As a fleet manager you are likely already using a variety of metrics to help manage, maintain, and optimize your fleet. In recent years, it has become more common to track everything from vehicle location, empty miles driven and fuel economy to traffic violations, average speed, and more. With the steadily increasing advancement of wireless IoT sensors, ‘trailer utilization’ is the new keyword that you should know – and be acting on.
What is Trailer Utilization?
Where fleet utilization is an understanding of the percentage of your fleet that is being used for the purpose of fully optimizing resources, trailer utilization is even more granular, relating to the percentage of a trailer that is being used. Embracing IoT sensor technologies can help improve your trailer utilization, empowering fleet managers to increase their overall operational efficiency and revenue per mile.
Do you utilize your trailers to their full potential?
By full potential, we mean every single foot of your trailers. You probably have a rough idea as to how long it takes to load your trailers, as well as a rough guess as to the average load size, but do you know for sure that you are maximizing the potential of your trailers?
From our experience with the transportation industry, we have noticed that many companies don’t actually have the full picture when it comes to their trailers, which prevents them from fully optimizing their processes, shipments, and revenue potential.
Today, it is possible to track so much more than just a trailer’s physical location. Here are a few ways your business can benefit from trailer utilization technologies:
Improve LTL Operations:
A common problem in the transportation industry relates to LTL carriers. With LTL shipments, there are often trailers driving back and forth across the country with plenty of cargo space available. Modular wireless cargo sensors can help determine the exact amount of cubic feet that is available in each trailer, in real-time. With this kind of insight in hand, it’s possible to better plan and better schedule the use of each trailer so you can reduce the number of empty miles driven and improve overall efficiency.
Increase visibility into load/unload status:
Loading and unloading trailers can sometimes prove to be a logistical nightmare. Unforeseen issues or delays, either on the road or at the customer’s facility, can result in your trailer sitting idle for longer than it needs to be. Wireless door sensors can help you verify the status of your trailers and shipment. Customized alerts can be set to notify you when a door is open and can provide details as to the duration that the door is open. When this information is coupled with cargo volume sensor data, you will have a clear idea of when your trailer has been loaded or unloaded, so you can make better planning decisions and find ways to improve the loading and unloading process. Also, knowing when your trailer doors have been opened can help you identify suspicious activity and act quickly in the event of theft.
Reduce Dwell Times:
Understanding dwell times is another important aspect of trailer utilization. While you might be tracking your trailer’s location, are you also tracking how long your empty trailer sits at its destination? Understanding trailer dwell times through tools like GPS location and load sensors can help you get a complete picture, allowing you to improve accountability with your customers. For example, if dwell times are longer when a load is delivered to a certain customer, you might want find ways to work with your customer to improve delivery/pick up processes.
Today, trailer utilization is becoming an important keyword as it is so much more than just being able to track the location of your trailers on a map. Wireless door sensors, cargo sensors, trailer tracking, and more can provide the data you need to take the next steps in improving your company’s operations.
If you have questions on how you can improve trailer utilization, feel free to contact us or check out our social media and web resources!