When it comes to examples of big data’s benefits in business, the shipping and logistics industry should immediately come to mind. Fleet management traditionally done with paperwork and spreadsheets was immensely time consuming, and prone to errors that could cost a company chunks of money.
With new technological trends in fleet management, shipping and delivery companies are saving a fortune in manpower spent on paperwork, and saving even more with optimized routes for increased delivery speeds, reduced fuel consumption, and better vehicle maintenance. Let’s examine some of those trends for managing fleets in today’s modern tech world.
Electronic Logging Devices
In December 2017 the ELD mandate was signed by congress, which required commercial vehicle operators to record their hours of service (HoS) electronically. This mandate addressed several problems with paper logging, notably errors made by fatigued drivers, and misrepresentation of service hours.
One of the biggest benefits of the ELD mandate is fleet managers being able to track bad driving behaviors. If a trucker commits bad driving habits such as excessive acceleration and hard cornering, it will show in their ELD data, greatly increasing accuracy in performance reviews.
Adoption of Electric Fleet Vehicles
Electric fleet vehicles are coming equipped with a range of useful technology, but workers in fleet management face a hurdle in adopting them. Phasing out older vehicles and purchasing newer models is a costly endeavor in the current market, but electric vehicles are expected to become more competitively priced in the near future.
One of the primary benefits of electric fleets is eliminating fuel costs, but companies have also been enjoying the benefits of newer synthetic oils in the meantime as well. Today’s synthetic oils have change intervals of up to 15,000 miles, compared to traditional oils that are recommended to be changed every 3,000 to 5,000.
Autonomous commercial fleets
If any technology can create major disruption in the trucking industry, its autonomous vehicles. A massive landscape shift towards autonomous vehicles is on the not-so-distant horizon, which will massively skyrocket profitability and productivity for fleet managers, but potentially disrupt millions of jobs. There are an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, with around 8 million employed in the trucking industry overall.
It’s also argued that autonomous vehicles will terminate a lot of jobs, but also create new ones. These new jobs will mainly be in robotics and electrical engineering, as well as accounting and management.
Remote fleet management
With software integrated between a truck’s on-board diagnostics, and remote management software, fleet managers are able to get incredible amounts of data from individual trucks, at a glance. Mandatory rest breaks are easier enforced, such as the remote disabling of an engine electronically, and on-the-road diagnostics can also be performed such as brake, steering wheel, and airflow system calibrations for different weather scenarios.
An important part of remote fleet management is real-time visibility, so newer models of trucks are being equipped with ways to always stay internet connected, such as the next trend.
Building 5G infrastructure
5G infrastructure is being laid out across highways, and since the trucking industry uses highways the most, it stands to immediately benefit. With 5G coverage across the nation, fleets will have reliable, high-speed connectivity during every mile of the journey, allowing for uninterrupted remote fleet management and GPS tracking.
Fleet dispatchers will be able to send updated routes through route optimization software, instantly alerting drivers to weather and road conditions. Uploading vehicle data also plays a role, such as a driver being able to access online company portals in remote, rural areas.