Richard Savoie, CEO of Adiona Tech, says the company’s route optimisation platform solves many of the traditional problems in the field, opening up route efficiency for organisations small and large.
Matthew Ballentine, Geotab Regional Manager ANZ, tells MHD how the company is now one of the largest telematics outfits in the world and has become the first to surpass two million connected vehicles built on a single, open platform.
Government regulations requiring greater compliance, the increasing need for visibility into the status of shipping loads, and an increasing responsibility for driver safety continue to drive demand for mobility technology in transport. It remains a top technology investment, according to a recent Gartner supply chain survey. Read more
Australia Post recently announced it wants to use Uber-style tracking for parcels. It’s an interesting and possibly courageous move because there are few similarities between parcel delivery and ride sharing services.
But the development raises some interesting key question for logistics divisions, such as: how would our business look with Uber-style tracking? Will more transparency make us look good to our customers, or make us look silly?
Parcel tracking does not offer the same near-instant gratification available to Uber’s ride-sharing customers. When Uber customers place a request, they are quickly alerted to a nearby Uber vehicle and can watch its progress to the customer’s address. In urban areas this procedure takes only minutes. Can a parcel delivery provide such an instant response?
Consider the risks if parcel delivery customers are paying attention and seeing their parcel taking the ‘scenic route’ to the destination, parked for an inordinate period, or constantly dropping back to the depot. Greater scrutiny has potential to backfire on inefficient companies.
We know from experience that even experienced logistics divisions, which consider themselves efficient, are often shocked by what is revealed under technology’s cold gaze. They may find systems that are sound in principle, fall down in practice: this may include obvious issues such as poor communications across the business, drivers doubling up on delivery routes, or drivers backtracking due to overlooked or misplaced items. No doubt Australia Post is working hard to ensure systems and processes stack up to this increased scrutiny.
“Technology can improve efficiency in any-sized delivery transport division – but only if you continue to monitor and nurture it.”
But the benefits from increased transparency easily outweigh the risks. I know auto parts companies with small delivery fleets that use telematics to provide their customers with total transparency – essentially already using Uber-style tracking. Some of these fleets may only have three or four vehicles and use the technology to gain a competitive edge on the big guys. Their customers love this transparency, and the technology has helped make the business better.
Efficiency in delivery fleets cannot be understated, with both B2B and B2C businesses currently engaged in a ‘logistics arms race’ of ever-shorter delivery times – for example, retailer Cue recently launched a three-hour delivery service throughout Australia; the Iconic also offers three-hour deliveries for Sydney and same-day to Melbourne metro; JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman offer same-day delivery; and Amazon offers one-day deliveries.
We’re also seeing tighter delivery times in B2B industries such as auto parts, catering, building materials and other sectors where there are opportunities to improve
Those who are less efficient will be left behind. Yet there is evidence many fleets are lagging on efficiency by not properly engaging with technology: Teletrac Navman research on its UK operations showed 27% of fleet organisations are interacting with the telematics technology on a daily basis – not bad, but doesn’t this also suggest 73% of organisations aren’t so attentive? A 2015 ACA Research survey showed that while most large fleets use telematics, the take-up falls dramatically for fleets between six and 25 vehicles (49 per cent), and for fleets with less than six trucks the take-up was just 18 per cent.
Technology can improve efficiency in any-sized delivery transport division – but only if you continue to monitor and nurture it.
Consider how technology is used for vehicle maintenance. In the past, logistics firms would act on maintenance when a vehicle broke down. Now, technology allows us to be proactive rather than reactive by tracking vehicles and anticipating maintenance schedules with greater accuracy. The same proactive approach can apply throughout logistics, not just maintenance.
Currently, too many delivery fleets treat their telematics systems like a gym membership – they sign up with great enthusiasm only to drop off three months’ later, as interest wanes. Maybe the return on investment is not immediately apparent, or maybe they find it difficult to keep up with the data produced. Technology’s many benefits are often found beyond the bottom line: customer service may not immediately show up as a ROI, yet may foster greater customer loyalty.
