rather Surf Than Call

June 21, 2005 — Acccording to Carrier Logistics Inc., Tarrytown, N.Y., customers at Billings Freight Systems Inc. prefer tracing shipments and determining rates by clicking on a web site as opposed to leaving voice mails.

Carrier Logistics is a software provider to the LTL trucking sector. The findings on customer preferences come from a study conducted by Billings, a Carrier Logistics customer.

Carrier Logistics said that Billings saw a sharp rise in web site hits in the second half of 2004 following installation of FACTS, a Carrier Logistics freight management computer system.

“As soon as the system was up and running,” says Wayne Bersch, vice president, operations at Billings, “we noticed an uptick in web site use. We began a study of web site usage during a seven and a half week period, mid-July to early September.

“We were amazed at the number of hits, the times our name came up in searches, which reached 347,000 for the period. Visits to the site were up to 11,000, an average of 212 a day. More than half of visitors – 6,500 – looked at multiple pages. Typically, visits lasted nine minutes. Many visitors downloaded documents, and 25% came back to the site for second or third visits.

“A second study, for 13 weeks from October through December 2004, showed an even busier site. Hits almost doubled to 652,000. Site visits rose to 18,700, and daily visits jumped to 215.”

Bersch said average time per visit rose to 10 minutes. Three fourths of the traffic growth is attributable to customer searches using the FACTS system. Trips to the site past the home page probably replace phone calls, he says – to get a correct freight rate, for example. The rates page is the second busiest on the site.

Each visitor who returns to the site a second or a third time, about one out of four, and each location with more than one visitor to the site, is an example of a shipment trace on-line instead of by phone, he says.

The advantage to Billings, Bersch adds, is that the company’s people get more work done since they've been relieved of answering messages seeking rates and shipment traces. Customers like the immediate answers.

Billings Freight provides service to the Eastern U.S., Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, California, and Mexico.

For more information about Carrier Logistics, call 914-332-0300 or go to www.carrierlogistics.com.

   
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