Transport Th. Wouters avoids congestion by applying modal- and time shift

Posted by Tim Wouters
Sevral trucks from Transport Th. Wouters picking up containers at night at container terminal.

Our vision

Because congestion on both container terminals and public roads is becoming worse year by year, it is Transport Th. Wouters’ obligation to continue to search for better sustainable alternatives without jeopardizing our future growth. Modal shift and time shift seem to be a valid option.

The challenge

Since switching over to modal- and time shift in 2018, Transport Th. Wouters has expanded its fleet by 20%. On top of that, now half of the fleet is not only operated during daytime, but also deployed at night. While this avoids congestion at the container terminals and on public roads, it also increases the administration and the complexity of the planning. Having everything organized for the next day has become more complex and extra time sensitive.

Using barges, increased our capacity and enabled us to manage higher volumes in a more sustainable way. But it also required a different approach in order to align and respect different deadlines related to demurrage and detention. Not to mention the flexibility that we want to keep offering, in regard to the planning availabilities requested by our customers.

The solution

Therefore Transport Th. Wouters invested a lot in digitalization. All their tractors are equipped with on-board computers, linked to a planning module that is integrated with the company’s ERP system. For their chassis recognition, Transport Th. Wouters linked trailer trackers to both the planning module and the company ERP. The dispatchers now have all information centralized and visualized on one single dashboard.

An automated monitoring platform with customizable alerts, enables “management by exception” and offers extra support for our dispatchers. It also enables them to keep an eye on subcontractors as if they were an integrated part of the own fleet.

All this led to a significant time saving, allowing dispatchers to optimize the modal- and time shift possibilities.


We believe that the key to success is considering a combination of different transport modes as a solution for modern supply chains. Convincing our customers that service, quality and on time transportation won’t suffer from a modal- and time shift is our main objective.

A mental shift is the first logical step to take, so we can grow together with our customers in this process!

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