Freight Management

Nowadays freight management has become a major factor in helping companies and indeed economies becoming more sustainable and efficient, just as transportation of freight has globally increased. The European commission's transport policy is 'to promote efficient road freight and passengers transport services' (Ec.europa.eu, 2014).
The European commission aim is to improve the sustainability of transport services, through the 'Marco Polo' programme. This programme aims to 'free Europe's roads of an annual volume of 20 billion tonne-kilometres of freight annually. Telematics is expected to play a key role in achieving this efficiency' (Ec.europa.eu, 2014).
Telematics is a major benefit to big fleet transport companies, improving the reliability, punctuality and flexibility of their transport services. The Telematics industry is on the increase, while the number of vehicles fitted with Telematics system and devices is growing rapidly. 'It is said that the number will grow annually by 20 per cent in the following five years. That means by 2016, 900,000 (or 8 per cent of) commercial vehicles will be equipped with systems for tracking and fleet management' (Ertico.com, 2014).

The system offers qualitative as well as direct financial benefits. Knowing where your driver is at all times can help you determine the time of delivery and the customer can be contacted and informed that their product is on its way, helping the company deliver better service and keeping customers satisfied.

History of Telematics

Telematics is any integrated use of Telecommunications with Information and Communication Technology. The term originates from the French word Telematique, which was the connecting of terminals for viewing computer data through telecommunication networks. It originally came about in the 1970's when a US government contractor 'Rockwell International' developed an on-board recorder, 'to measure the effects of different devices and driving techniques on heavy truck and fuel economy' (Cisco's The Network, 2014). Down through the years Telematics has been simplified, starting with on-board technology systems and later upgrading to satellite communication systems. The advent of pervasive internet access further changed the technology landscape; and the low cost availability of GPS technology meant that phone-based monitoring became easily affordable.

Computerization is a term used to describe the change in societies and economies as a result of computer technologies. Its impact is vast. Former French president Val??ry Giscard d'Estaing commissioned Simon Nora to carry out a survey on the effect of computerized technology. In summing up her findings, she said that the 'computerized revolution will have wider consequences than the 'technological revolution' (Geol, 2013). On a related point, a survey carried out asserts that the internet is a fundamental resource for the human race. 'More than half of the student respondents (55% of college students and 62% of employees) said they could not live without the internet and cite it is an integral part of our lives' (Cisco's The Network, 2014). Telecommunication technology is of course tightly integrated into human life by now, as witnessed by the saturation-level penetration of smart-phone devices.

How Telematics works

Telematics is a Global Positioning System (GPS) with a monitor fitted into the vehicle. The monitor receives data from the vehicle's Electric Control Unit (ECU) and transmits the data it receives to a space-based Satellite System. The data received from the telematic system can provide very accurate information, including vehicle speed, mileage and its exact location at any moment in time. By logging onto the company's telematic system online, the Transport Manager can receive a clear view on the vehicles' and drivers' progress. It will also report on harsh braking, excessive speed and excessive vehicle idling. Knowing that behavior can be monitored, the driver is motivated to abide by the relevant guidelines, rules and regulations relating to driving & rest behavior.

Telematics has benefitted transport industries in numerous ways such as cost efficient fuel usage and properly timed vehicle maintenance. Being able to give a driver a direct route to travel reduces direct and indirect costs, as well as time.
With the advantage of being able to view the location of your fleet at all times can in return let the customer know where the vehicle with the goods is and the approx arrival of time which is keeping the customer informed and satisfied. The Telematic system makes the transport managers job allot easier saving him allot of extra work hours if there was no telematic system installed. The telematic system also monitors the driver. Making sure speed limitations and rules are obeyed and in return no speeding fines or any other dilemmas.

Here we have a telematic system which shows what information can be gathered such as tyre pressure sensor and a data collector.


Chapter 2: Benefits of telematics systems:

Fuel Management:
trying to save fuel cost has become a major factor in big fleet companies' nowadays. Having a telematics system such as blue trees monitoring your trucks gives you a massive advantage and overview of your fleet. Fuel can be saved due to the GPS monitor fitted into the vehicle. Therefore having global satellite navigation gives you a very accurate turn by turn communication. Having the can bus connected to the engine which collects data and in return tells you exactly whats happening, from the exact amount of fuel levels in the truck to the drivers speed limitations. 'Having telematics in your fleet can help you save up to 20% in fuel efficiency '(Bluetreesystems.com, 2014). Having an improved driving style due to the telematics system fitted can give you information that tells you clearly what is happening, shows you clearly where the driver is, if the vehicle is idle, the direction it heading. Also the transport manager can see if it is more fuel efficient if another truck can make a collection or drop off on its way as he has an excellent overview of the location of his fleet and can tell this because of the data given by the telematics system.

