In many ways, the transport industry is the backbone of human society. Various forms of transportation have been used for travel and trade since the 1800’s, by water, rail, road and air.
Today, almost everything we use, eat or drink is transported by vehicle and delivered to our doorstep or a nearby shop, and public transportation is essential in our societies for transporting people between home, work and school.
To ensure a seamless operation when delivering goods or moving people, transport enterprises have to manage hundreds or even thousands of vehicles at once.
Precision, efficiency and productivity are essential.
Luckily, there are technological advances to help overcome many of the daily logistical challenges: developments in GPS and IoT have paved the way for sophisticated fleet management systems, which can be used to manage almost every aspect of a transport operations business.
With the implementation of fleet management systems, field managers gain access to countless prominent tools to streamline operations such as real-time tracking, geo-fence zones, route planning and event alerts.
These features can be used to increase efficiency, reduce operating costs, improve the overall safety of the workforce, and optimise vehicle performance. Fleet management systems have been revolutionary for the transport industry, to say the least – they offer a solution for almost every problem fleet companies may face.
Before the implementation of GPS and IoT systems, managing a business that transports people or goods had its fair share of problems: dangerous work conditions, air pollution caused by idling, high operational costs, to name a few.
The quality of service can determine the profitability of transport businesses, and today’s state-of-the-art management systems play a big role in providing a first-class service to customers. From large enterprises to individuals, the customer demands to be informed about the status and location of their delivery every step of the way until your customers receive the packages.
Effectively managing a fleet business requires vast amounts of information which can be obtained by IoT devices. Onboard IoT devices gather and store a surprising amount of information on a vehicle, and GPS technology allows these devices to send regular location and route updates to a cloud-based tracking server to be stored on the server for up to 6 months of route history.
This data can be processed using sophisticated fleet management software to ensure every aspect of the operation is up to speed, and all branches of the company are communicating with each other to function at optimum levels.
Freight bottlenecks caused by busy roads or unexpected road works are a major issue for the transportation industry, as they can cause serious losses in revenue if not dealt with promptly. Route management systems are the perfect answer to freight bottlenecks.
Field managers can analyse the telematics data and plan more efficient routes for future trips. With proper route planning, fleets can save significant amounts of money on fuel as well as maintenance expenses by reducing vehicle degradation.
Driver-related issues are far too common for fleet businesses. If left unchecked, these problems could have severe consequences or even ruin a company’s reputation.
Risky driving habits such as speeding, idling and harsh braking can endanger the public and significantly drive up operating costs.
Idling is a major cause of excessive fuel usage, and when driving, the amount of fuel used increases with the speed of the vehicle.
With onboard GPS trackers, a manager or supervisor can assess how fast vehicles are being driven and how often or long they remain idle, amongst other indicators of undesirable driving habits.
Drivers can be warned or rewarded based on their performance according to company policy, but either way, the company will be better off on their next trip.
Advanced tools like real-time location tracking and route planning are essential to creating solutions for transportation companies, but fleet management systems offer much more than that.
From open-door sensors and zone alerts to trip logs and location-based alerts, there are countless features that fleet businesses can use to assist decision making and reduce operational costs.
What’s more, as the requirements for their services vary greatly from industry to industry, fleet management systems can be customised to match the needs of every business operating within the transport industry.
For many companies, a small van or truck is sufficient to transport commodities between destinations. Others, like automobile manufacturers, use trains to transport thousands of vehicles at once – a week’s worth of production from a single factory.
With thousands of miles of roads in the UK and millions more abroad, transportation has become easier and faster for both passengers and freight carriers thanks to cutting-edge fleet management systems.
The industry has been growing consistently due to the importance and need for transportation systems. This constant growth and increased demand have created new business opportunities, leading entrepreneurs to invest heavily in ride-hailing businesses all over the world.
However, maintaining a high level of service quality is challenging, and generating revenue in the business sector as competitive as transportation is not easy. Fleet management systems supported by GPS and IoT technology provide the necessary tools for companies to take their business operations to the next level – and reap the benefits.
About the Author : Ekim Saribardak is an IT professional with technical know how in all areas of telecommunications, GPS technology, web applications, digital marketing and product management which he uses in solving technical problems relating to the freight industry.
He is currently the CTO of Rewire Security.