While it might require superhuman powers to push through the lines and mosh pits that accompany Black Friday sales, at the end of the day, the struggle is over and people relax and curl up with leftover pumpkin pie. Different story for the trucking industry. Black Friday and Cyber Monday e-commerce activity marks the start of the most complex time of year for trucking logistics. In fact, 2016 may prove to be the most difficult holiday rush yet. Online holiday sales are expected to grow 11 percent to $91.6 billion, with Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday projected to account for nearly 10 percent of those sales, according to an Adobe Digital Insights study. Adding to the pressure, the expected timeline for free shipping is now an average of just 4.8 days compared to 5.5 days in 2012 states the supply chain consulting firm AlixPartners LLP.
With both the time constraints and the massive amount of inventory that needs to be transported to retailers during this time, fleet management can become a logistical nightmare. That’s why, now more than ever, GPS fleet tracking software is a critical foundation in trucking operations, getting fleets through the holiday season, unscathed and helping them keep up with demand. One of the primary goals in fleet management is efficiency – ensuring as many loads as possible get to the right location on schedule – and it’s hard to do without the support of GPS technology.
There are a number of events that can occur during a delivery route – drivers get lost, accidents and last-minute pick-up or delivery requests. Both on- and off-road, advancements in truck GPS tracking can solve for all different types of expected and unexpected situations. Below are three ways fleets are managing the holiday rush.
Real Time Tracking & Communication- Perhaps the most evident benefit is knowing where each truck is in real time for better informed and more efficient routing decisions. It allows for dispatchers to communicate seamlessly with drivers to keep them on schedule and more effective management – weaving in extra, last-minute assignments into the delivery system without overlapping drivers, routes or neglecting others. Having visibility into all segments of the delivery process can reveal the causes behind a slower route – waiting at too many lights or taking too many left turns (a real fuel-burner) – and opportunities to speed up a trip, alerting drivers to upcoming construction, traffic and road conditions.
Compliance - Another important advantage of GPS fleet management technology is maintaining compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, something that is more difficult to do during the busy holiday season. Having, at the ready, the number of hours every driver has been on the road and when they are on break, can alert carrier dispatchers if drivers are in danger of violating their hourly shift regulations. They can also uncover those who have driving hours to spare. Both are difficult and time-consuming to calculate manually, but technology can make these calculations in real time – providing actionable intelligence so companies can prevent those hefty fines and better utilize available hours of service.
Peace of Mind - And, last but not least, a less tangible but equally beneficial aspect is that fleet managers and owners gain peace of mind in knowing where all inventory is located at any given time out in the field. Many of these trucks are carrying incredibly valuable loads (often over a million dollars of inventory), and GPS fleet tracking can act as a safeguard of that inventory.
With the immense pressure of the holiday season, it’s critical to remain competitive and as efficient as possible. GPS fleet management technology can help companies achieve this, especially during the busiest times of the year.
To learn more about GPS fleet tracking technology, visit www.teletracnavman.com/gps-tracking-benefits.