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Transportation & Logistics, Retail

CDC Delivery

“With Samsara, we've definitely seen better, safer driving habits. And our drivers are happier because they know that if an accident happens we can exonerate and protect them.”

Rob Holderfield, General Manager, CDC Delivery 

Specializing in line haul and last mile deliveries, CDC Delivery uses Samsara to improve their dispatch efficiency, driver safety, vehicle uptime, and customer satisfaction. 

  • Real-time GPS tracking enables more efficient routing and on-time deliveries, which improves customer satisfaction.

  • Dash cams protect drivers against false accident and customer claims, and footage helps train drivers to be safer on the road. 

  • Vehicle Gateways enable remote engine diagnostics, which helps decrease maintenance downtime and reduce the risk of breakdowns. 

  • Live helicopter view of real-time GPS protects against theft, allowing CDC Delivery to recover stolen vehicles in less than 30 minutes and save over $24,000. 

CDC Delivery is stationed out of Maryland and Virginia where they run last mile deliveries and line hauls up and down the east coast. They focus on delivering goods to retail locations, medicine to pharmacies, and package deliveries for a prominent e-commerce company. 

As the General Manager for CDC Delivery, Rob Holderfield is responsible for ensuring all his drivers, vans, and tractor trailers are being properly routed by dispatchers and are dropping off deliveries to customers on time. Ensuring that his fleet is running smoothly at all times is no small task, as CDC Delivery has eight separate dispatch locations running deliveries 24/7. In total, Holderfield managers over 400 drivers and 300 vehicles, of which 160 specialize in last mile delivery.

Before Samsara, CDC Delivery didn’t have a consolidated fleet management platform. They used a few different telematics solutions to gain GPS insights into their fleet and used a separate dash cam solution. But Holderfield wasn’t satisfied with the GPS data he was getting—it wasn’t consistent and it wasn’t in real-time, so he was seeing no improvements in dispatch efficiency for his fleet. 

Holderfield also found that the dash cam quality was lacking as well. “With our past solution, the video quality was almost like going back 20 years and playing Atari,” said Holderfield. “Samsara is not Atari, the camera footage and visuals are very high quality. And one thing I can say about Samsara is they're invested in their product and it continues to get better.” 

Seeking a solution that could provide real-time GPS tracking and high-quality dash cam footage in a consolidated interface, CDC Delivery turned to Samsara. 

Improving dispatching with real-time GPS 

CDC Delivery’s fleet operates 24/7, which is why it’s important that drivers are always running their routes on schedule. But on top of this, CDC Delivery routes hundreds of drivers remotely with only a handful of dispatchers. Due to this complexity, it’s crucial that dispatchers always have real-time insights into drivers’ locations to ensure they’re on time and on the right route. 

For their prominent e-commerce customer, they run two different operations: line haul and last mile deliveries. Each operation has a unique dispatching challenge. For their line haul deliveries, tractor trailers transport packages from warehouses up and down the east coast, mostly during the night. Because only two to three dispatchers work at night and are completely remote, it’s essential they have accurate and real-time information on drivers to make sure deliveries will be made on-time. With Samsara Vehicle Gateways (VGs), dispatchers now use real-time GPS tracking to ensure that all line haul drivers start their routes on time and are making good progress.

“Our off-site dispatchers love seeing trucks turn on and switch from a black to green in the dashboard. It lets them rest assured the drivers are indeed en route.”

For their last mile deliveries, CDC Delivery has about 160 vans that drop packages off directly to customer’s homes. These vans often operate in small residential neighborhoods making several deliveries every day. Samsara’s real-time GPS tracking allows dispatchers to help drivers navigate through these small areas successfully so they can make all their deliveries on time. “There are times when drivers get turned around and can’t exactly figure out where they’re going,” said Holderfield. “Dispatchers can then pull up the Samsara dashboard and see a driver's live location and tell them exactly where to go and how to get there.”

Increasing customer satisfaction through GPS

Samsara’s real-time GPS has also helped CDC Delivery provide excellent customer service by ensuring that deliveries and pickups are on-time. Line haul drivers who run deliveries for their e-commerce customer have to pick up their orders from specific warehouses. Before Samsara, this e-commerce customer would contact CDC Delivery claiming drivers had shown up late or not at all. Without concrete proof, CDC Delivery had no way to counter these claims. 

Now, when dispatchers are contacted about late drivers they can check that driver’s location in the Samsara dashboard to confirm they were on site and on time. “With Samsara, our e-commerce customer will immediately clear away the warning,” Holderfield said. “Plus we don’t have to spend time on the phone with drivers calling and asking where they are. We already know. It makes it fast and easy to push back.”

Being able to prove that their drivers are on-site and on-time has allowed CDC Delivery to increase their delivery status with their e-commerce customer by 5%. With Samsara, they’ve achieved an A+ status with a 99.1% on-time score. This score is significant because as a higher ranked carrier they get more business from their e-commerce customer and can generate more revenue. 


Using dash cam footage to enhance driver safety 

Like many fleets, CDC Delivery prioritizes the safety of their drivers. In addition to real-time GPS tracking, high-quality dash cams were a major reason Holderfield decided to partner with Samsara. 

