Failure to comply with the optimal routes, downtime of both people and equipment in traffic jams, unnecessary journeys between unloading and loading, all this provides extensive additional costs to transport and logistics companies. Also from the ecological point of view, every unnecessary kilometre as well as journey without full loading is an environmental burden. It is obvious that this area brings greater opportunities than we can imagine for cost savings.
The systems of transport management help to increase efficiency of transporting in every step. Probably the most obvious area is the fuel consumption. Carriers are successful at reducing fuel consumption, not only thanks to new technology, but also to training of drivers. “The routes are planned by the FMS office dispatchers. The dispatcher selects route based on previous experience, profile of vehicles, distance, time, estimated toll…,” explained Karel Kopeček, Sales Representative for the Czech and Slovak Republics of Transics International BVBA. The planned routes are sent to navigation units in vehicles. “More and more customers of Transics use the possibility to scan documents directly in the vehicle and send them to the office. This reduces additional costs for sending documents and accelerates the billing,” says Karel Kopeček.
“There are monitoring systems that are ‘active’. They do not follow only information on the position, speed or the state of the monitored object, but are able to communicate or to react to the situation. For example, they can send a text message to reschedule place of loading, information about the customer or plan the best route between multiple points, says Tomáš Kalenský, Chief Operating Manager of Navitel s. r. o. The costs of monitoring systems have good return thanks to the instant savings. One of such systems is for example NAVITEL Monitoring in combination with navigation Navitel Navigator.
Logistics is nowadays such a complex process, that risk factors are numerous. Top-class traffic management systems (Fleet Management Systems) offer a number of tools to minimize these risks. “From my point of view, the most critical part in freight transport is the human factor, namely the driver,” says Karel Kopeček. Driver’s behaviour affects significantly not only the safety of transportation, but also economy and efficiency. “With this can help Transics FMS. Analysing of driving style and reporting back provide feedback both to drivers and managers,” says Karel Kopeček.
Today’s frequent topic is cost monitoring in the railway sector, where monitoring systems can significantly contribute to the security of transported shipments. “System based on GPS units can send information about shipment location every few minutes. This period may be critical for safety. The GPS unit can be connected additionally to various sensors, for example the door opening sensor, temperature sensor, overload etc., so the system can warn users about risky situations,” says Ing. Stanislav Kovář, Business Manager for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, OLTIS Group.
“With GNSS we can improve security in rail transport by combining the Galileo and EGNOS services, which provide the ability to ascertain the authenticity and integrity of information about location,” explained Ing. Daniel Lopour, Ph.D., Market Development Officer of the European GNSS Agency. This allows to significantly reduce possibility of inaccuracy or falsified information about the position and to increase its reliability for logistics service providers and their customers.”
There are a relatively large number of different monitoring systems using GPS in the market. The vast majority of them are adapted for use in road transport. One of the few systems, which have implemented support for the rail transport, is Logistics Web Portal (LWP) from OLTIS Group. According to Stanislav Kolář, LWP is able to assign geographic coordinates from the GPS unit to the nearest railway station from the international list of railway stations DIUM. “It can calculate the actual distance ‘on railway line’, not only a simple junction of two geographical points. The system also uses aforementioned LWP network graph of station sections to optimize the transport route with respect to selected criteria, for example category of track and clearance profile.”
Chief Operating Officer Aleš Vykydal of Geis Parcel CZ has also experience with monitoring of shipments. “Drivers’ scanners allow us to monitor shipments on-line. Through interfaces GPRS or WiFi the scanners are constantly connected online to the company systems. The scanners are equipped with GPS for tracking the vehicle and allow us not only to scan each handled shipment and transfer data to the system online, but they can also take pictures, sign on the display, interact with the payment terminal and make phone calls,” says Aleš Vykydal.
Ing. Petr Družkovský, Chief Operating Officer Geis CZ, describes how fleet monitoring works in practice: “All of our trucks are equipped with FleetBoard by Mercedes. This system allows us to monitor all parameters of vehicle operation. We asses virtually all actions of the driver: driving, economy of driving, fuel consumption, etc. We use these parameters to monitor the details of the route and present position of vehicle, fuel consumption, and even the level of wearing out the brakes in relation to driving style.”
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