New Zealanders rely on truckers and the transport industry all year round. This is especially during the winter months when people are more inclined to stay at home and make online purchases to meet their shopping needs. A combination of cold temperatures alongside the threat of periodic COVID-19 lockdowns has therefore meant a steep increase in e-commerce for the country. NZ Post reported that New Zealanders spent approximately $1.2 billion more at the end of 2020 than at the end of 2019.
This year, online sales are expected to continue climbing by 14.6% throughout 2021. This, combined with shorter days and severe weather warnings in regions like the Hawkes Bay and Gisborne means operators and their fleet managers have little room for error when it comes to keeping their trucks running on schedule and in tip-top shape to meet the demand.
Fortunately, an integrated telematics solution with AI-enabled features and GPS Fleet Tracking delivers insight into operations that help hotshot and expedited carriers improve efficiency and profits, and maximises communication and routing. Read on for ways to maximise your fleet’s performance during this year’s high-stakes winter season.
#1 Weather and poor road conditions
Weather is notoriously unpredictable, so there’s no way to completely remove the risk it might have on your fleet’s operations. However, fleets can implement technology to mitigate these effects by locating drivers, and rerouting them to avoid harsh conditions, known areas prone to collisions in bad weather, road closures or hazards to successfully guide them to their destinations. Since fleet management solutions keep fleet managers up to speed, it is easier to make last-minute adjustments to the schedule to avoid the worst weather-related disruptions. Only you and your drivers know the roads better than anyone, trusting your knowledge and using it within a fleet management system is a huge benefit.
#2 Route planning
Theoretically, all GPS-enabled solutions use GNSS to acquire location data to. However, not all of them consider the list of stops drivers need to complete in a given time period, or vehicle dimensions, load capacity, road restrictions, hazardous materials and other configurations that may affect the route. Teletrac Navman’s route compliance solution can keep your drivers on the right roads at all time withreal-time updates, including vehicle location and speed. You can drill down the overall trip duration, handling and driver time and stops completed to measure against their goals.
Backhauling (sometimes referred to as “backloading”) means planning for roundtrip hauls and mapping out routes to ensure goods are transported on every leg of a truck’s journey. It involves carefully planning routes so that trucks aren’t driving back empty on return trips. This maximises productivity on the road. Backhauling requires more planning than sending trucks out to complete one haul at a time, but the benefits makes it worth it, especially in periods of high delivery demand. Planning efficient loads improves operational efficiency like maximising equipment and labour utilisation, which in turn means improved productivity and boosted revenue.
It is important to keep drivers safe in times of high demand and pressure. An electronic driver logbooks help manage the risk of driver fatigue by providing both the fleet manager and the driver themselves with status insights and data. It does this through presenting a comprehensive breakdown of each driver’s work and rest balance information. This mitigates the risks that can result from driver fatigue, and helps drivers stay safe and alert throughout the busy periods.
Ultimately, staying safe and efficient has never been more important for New Zealand truckers. With challenges like harsh winter weather and driver fatigue, steps must be taken to mitigate risk and maintain optimum productivity. As the demand for couriers and deliveries increases, fleet managers can utilise GPS tracking software to maximise efficiency, increase safety, and therefore boost revenue.