Managing a trucking business is hard work, but the biggest difference between then and now is tech.
Today, everyone involved can already maximize app-based solutions or integrated platforms to improve their performance, guarantee safety, lower operating costs, and increase customer satisfaction.
1. Dynamic Routing
A typical fleet operator manages several trucks that travel long distances and often for several days. They will have to make multiple stops. If labor is in shortage, a driver may have to cover different routes.
Any fleet owner needs to practice efficient route planning, but the strategies of long ago may not apply these days. Using spreadsheets or manual routing may not work because road rules can change, and customers can already come from various locations.
This is where dynamic routing solutions come in. It’s an excellent option besides static routing, which is ideal if drivers cover specific addresses or routes that won’t change anytime soon.
Dynamic routing makes drivers more flexible and efficient without compromising delivery times and customer satisfaction. It also helps save the business a lot of money from wasteful use of fuel.
Most of all, this solution can accommodate fortuitous events that may negatively impact delivery times. These can include inclement weather, traffic, and road accidents.
2. Fuel Management Systems
A good complement to a dynamic routing solution is fuel management systems. According to statistics, trucking fuel expenses are often three times more expensive than other passenger vehicles.
Further, a single truck could consume as much as £50,000 worth of diesel in a year. Making it worse is the fluctuation of petrol prices in the world’s market. This makes it more difficult to figure out how much to allocate for fuel.
Fortunately, a fuel management solution makes the work easier. For one, fleet operators can already integrate the platform into fuel cards. This way, they can fully account for how much fuel the driver uses and their average prices.
The data can also show the amount of fuel consumed for every trip, so the company can design a more cost-effective route. It can even lower the risk of fuel fraud.
3. Driver Scoring or Coaching
The 2017 traffic safety report by Volvo Trucks revealed that the percentage of serious road collisions or accidents involving heavy trucks had declined. It also dropped by about 50% across Europe.
However, for accidents that involved these vehicles, over 30% involved road users. This figure hardly budged.
Many factors can influence the risk of a truck meeting an accident. These can range from poor maintenance to lack of visibility. However, one of the biggest factors remains driver behavior.
They may be overly stressed or exhausted that can affect their hand-eye coordination, focus, and alertness. The driver may actually be inexperienced to handle the lorry or traverse a particular road. Others may be simply bad drivers.
Fleet owners may not be on the road with them to monitor their performance, but they can use data to get some ideas. That’s the purpose of a data scoring or coaching app.
This tool can keep track of different components in trucking and driving. These include GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, pedometer, and maps. These will then provide both the driver and the fleet operator the following information:
- How fast they drive
- How strong they apply the brakes
- Whether they used a mobile device when driving
- If they’re fond of accelerating and decelerating
- The kinds of roads they pass through and how they behave in these areas
The data are useful in drafting courses and training for drivers and determining what kind of coaching they need. Drivers themselves will also learn to pay more attention to their performance and learn to improve their skills. Moreover, a dating scoring app can promote safety.
4. Automated Trucking Booking
The COVID-19 pandemic might have driven plenty of Brits to hunker down, but it didn’t slow down e-commerce growth. In fact, it accelerated it. E-commerce sales might have increased by an amazing 34.7% in 2020 compared to the previous year.
That may slow down in 2021 as the economy recovers, but it will be onward in the succeeding years. This is on top of traditional retail sales. In other words, more people are buying things, and fleet operators and brokers need to keep up.
The automated trucking booking app could be a lifesaver. In this setup, operators and brokers can already identify the possible load for each truck. This way, when they receive potential deliveries, they can match the numbers with their information at hand.
In the end, these are merely tools. All stakeholders will always have the final say, but they are more likely to help the business make more informed decisions.