Technology should improve delivery times but also lead to increased professionalism, and more accuracy in delivering items in full, undamaged and on time. These may take time to track as a measurable ROI.
Responsive and efficient logistics businesses understand telematics and related technologies are what you make them. Those prepared to put in the effort and focus on efficiency – often on a daily basis – will shine under greater scrutiny, impress their customers and remain competitive.
Walter Scremin is general manager of Ontime Delivery Solutions, developer of Ontime Earth. For more information visit www.ontimegroup.com.au.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has called on the New South Wales Government to take a leadership role and advocate for significant changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
“ALC’s submission to the Inquiry into Heavy Vehicle Safety and Use of Technology to Improve Road Safety again reinforces the need for telematics to become mandatory in heavy vehicles,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.
The New South Wales Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety (‘Staysafe Committee’) is undertaking the Inquiry.
“In providing this submission, ALC has released a four-stage blueprint for the introduction of mandatory telematics,” Kilgariff added. “Telematics can help to improve heavy vehicle safety by providing truck drivers and transport operators with data that can detect any illegal and unsafe driving practices.”
He noted that, as Australia’s most populous states, New South Wales’ adoption of mandatory telematics would be key for driving heavy-vehicle safety.
“ALC’s continuing discussions with industry participants regarding the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy indicate that industry is continuing to embrace innovative technological solutions,” he said. “This means it is now easier than ever to collect reliable data that can shape the development of a more efficient and safer freight transport network.
“Industry is grasping the nettle when it comes to telematics. Now is the time for governments to do likewise.”
Aviation services company dnata has signed a long-term agreement with specialised ground service equipment provider Adaptalift.
Under this new agreement, the company will take ownership of dnata’s entire motorised fleet across six Australian ports, modernising the fleet via a strategy of replacement, renewal and refurbishment.
The renewal aspect of the program is already under way, with orders placed with major manufacturers for contain/pallet loaders, pushback tractors, conveyer belts and baggage tractors. As part of the push to modernise, dnata has also committed to switching some operations from diesel to alternative power sources, including an all-electric baggage fleet in Adelaide. Moreover, they will introduce vehicle telematics to improve safety and maintenance tracking and proximity warning systems on some machinery.
The CEO of dnata, Daniela Marsilli, said the agreement allowed dnata to expedite the modernisation of all the ground services equipment as well as, “add innovative technological solutions in the areas of safety for our operators, clients and their aircraft plus protection of the motorised assets themselves”.
Importantly, Marsilli added: “Our operating costs will improve along with increased utilisation and reliability, which ultimately improves service to our valued customer airlines”.
Mark Mazurek, the recently appointed CEO of Linfox Logistics, has told Logistics & Materials Handling how the supply chain company intends to set an example for safe practice in Australia.
“In 2017, there were 168 fatal crashes in Australia involving heavy vehicles,” he said. “This is unacceptable and it tells us that safety requires relentless commitment.
“You can’t put an unsafe driver in a safe truck and expect it to be safe.”
He noted that Linfox implemented its own in-house strategy – Vision Zero – after realising that it would need a culture of safety in order to keep its people and the public safe. “We invest in technology to enhance that, but it starts with culture first,” he added. “We’ve reduced our LTIFR (Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate) by 90 per cent since 2006 so we’re getting something right, but we can never be complacent.
“Industry, government and road users have a role to play in creating a culture of safety on our roads.”
Mazurek added that it is crucial the Federal Government uses its influence in the best way. “The Government role is about creating consistency for the industry,” he said. “On a policy level, it is critical to align national heavy vehicle legislation across Australia to make operations simpler, more efficient and safer. This includes heavy vehicle maintenance standards, driver medical standards and heavy vehicle licencing.
“We’d also like to see greater restrictions on older vehicles and trailing equipment. We commend the work of the Australian Logistics Council and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator in building momentum on this issue.”
