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Companies operating in the transportation and logistics industry are facing increased pressure to cut costs and be more efficient. One way that technology is improving fleet management is through trailer utilization solutions.
These solutions give companies the ability to monitor not only the use of their trailer fleet but also the use of each individual trailer. A trailer utilization solution provides valuable insight into where a trailer is and what is happening inside the trailer by tracking things like cargo volume, cargo position, and available linear footage.
Here are the top 10 ways a trailer utilization solution can benefit your company:
- Complete Visibility- The great part about trailer utilization is that the technology is multi-functional, giving you complete visibility into the status and activities of your trailers. Not only does this help to maximize load efficiency but can also help you prevent theft, improve driver safety, and decrease idle times. With real-time notifications including geo-fence alerts, speeding alerts, trailer door status, maintenance tracking, and live GPS location you will have a complete picture of your trailer’s use from start to finish.
- Decrease Loading/Unloading Time- Loading and unloading trailers can be a time-consuming logistical nightmare. A trailer utilization solution can help you pin-point the exact cause of inefficiencies so you can make changes to your operational processes and save valuable time.
- Decrease Dwell Time- When you have dozens, or even hundreds of trailers to keep track of, it can be difficult to know if things truly are running on schedule or if a customer is holding onto your trailers longer than necessary. There are instances when a trailer or two go “off the radar” and you might not be aware of how much time or money you lost by having a trailer sitting in a lot. A trailer utilization solution ensures that you know the location and dwell time of every trailer in your fleet at all times so you can take action when they are stalled for longer periods than necessary.
- Increase Trailer Revenue Per Mile- For transportation companies, every minute and every mile driven has a major impact on your bottom line and determines whether your company is growing its fleet or downsizing. A trailer utilization solution not only helps to improve operational efficiency, but also helps ensure that you are optimizing your fleet, maximizing your revenue and saving on unnecessary costs. One way is through the use of load sensors that are placed inside the trailers and provide valuable insights into load percentages. If your trailers are transporting partial loads, particularly as an LTL carrier, you can review real-time and historical trip data and understand if you are making more trips than necessary.
- Improve Use of Resources- Your company’s time, drivers, cargo, and trailers are all resources that, if managed correctly, can help you grow your revenue. A trailer utilization solution will make sure that you know where your important resources are and how they are performing so you can make better business decisions based on real data. You may not even realize that your resources are not being maximized to their full potential!
- Increase Employee Efficiency- Drivers might seem like the most obvious focus for this one, but have you also considered ways to increase the efficiency of your dispatchers, customers, unloading/loading staff and even managers? Automating trailer monitoring by leveraging trailer utilization technologies means that all employees in your business can focus their attention on what really matters. The best part? Your team will have access to intuitive and powerful tools to get their jobs done well. Rather than spending hours a month hunting down or understanding previous trips, detailed historical and live data insights will be available with only a few clicks.
- Identify cargo theft– It’s not a stretch to say that having visibility into the timing and location of trailers is good for more than just tracking your trailer’s whereabouts. Having full visibility into your trailer fleet also has a big impact on theft prevention. As part of a trailer utilization solution, you can receive notifications when unauthorized activity has occurred, for example when a trailer door has been opened at an unscheduled stop, and wireless load sensors can help you determine if even a small amount of cargo has been removed.
- Get the Edge on the Competition- Even the simplest technologies like door sensors play a part in trailer utilization. All of the sensor data works together to provide you with the insights you need to improve efficiency, even among employees. It’s more than just knowing the location of your trailers. It’s about being able to get to the nitty gritty and dig into the specific business processes that slow down productivity. As transportation becomes more and more competitive with rising insurance costs, any additional insight you can gain on your operations allows you to make better cost saving and revenue generating decisions, and enabling you to be more competitive.
- Easy to deploy- Trailer utilization sensors can be easily implemented into pre-existing infrastructure. This applies to both the hardware and the software components of a trailer utilization solution. You can read about trailer tracking and API integration in some of our previous posts. The main point here is that whichever existing software you are currently using in your business, trailer utilization can be integrated incredibly fast. The physical wireless sensors are easily installed throughout the trailer’s interior and require a simple set up and are compact and non-invasive.
- Positive ROI- The big question for any operations manager or owner is whether implementing new processes or technologies will actually improve efficiency. If it does not turn a positive profit over a period of time, it generally is not worth pursuing. That’s why trailer utilization is a no-brainer. Trailer utilization just means that cutting edge technologies identify key areas of inefficiency and gives you the insight to make positive operational changes. You’ll end up saving more money with trailer utilization than the cost to implement the tools, thus achieving a positive ROI.
A trailer utilization solution can help transportation companies improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and get a leg up on the competition. Simple to deploy and easy to manage, it’s easy to see why it should be part of your business strategy.