Since deploying Samsara, CDC Delivery has made dash cams a significant part of their training program for new drivers. When on-boarding new drivers, they show them footage of crashes and other harsh driving events to coach drivers on safe driving practices.

Since deploying dash cams, CDC Delivery has found their drivers are safer on the road because they know they’ll be held accountable for their driving behavior. And in the year since Rob has deployed the cameras in his vehicles, he’s seen a return on his investment. “We’ve definitely seen better, safer driving habits with Samsara,” said Holderfield. 

Protecting and exonerating drivers through dash cams

When rolling out front-facing dash cams across his fleet, Holderfield found his drivers to be very receptive. “None of our drivers had any issues with the cameras,” said Holderfield. “Once we sat them down and explained they would be used to exonerate them in accidents, they were all on board.” 

The cameras CDC Delivery used before Samsara didn’t provide them with clear video quality to really see what happened during an accident and who was truly at fault, which made it difficult to exonerate drivers. 

With Samsara’s front-facing dash cams, Holderfield has been able to protect and exonerate drivers in not-at-fault accidents. “We have a lot of accidents and incidents that aren’t our drivers’ faults,” said Holderfield. “Most of our accidents in our vans and tractor-trailers are because other cars cut them off. It used to be difficult to get clarity in those situations, but not with Samsara.” 

Now, when they get insurance claims or accident reports filed against them, CDC Delivery turns to Samsara for high-quality video footage of accidents to exonerate their drivers.

Preventing theft of vehicles and deliveries 

With their last mile deliveries, CDC Delivery’s vans are constantly stopping and going in residential areas. Drivers are constantly moving in and out of vehicles that are carrying valuable merchandise—this can make these vans tempting for thieves. 

Needing to replace a stolen vehicle is costly for CDC Delivery. They not only have to pay for a replacement van, but also hiked insurance costs and possible package claims costs. Shortly after deploying Samsara Vehicle Gateways, CDC Delivery had one of their last mile delivery vans stolen. Using the live helicopter view in the Samsara dashboard, they were able to recover the van and catch the thief in under 30 minutes.

“We were able to find the van and track it in real-time in the dashboard,” said Holderfield. “We called the police and guided them right to the van. Samsara gave us the visibility to recover our vehicle and prevented all the replacement costs that would have come with losing that van and the products inside.”

By using Samsara to prevent the theft of their vehicle, CDC Delivery saved over $24,000. 

Reducing maintenance downtime with remote diagnostics and GPS

Before Samsara, one of the most difficult things for Holderfield was tracking down his drivers when breakdowns occurred. Most of the time, drivers would give the wrong closest exit and it would take up to an hour to pinpoint their location. “One of the hardest things when a vehicle breaks down is trying to get a driver to tell you where they are,” said Holderfield. “With Samsara, now we can actually see where they are and send their location directly to a tow company.”

With Samsara’s real-time GPS tracking, CDC Delivery can now instantly locate drivers when they breakdown. This has been especially important for their line haul drivers who travel at night, where a breakdown used to mean being stranded on a dark road for long periods of time. Being able to quickly find drivers during breakdowns has significantly reduced maintenance downtime so deliveries can quickly get back on the road and en route again. 

CDC Delivery has also reduced their maintenance downtime with Samsara’s real-time remote engine diagnostics. Before Samsara, they could only pull fault codes when a vehicle was in a shop. But because Samsara VGs plug directly into a vehicle’s OBD port, they can automatically detect engine fault codes, in addition to real-time GPS data. 

When an engine fault code is detected while a vehicle is on the road, CDC Delivery’s dispatchers can instantly see the alert in their dashboard. “Now if our dispatchers see something’s misfiring or a headlight is out, they can immediately get them to a shop right away to fix that so we don’t get either pulled over and ticketed or break down,” said Holderfield. 

Having these remote diagnostic capabilities has allowed CDC to catch minor maintenance issues before they become larger, costlier repairs. 

Maintaining efficiency amidst a viral outbreak 

Since the COVID-19 outbreak reached the U.S., the workload for CDC Delivery has nearly doubled—particularly for their last mile and pharmaceutical deliveries. Due to the increase in demand, most deliveries now have to be split among several different tractor trailers and vans. 

“On-time delivery is now more important than ever. Samsara is allowing us to provide our customers with accurate ETAs for their deliveries, and to them that’s very valuable information during this outbreak.”

In fact, during this outbreak CDC Delivery’s customers have been so impressed with their efficiency that they’ve been asking questions. “Customers have been asking us and are intrigued by what we’re using to ensure these on-time delivery and ETAs,” said Holderfield. “We’ve shown some of them the Dashboard and the live GPS tracking and they’re very happy we’ve invested in Samsara to help them.” 

The customer satisfaction they’ve seen during this outbreak speaks to a wider trend they’ve seen with Samsara. Since partnering with Samsara, CDC Delivery has significantly increased their customer satisfaction and service. This has led to customers giving them more work and relying on them for more deliveries.

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