Operational efficiency isn’t a new idea. Even in the best of times, businesses of all sizes need to find ways to make better use of their resources to increase productivity and maximize revenues. Now, a year into the global pandemic, operational efficiency is no longer just a strategic goal. For many businesses, it’s critical to survival.
The transportation industry is no exception. Although, freight transportation is an essential service, a recent McKinsey article point out that “demand has been volatile […]. Compared with , trucking volumes initially increased by about 30 percent in 2020 as a result of panic buying, then dropped markedly, and are now ticking back up again.”i
In order to survive the ups and downs of our current reality, which necessitates increased safety measures and economic restrictions, transportation companies need to find ways to increase operational efficiency across the board – from dispatch to drivers, to cargo shipments and beyond.
As discussed in our previous article, automation and technology are playing an important role in helping the transportation industry adapt to the new normal. In particular, IoT technology is helping businesses improve daily operations in the following three ways:
Reducing empty drive miles and half loads can help trucking companies weather the highs and lows of consumer demand. One way to do this is by utilizing IoT sensor technology, which enables businesses to see inside their trailers or containers and monitor available floor space and cargo volume in real-time. With this increased visibility, better scheduling decisions can be made, and routes can be optimized to increase load efficiency.
With an IoT tracking solution, management can set geofencing parameters around a warehouse or customer’s location and receive automatic notifications when their driver arrives at or departs the facility. This can help businesses understand the time it takes to load or unload cargo and help identify the cause of any unnecessary idling. With this data in hand, loading and unloading processes can be made more efficient, helping to keep schedules on track and deliveries on time. Plus, geofencing can help businesses track their drivers' contact with other people for health and safety purposes.
Dispatchers are tasked with keeping daily operations running smoothly, which can be challenging when people are working remotely and there are many moving parts to track. An IoT fleet tracking solution can help make dispatchers' jobs easier by enabling fleet vehicles and important assets to be tracked together, in real-time, on one screen. Automatic alerts and notifications also help dispatchers react quickly when issues arise, so shipment delays are minimized.
Efficiency can equal resilience in unpredictable times
By increasing visibility and providing real-time data, IoT technology is changing the way businesses in the transportation industry operate. From dispatchers to drivers and beyond, tracking and monitoring solutions are helping to increase efficiency and make companies more resilient in these unpredictable times.