The food & beverage industry has endured major changes in the past year. Faced with heavy restrictions, more than 10,000 restaurants and other hospitality-based businesses across Canada have had to close their doors for good with the number being a whopping 100,000 plus in the US (1). The impact has been considerable – not just on restaurants but on every sector from farm to table. The entire industry has had no choice but to shift.
Fleets operating within the food and beverage industry have also faced considerable pressure to pivot operations in order to survive. According to one report, approximately 27% of fleets in the US had to downsize while 13% had to change how they utilized their trucks (2).
While we’re starting to see the pendulum swing back and restrictions slowly, and cautiously, being lifted, it’s likely to be a while before things are back to ‘normal’ – whatever that ends up looking like.
Technology will be key to surviving and thriving
For many transportation companies, weathering the storm of the pandemic and beyond is going necessitate finding ways to operate more efficiently and effectively. This means fully utilizing existing resources while providing top-level service to customers.
Technology will likely play an important role in shaping the future of food and beverage transportation, particularly solutions that provide real-time data. Whether a business is running dry vans with shelf-stable products or refrigerated trailers and vans with perishable goods, knowing at all times where fleet vehicles are located and how they are performing can help with everything from scheduling to route planning to mitigate employee safety risks and cargo loss.
This is where fleet tracking solutions come in.
Fleet tracking solutions are generally comprised of three components: a hardware device that is integrated with condition sensors and installed in vehicles, cellular connectivity for transmitting data via the cloud, and a customer software portal for viewing real-time and historical data. Together, these components provide businesses with complete visibility into the status of their trucks, trailers and cargo. With real-time data in hand, companies can reduce empty drive miles, act quickly when problems arise, and provide customers with accurate ETAs and cargo status updates.
Navigate the new normal with confidence
Transportation companies operating within the food & beverage industry have faced many challenges during the pandemic. Some companies have had to downsize while others have had to pivot their operations to keep trucks on the road and business moving. Although we don’t know how things will continue to evolve, there’s a good chance technology will play a big role in helping companies navigate the new normal.
1. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-picture-life-without-restaurants-industry-asks-canadians-for-support/; https://www.travelandleisure.com/food-drink/coronavirus-pandemic-restaurant-shutdowns