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Protecting Your Workforce with Technology

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

With goods packed, loaded, unloaded and signed for by hand, human contact is a huge aspect of freight and logistics. And as work slowly winds up again across New Zealand, transport operators must adapt quickly to keep their workforce safe by minimising contact. Transporters must also follow new health and safety procedures put in place by other businesses within the supply chain. 

This pandemic has certainly taught us the importance of being flexible and utilising technology to its fullest to adjust to a changing supply chain environment. Today, many operators are using fleet tracking technologies in different and innovative ways to protect employees.


A Teletrac Navman customer recently told us how their tracking system helped them rapidly respond to changes to a job. Due to a suspected Covid-19 case, a delivery site had to close immediately without warning. Multiple vehicles were already on route to that site, when the transport manager was notified by the customer. The transport manager quickly sent out alert messages to the in-cab devices of the relevant drivers. The alerts included an alternative address and required drivers to acknowledge the message so the transport manager quickly knew once the drivers had read the message. Using fleet management software, the business adapted effectively – the back office had updated the POD delivery forms remotely before the vehicles even arrived at the alternative site. 

Contactless job management

Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and 24 hours on cardboard. Removing unnecessary paperwork goes a long way towards a safer and more efficient operation. Digitalising jobs via an electronic task management solution allows schedulers to assign tasks based on a driver’s current location, workload and fatigue levels. A digital task manager eliminates exchanging physical documents between drivers and admin workers, ensuring the health and safety of those on the road and in the office. With an in-cab device, drivers can also take photos as proof of delivery, creating a contactless delivery process with no need for written signatures.

Automated site alerts

As businesses make fast decisions around new health and safety practices, transport operators need to keep drivers informed of potential risks at different depots and collection points. Using GPS-based technology, you can create custom geofences around important sites, such as customer depots, ports and loading bays, automatically triggering alerts to the driver device, which updates the driver on the specific procedures of that site.

You can also use geo-based notifications to identify open rest stops along the route, allowing drivers to safely pull up, refuel, eat or use the facilities. National Road Carriers has collated useful lists of open public bathrooms in the North Island and South Island. 

Double check

Health and safety managers can update electronic pre-trip checklists to include hygiene checks based on government advice and customer requirements. Although the Covid-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, common household disinfectants can kill the virus. Updated checklists could include disinfecting touch points in the vehicle or ensuring the vehicle is stocked with safety and hygiene supplies. These updated checklists can be rolled out instantly across the entire fleet.

With a few tweaks to the existing fleet tracking technology available, businesses can continue to operate efficiently whilst also keeping their workforce safe.

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