Cutting fleet costs: use our map to calculate what you could save
Tour planning and smart routing can save fuel, time and emissions. Check out our interactive map to figure out how much you could economize and optimize.
The Port of Long Beach handled more than 9.1 million container units last year, serving every congressional district in the United States.
Goods go from the port to regional hubs and then to locations all over the country. With that in mind, our map shows how different vehicle types can get to three California hubs and save time, money and fuel — not to mention reducing emissions.
The interactive tool is a reminder of the importance of smart routing for fleets. At times when fuel prices have increased while customer demand for speedy deliveries is higher than ever, most logistics firms are seeking to become more efficient.
But given that traffic and other conditions on the road can be so unpredictable, how can these businesses adapt and survive?
Routing out delays
In a recent webinar, How to Optimize Fleet Management, From Route Planning to Post-Trip Analysis, experts looked at how efficiencies can be made.
Graham Wallace, Director of Product Marketing at HERE, said many companies are under pressure to price their services competitively for customers while retaining drivers and other delivery staff.
“In the UK, we have seen some of the supermarkets awarding three different pay increases in a year simply to retain their staff and to make sure they've got people available to do the home deliveries,” he said.
Sarah Kelleher, Senior Product Manager at Dispatch IT, said their customers faced similar strains. “The cost of fuel, maintenance and mileage are all issues for businesses in the United States,” she said.
Combining an organization's data with good quality historic data is one way they can start to address the challenge of planning effective routes that use fuel and driver time in the best way.
“That way, you can look at routes and optimize for avoiding traffic,” Wallace explained. “We have been working with a large, UK-based supermarket, working out where the traffic is, and then they go in the opposite direction. They have achieved significant cost savings by adopting that approach.”
From good quality data and coverage in all the areas they are working in, companies can build predictive routing models.
Insights and incremental gains
There are other ways to make sure time on the road is used efficiently. “Increasingly, what we're seeing — and this applies particularly to the brewery industry — is the same vehicle will pick up the returns as well instead of scheduling two vehicles,” said Wallace.
Some organizations have even formed consortiums to share data and avoid sending back empty vehicles by hiring out the free space.
This can be a particular challenge in the middle mile, with so many third-party operators. It can be difficult to get visibility — but ultimately, it could benefit the industry to move toward real-time transportation platforms and more sharing of data.
Getting insights into what is happening in your own business can go a long way toward making incremental improvements that add up to significant savings.
“Maximizing performance for our customers is about getting transparency for their customers on where their deliveries are, and insights into how they can improve their delivery service,” Kelleher said.
Wallace added: “What we are looking for are the exceptions, the things that don't conform to what we expect. If you can identify them and you can start to streamline those anomalies, that's where you can deliver cost savings.
“If you have got a good platform of data to start with, and you know what the norm should be, you are more able to identify exceptions.”
While life may be unpredictable, the right tools can help you plan and save money, time and fuel in the process. HERE Tour Planning is a fleet management solution that can help you lower costs and improve delivery times.
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