Driver communications:
Driver communications have changed drastically due to the GPS tracking systems that monitor big fleet companies. With telematics fitted the transport manager can tell where the driver is at all times. Without even having to communicate with him as the data is received on the company's online telematics system they have chosen. Being able to see the vehicle or drivers location can tell the transport manager the approximate time on delivery to the customer and keeping them updated also very satisfied. The communication has benefited hugely due to the data received by the monitor fitted to the vehicle. It displays the drivers progress calculating his speed, and if the driver is braking speed limits, the drivers harsh braking and excessive speed can be displayed so the driver knows he's being monitored and must obey the rules.

Trailer tracking:
trailers have now been equipped with telematics along with the vehicles. With there being so many trailers it would be hard for a transport manager to keep track of all the trailers that they have especially if it was a big fleet. So telematics system has now fitted into the trailers making it easier for the transport manager and allot harder for the thieves trying to rob the trailers. Having the information of the trailers status with live (tethered) and scheduled (untethered) the dot can show you the trailers position from every ten minutes to twelve hours. 'the trailer tracking is so technical that it gives you an exact location to the size of a breadcrumb and another benefit is that an email or Sms text message can be sent if a trailer leaves its location'.

Driver hours:
under the EU driving hours there are rules and regulations that have to be followed. Drivers have a set number of hours that they are allowed drive weekly which is 56 hours in one week and no more than ninety hours in two consecutive weeks. They are required to take a 45 minute brake every four and a half hours driving. So they drive the first four and a half hours and take a 45 minute brake. Then after their 45 minute brake they drive for another 4.5 hours until they have reached their total driving hours for the day. The telematics system keeps a reading of the driver's hours so that when his driving time is up he must stop for his recommended time. It is the road safety authority that hold inspections investigating the drivers hours.

Sunday Weekly rest period
Monday 10 hours driving
Tuesday 9 hours driving
Wednesday 10 hours driving
Thursday 9 hours driving
Friday 9 hours driving
Saturday 9 hours driving
Sunday 56 hours
Driver cannot be put under unsafe conditions, so this why drivers hours and rules are set in place to make sure of the drivers safety. These are rules and regulations that are set so that drivers must comply with and in return keeping them and other road users safe.

Customer service:
Telematics is a major success when it comes to customer service. With telematics you have a clear overview or your journey and where your vehicle is and how far they are from their destination. So judging the location of the truck and the destination the transport manager can give an approximate delivery time to the customer. This in return keeping the customer happy and letting them know that you're very reliable.

Fuel calculation:

Scania R420 (2008) (6x4)

=7.9 mpg
4.55 litres in a gallon
1.25 litre + vat
900 miles travelled
900/7.9 = 113.9 gallons
113.9 x 4.55 = 518 litres of diesel
518 x 1025 = '647

Route planning:
when it comes to route planning telematics systems can help in a great deal. With telematics system installed your can make a route plan to where your delivery or collection is, but when route planning your must do it the cheapest and most efficient way possible. Bluetrees is a telematics system that is used so that you can select a route avoiding traffic congestion or built up areas and saving time and fuel in the meen time. With bluetrees you can set a route for the driver to take where the manager feels that they are avoiding busy built up areas. This saves allot of time and fuel. Also making the journey shorter and more efficient saves allot of vehicle maintence.

Vehicle idling:
when it comes to vehicle idling there are many companies that suffer from vehicle idling. Vehicle idle is basically when the vehicle has come to a stop or stand still but the engine is still running. When the engine is still running it is still burning fuel for no reason so allot of fuel could be lost in the long run due to vehicle idling for long periods of time. This means losing costs due to fuel being burnt unnecessarily like vehicle. One of the main reasons for vehicle idling is the loading and unloading of the truck. The truck running with the trailer being loaded and unloaded is often a problem but with telematics systems can give you a service with the package that helps you keep track of all the idling time even per week, per hour and per month. The telematics system keeps a reading of the driver's idle time and if the transport manager feels that there is a problem to do with the fact that there is an excess in idling time than he can contact the driver and solve the problem. Allot of drivers do not take into consideration of the amount of fuel costs that are being wasted due to vehicle idle time and maybe don't care as it is not them paying for the fuel. So with telematics system installed it can monitor idle time of drivers keeping it to a minimum and in return saving fuel cost of the company. This is another benefit of telematics system.

Live fleet:
another benefit of using telematics systems is that you are able to view all your fleet that is out at work also known as 'live fleet'. This is a great advantage when trying to find the locations of your fleet. By doing so your can access where your whole fleet, in groups or singly at any time. This equivalent to saving allot of time and communication using less phone communication.

less Work: Having telematics systems in your fleet is incredibly beneficial with regards to all the benefits out lined in this chapter. A transport company would run better and would accomplish allot more with regards to a company with no telematics and they communicating over the phone and no route plan set out. Having telematics means less work for the manager and that the driver knows exactly what he is doing and there is no confusion or delay.

Source: Essay UK - http://turkiyegoz.com/free-essays/economics/freight-management.php


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