How to route-optimise your haulage business
Modern haulage operations have always been at the mercy of the road network, yet are usually saved by drivers’ intimate knowledge of routes. As technology has been pushed ever further, a range of ways to optimise operations have emerged, ensuring road freight networks work efficiently and give their customers the best possible performance.
For companies with large numbers of trucks on the job at any given time, traditional systems make it impossible to know where drivers are and what routes they’re taking. New route monitoring systems change this.
With route monitoring, haulage managers can see real-time information on the locations, directions and previous routes of their fleet’s trucks. When combined with route planning technology, they can see whether drivers are travelling the most fuel and time-efficient routes possible or taking their own, less-efficient paths. What’s more, when used in concert with driver alerts, route monitoring systems can help manage drivers in the moment, advising them on new routes or letting them know they need to take a break
It’s important that route monitoring systems aren’t allowed to become too overbearing, however – the in-the-moment judgement of drivers can be invaluable when unplanned problems occur.
The world over, many haulage deliveries are still organised in a traditional manner, with orders taking many hours to be booked, leading to trucks travelling half-empty. Put simply, human planners take a long time to weigh up the data and decide on the right delivery for the right truck.
With a machine learning, algorithmic dynamic scheduling system like that used by OnTruck, however, freight companies can instantly fill up truck booking schedules with other orders taking place nearby, ensuring that vehicles leave at capacity and don’t have to travel vast, inefficient distances between delivery locations. If orders are cancelled, that’s fine – the system re-optimises multiple times a day and adds new orders to free slots automatically.
Going further, analysing the data brought up by route monitoring and order management systems can make an even bigger difference to operations. This includes things like knowing whether a route is commonly congested – whether it’s undergoing roadworks or is frequently busy at certain times of the day, for instance – or being able to view data on how long it takes staff at delivery sites to unload or offload deliveries.
With these, haulage operations can be streamlined even further, boosting capacity and delivery times while cutting costs.
Fuel card service packages
With fuel card networks like Total AS 24, as well as getting the best deals on fuel across a network of European service stations, fleet managers can keep track of drivers, monitoring the routes they take and their fuel consumption levels remotely via app, issuing alerts if required. As well as these benefits, fleet fuel optimisation tools can allow for historical route performance analysis, and extra service add-ons like breakdown assistance can help avoid lost time and capacity.
A new field in safeguarding vehicle health, services like Total ANAC allow businesses to get the engine oils of their vehicles analysed by lubrication experts who, alongside the assistance of millions of previous test logs, can view levels of wear and damage on engine components. This kind of insight lets fleet managers prioritise repairs and detect problems before they become bigger, more expensive and more time-consuming, reducing downtime and increasing capacity throughout the network.
Technological advancements are transforming haulage, giving fleet managers more tools to make operations more efficient than ever before. For more information on how Total can help your business, please visit the Business Solutions area of Total Truck Solutions and comment on our Facebook page with your hints and tips.