02 October 2019
big fleet challenges and how to overcome them
Whether a fleet
consists of five vehicles or 500 plus, certain management issues are universal.
Challenges change as impacting factors shift, but any firm that relies on a
commercial fleet, including bulk logistics companies, must find ways to address
and work around them.
The Arval Mobility
Observatory (formerly the Corporate Vehicle Observatory) surveyed nearly 4,000
fleet managers for its 2019 UK Fleet Barometer, asking them – among other things – what they
felt were the biggest fleet challenges for the next five years. Top of the list by a long way was ‘Lack of
road infrastructure causing increased congestion’, identified by 49% of
Our transport system
is undoubtedly getting more clogged and, while they’re undoubtedly necessary, government plans to get more
ultra-low emission vehicles on the roads is creating increasing pressure on the
logistics industry to cut its carbon footprint. Day to day, bulk operators can
ensure their drivers are making every journey as direct and unobstructed as
possible by automating route planning in real time.
This certainly isn’t
the only challenge faced by fleet managers though. Let’s look at a couple of other
big issues at the heart of fleet management, and how bulk logistics companies
can rise to them with the help of optimisation software.
Maximising value for money
It’s not just
efficiency for the purpose of sustainability that bulk fleet managers must
think about; there’s a constant need to squeeze financial value out of every
mile too. Every vehicle should be performing and utilised to optimum capacity.
Vehicle utilisation is
a cost implication for any fleet manager, especially those heading up larger
fleets, where it’s easy for uneven usage to go untracked and unnoticed. But,
monitoring usage of individual vehicles through a logistics optimisation system
can highlight those that are underused, allowing them to be redeployed where
needed and maximising their contribution to a company’s bottom line. Equally,
any overused vehicles can be flagged for maintenance checks, in addition to the
regular schedule and a driver’s ability to carry out checks in the field.
Duty of care for drivers
Any occupation that
involves driving time comes with risk. The Department for Transport estimates
that more than a quarter of all road
traffic accidents may
involve someone who is driving as part of their job at the time. Fleet managers
have a duty of care towards their drivers and other road users are not put at
risk by organisational driving or the road worthiness of their vehicles.
This is an area being
greatly enhanced by logistics optimisation software and connected on-board
sensor technology. Telematics record driver behaviour and flag any illegal
potentially dangerous habits, such as speeding or harsh braking, engine and
tyre pressure diagnostics monitor the operational status of the vehicle’s key
systems, while night vision-enabled reversing
cameras give your
drivers essential visibility. Crucially, all the data captured by this
technology, including the reversing camera feed, can be displayed to the driver
on a single in-cab mobile computer, keeping dashboards uncluttered and free
Fleet managers have
the tools to minimise risk for their drivers and other road users, and boost
fleet safety records drastically over time, reducing insurance premiums and
providing protection from false claims.
What are your fleet management
Of course, every
organisation faces its own unique fleet management challenges. When it comes to
bulk logistics, these will largely depend on what your firm ships; specialist
sectors such as oil and gas, chemicals and hazardous and non-hazardous waste all have their own specific issues to face.
At Touchstar, our decades
of experience have made us experts in logistics optimisation systems for every
kind of bulk industry. Our systems can help you capitalise on both universal
fleet management challenges and those particular to your field of operation.
Contact our bulk logistics specialists to discuss your business needs and find out
how we can become part of your fleet optimisation plan.