Three Ways Location Data is Creating In-roads for Driver Safety and Efficiency - Global Trade Magazine
  August 20th, 2021 | Written by

Three Ways Location Data is Creating In-roads for Driver Safety and Efficiency

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  • In today’s interconnected, global supply chain, “need-it-now” world, expectations for delivery windows are shortening.
  • Workload scheduling for fleets is more complicated than one may think.
  • It’s imperative fleet owners implement safety-focused measures to protect their employees and businesses.

Ensuring a safety-first work culture is essential for those within the transportation and logistics (T&L) industry. In fact, according to the latest National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in the United States, more than one in seven on-the-job deaths occur in the heavy-duty trucking industry. When mapped, approximately 10,000 truck crashes occur every month, across nearly all 50 states.

In today’s interconnected, global supply chain and “need-it-now” world, expectations for delivery windows are shortening, thereby challenging fleet managers to balance increasing fleet speed and efficiency — without sacrificing drivers’ safety.

As a result, many are looking to location data to provide real-time intelligence to inform everything from driver behavior analyses to improved workload scheduling. Here are three ways location intelligence is paving the road for faster, safer, and more efficient fleets.

1. Enhanced driver behavior analyses

It’s imperative fleet owners implement safety-focused measures not only to protect their employees but their businesses as well.

Fleet owners are creating more risk-averse fleets by performing regular analyses of driver behavior using location data. Through real-time analytics and insights provided, fleet managers can compare geospatial (e.g. road features and weather conditions) and other legal factors (e.g. posted speed limits) against an employee’s typical driving habits to make a proper assessment of an employee’s driving behavior.

Additionally, by performing regular analyses of driver behavior, fleet managers can work with employees to improve their driving behaviors and reward these positive habits to ensure they stick going forward – including everything from good driver incentive programs to additional vacation days or even cash bonuses. Along with improvements to overall workplace collaboration and culture, these types of incentive programs can also and lead to better company savings through reduced insurance premiums for good drivers.

2. Increased road condition awareness

Weather conditions can change in a matter of seconds. While snow or extra gravel on the road may serve as minor nuisances for the everyday driver, these types of debris can heavily impact the safety and efficiency of those driving over 6,000 lb. of steel.

To better protect drivers from hazardous road conditions, fleet owners have invested in truck navigation systems equipped with robust location intelligence in order to ensure drivers are navigating through safe and optimal routes. These systems provide up-to-date geospatial and weather data, allowing fleet owners to generate optimal delivery routes avoiding dangerous road conditions or other factors interfering with the delivery process. Simultaneously, the real-time location intelligence these platforms provide can help inform drivers of any sudden accidents, lane closures or even extreme weather.

Take for example a logistics company assigned to transport medical supplies from the East to West Coast in the dead of winter. Prior to the trip, a fleet manager can use a system equipped with real-time location data to create the optimal route avoiding significant weather conditions or road closures for their fleet. Then, if any other spontaneous weather or hazardous road conditions arise while a driver’s on the job, they can reference the data from their truck navigation system and work with their dispatch team to quickly adjust the route to ensure the job is completed in a safe and timely manner.

3. Improved workload scheduling

Workload scheduling for fleets is more complicated than one may think. Outside the challenges of route planning itself, fleet owners must factor in rest time for drivers – including specific areas for drivers to park, rest, eat and even shower. Additionally, fleet managers need to ensure work schedules abide by ELD mandates and are the most fuel and time-efficient from a cost perspective. If a workload schedule doesn’t account for all these factors, fleet owners could face more than just an angry complaint from an employee.

In order to both streamline workload scheduling efforts and ensure the safety of employees, fleet owners are turning to workload scheduling software to facilitate this routine task. These types of software platforms are enterprise-grade and provide real-time location intelligence, making them the optimal solution for fleet managers to effectively plan routes and schedules before drivers leave for their journeys.

As seen by the versatile applications of location intelligence, it’s clear how this modern-day solution is helping commercial fleet operators improve safety protocols within their company. While it may be easier for professionals within the T&L space to use native mapping software found on computers or mobile devices, these programs do not provide the essential intelligence needed in order to plan and facilitate optimal delivery routes. As a result, it’s imperative for fleet owners to look into commercial-grade platforms equipped with location intelligence to create safer work environments going forward.

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Erminio Di Paola has been with HERE for the past 10 years starting his career as Director of Sales Support, then becoming Senior Director product management and most recently as VP Head of Fleet and Supply-Chain solutions. Erminio comes to HERE bringing over a decade of international experience from TomTom and TeleAtlas with a focus on building location-based services and applications while working with different business functions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an International Executive MBA (SDA Bocconi/UCLA/Fudan).