Local delivery fleets use a variet of trucks, from cargo vans to box trucks to trucks with...

Local delivery fleets use a variet of trucks, from cargo vans to box trucks to trucks with trailers (pictured). Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Local delivery fleets have their own unique sets of challenges that telematics can assist with. Some local delivery fleets will operate on set routes, while others have routes that differ each day depending on orders or requests.

Efficiency and driver productivity is going to be a key to success for local delivery fleets.

“By using telematics to monitor and enforce policies (like right-turn only), local delivery companies can greatly increase their driver productivity,” said Dain Giesie, assistant vice president for Enterprise Fleet Management.

Route optimization and scheduling are two areas that best benefit from a telematics solution.

“In terms of local delivery fleets, route optimization is key to success. Rerouting around traffic and choosing the shortest route helps local delivery fleet owners fulfill the most deliveries in the shortest amount of time. Local delivery fleets can use telematics solutions to locate drivers closest to a certain delivery spot and choose them to complete the job, for example, cutting out unnecessary driving. They can also use telematics’ GPS vehicle tracking capabilities to identify high-traffic areas and plan multiple pickups and deliveries in a short time span. For local delivery drivers, telematics can make all the difference in communication, be it with the dispatcher, the fleet owner or the customer. Real-time alerts give them information as soon as it is available, and they can relay any delays in shipment and/or come up with an alternative route right away. Telematics is also helpful in tracking local delivery drivers’ hours-of-service – with so many deliveries, logging hours spent on the road digitally is the best way to remain compliant with driver safety legislation,” said Nathan Todd, director of product management at Teletrac Navman.

Route planning is especially important for local delivery fleets.

“For the local delivery company, efficiency means more deliveries and more revenue. Utilization of route planning software can enable the local delivery company to optimize the delivery route to maximize revenue while supporting client specific needs such as a limited delivery window,” said Bob Clark, manager of commercial motor vehicle compliance and telematics for Wheels.

Competition is growing in the delivery vocation with larger companies such as Amazon and even Uber competing for jobs.

“Maximizing asset utilization, minimizing operational costs and creating and executing the best plan are the name of the game in local delivery. With the changing dynamic of local delivery being transformed with such players as Amazon and Uber we are seeing a tremendous change in the local delivery market, be it packages or groceries or restaurant food.  Telematics track and trace and mobile enablement are table stakes for the players looking to change the game and break down traditional service/delivery paradigms, as is the capability to support first and last mile delivery optimization with a consistent user experience from brick and mortar to digital, especially for retail distribution companies,” according to Kelly Frey, VP of product marketing for Telogis.

Utilizing telematics can help provide better estimated times of arrival for deliveries and even help reroute drivers around accidents or heavy traffic.

“Integrate GPS into your customer facing Web or mobile application to be able to provide your customers with real time ETA status of their delivery. This will give your customer visibility to be able to better plan for their delivery and assists with questions to reduce call center volume on status updates,” said Kimberly Clark, telematics leader for Element Fleet Management.

Telematics can provide greater visibility into a local delivery fleet.

“Fleet managers are able to see if, for example, any of their drivers are unnecessarily taking tollway roads for deliveries. Putting a stop to this behavior though routing intelligence has saved fleets more than $1,000 a month,” said Ryan Driscoll, marketing manager for GPS Insight.

In addition, fleet managers or dispatchers can set zones around pick-up or drop-off locations, ensuring the closest driver is always notified of a job first.

“Set zones around pick-up and drop-off locations and understand routes. Using this information, you can dispatch the closest driver ensuring timely deliveries and improve routes to improve efficiency and safety of your fleet,” said Scott Sutarik, associate VP, commercial vehicle services for Geotab.

As with other fleets, connecting all assets can assist a local delivery fleet comply with regulations, track down missing or stolen vehicles, and provide 100% visibility into a delivery fleets operation in real time.

“Connect everything associated with the local delivery task, including on-road vehicles, cargo tracking, bin and pallet tracking, and refrigerated trailer sensors required to support regulations such as the Food Safety Modernization Act,” said Frey of Telogis.   

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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