22 February 2019

Understanding vehicle telematics for the bulk logistics industry

When it comes to car insurance, securing a lower premium can be as simple as having a black box fitted to your vehicle, provided you’re a responsible driver, of course. Black box devices – or telematics boxes as they’re also known – can be installed out of sight on your car in order to record data about the way you drive; data that insurance companies can use to create a premium based on your actual driving behaviour, rather than demographic or statistical info. Black box insurance is one of the latest and most high-profile uses of vehicle telematics in action, but there’s far more that this technology can do. In fact, vehicle telematics finds one of its most invaluable use cases in the bulk logistics sector, using live big data insight to help fleet managers monitor and refine driver performance in the field.

How does vehicle telematics work for bulk logistics?

Much like a black box on a car, telematics devices for bulk logistics fleets work by recording information about the way each vehicle is driven and reporting it back to fleet managers back at base through mobile connectivity.

Telematics technology connects to on-board diagnostic sensors to track driving data, such as the way a driver accelerates and brakes, and transmits it back in real-time. With GPS built in, vehicle telematics also enables you to map exactly where each vehicle is and how fast it’s moving. Just as you could if you were in the cab with each of your drivers, you gain a view of driver behaviour in detail, as well as vehicle and route data you can use to optimise operations. What’s more, vehicle telematics for bulk logistics can be seamlessly integrated with other essential technologies your drivers use as they carry out drops, including job manifestos, Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD), maps, and vehicle maintenance checking.

All systems combine within a single in-cab computer, just as intuitive and easy-to-use out of its mounted cradle as it is on the move. This telematic-enabled hardware gives you a means to receive a constant stream of invaluable real-time vehicle, driver and job-by-job data.    

The benefits of vehicle telematics for bulk logistics

So, what exactly can vehicle telematics technology reveal about driver performance within your fleet? Here are some of the biggest benefits of using a telematics-enabled logistics optimisation system.

Better fuel efficiency

Some of the main contributors to poor fuel over-consumption are severe acceleration, speeding and time spent idling. With vehicle telematics, you can see which of your drivers might be leaning towards bad habits behind the wheel and take steps to retrain them. It needn’t take long for these incremental changes to add up either; one US-based national logistics company managed to cut their fuel costs by almost $3 million within a year using vehicle telematics to improve driver behaviour.  

Improved safety

Better driver discipline automatically leads to better safety and sustainability standards out on the roads, and less chance that any of your vehicles will be involved in an accident. But telematics can also let you know if any of your drivers are routinely failing to wear their seatbelts, a vital precaution that not only protects them in the event of an incident, but also ensures they and you remain legally compliant as they carry out their duties.

Less vehicle wear and tear

The ability to keep an eye on the way your drivers are handling your vehicles can also help to minimise fleet deterioration. Extensive time on the road will naturally start to affect your vehicles after a while, but poor driving habits, like speeding and harsh braking, are almost guaranteed to have them in need of upkeep sooner rather than later. Not only can a telematics-enabled management system give you the insight you need to prevent your drivers taking liberties with your fleet, it allows your drivers to check for and log any vehicle issues via their in-cab computer as soon as they crop up, even in the field.  

For fleet managers within the bulk logistics sector, vehicle telematics can be their eyes and ears as their drivers complete their deliveries. This visibility comes with data that can help you identify substandard driver behaviour as it happens, before rectifying it for improved productivity, operating costs, and safety standards. To learn more about the role vehicle telematics plays within our bulk logistics optimisation systems, get in touch today.  

Contact Us


We retain the information you supply to us solely in order to deal with your query. We do not share your data outside of Touchstar Technologies and we do not use it for marketing purposes.

Please confirm to continue