Linfox would also like to see the Government advancing policy in mandatory telematics to assist with the management of speed, fatigue, mass and maintenance, and the development of an environment conducive to innovation, enabling technology to be trialled and implemented quickly, Mazurek shared.
Australian logistics company, Linfox, will implement an advanced telematics and management solution into its truck fleet, through a partnership with Australian telecommunications business, Telstra, and GPS and fleet management solutions provider, MTData.
The Internet of Things (IoT) technology will be rolled out to the whole Linfox truck fleet and will reportedly deliver advanced transport and logistics data and quality-benchmarking information to enhance public and driver safety on Australian roads.
“We are in a critical time in the logistics industry and it’s important to deliver technology that will ensure greater safety for our drivers and the communities in which we operate,” said Conrad Harvey, Chief Information Officer, Linfox. “Safety is a key issue within our industry and community and by partnering with Telstra to implement transformative technologies that allow us to better monitor and measure safety compliance throughout our fleet, we can work to reduce risk factors and enhance safe driver behaviour.”
Telstra’s IoT solution will include Samsung tablets mounted into Linfox trucks so drivers can access logbooks and complete safety checklists, and have capability, in some vehicles, for in-cabin recording of road-safety incidents.
“The technology will require our drivers to log on and complete safety checklists before they head off on the road and will allow us to gain more accurate in-cab readings of speed and distance,” said Harvey. “The devices will enable us to coordinate our vehicles efficiently, reduce congestion on the roads and above all, ensure a higher level of safety for the community.”
The deal comes three months after Telstra’s acquisition of MTData.
“Linfox is one of Australia’s largest and most successful logistics companies and we are committed to supporting its efforts to achieve safer and more efficient supply chains,” said Michelle Bendschneider, Executive Director – Global Products, Telstra. “With MTData’s expertise in delivering IoT solutions for the heavy vehicle industry, coupled with the unrivalled capability of the Telstra mobile network, we have created an innovative solution to help transform Linfox’s business.”
Headland Machinery, specialist in quality, reliable automated vertical storage and retrieval systems, will showcase its wares and market offerings at MEGATRANS2018 this May.
With a strong history of supplying and servicing machinery to a range of industries across Australia and New Zealand, the Australian-owned and operated business is a welcome fit to the inaugural supply chain and logistics trade event in Melbourne.
Also joining the line-up is vehicle and logistics technology specialist Caltex Telematics.
Caltex Telematics’ fully integrated technology to provide insights on the performance of both vehicles and drivers. The company’s systems are configurable and can identify potential issues early to help keep fleets running safely and efficiently on the road.
Simoco Wireless Solutions will bring wireless solutions and communications technologies expertise to MEGATRANS2018.
The business specialises in building communications networks for industry sectors where reliability, integrity and clarity are of utmost importance, including utilities, transport, government infrastructure and public safety.
Find out more about exhibiting at and visiting MEGATRANS2018 here.
Improving safety outcomes across the supply chain is a core objective for the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), according to Managing Director, Michael Kilgariff.
“ALC strongly supports the changes to Chain of Responsibility (CoR) provisions under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) due to commence operation in mid-2018, requiring all supply-chain participants to take greater responsibility for safety and heavy vehicle maintenance, and ensure they have systems in place to effectively manage safety risks,” said Kilgariff.
“It is equally imperative that all parties in the supply chain understand and act upon their safety obligations. That is why ALC and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) are developing a Master Code for heavy vehicle safety, capable of becoming a registered industry code of practice under the HVNL.
“ALC has also long-supported the mandatory use of telematics and tools such as Electronic Work Diaries (EWD) to enhance safety. In our view, the review of regulatory telematics being undertaken by the National Transport Commission (NTC) must actively consider the benefits of using telematics to improve multiple aspects of heavy vehicle safety.
“We have similarly called on the Federal Government to introduce a national operator licensing system to make certain the nation’s heavy vehicle fleet is operated by competent professionals who understand their safety obligations,” he said.