Logistics is a giant global industry. By one estimate, it’s valued at $8.4 trillion. And it’s easy to see why: Nearly every business that deals with physical goods is involved in it in some way.
One way businesses can improve their logistics operations is through GPS fleet tracking.
GPS fleet tracking can help streamline operations and ease traditional logistic challenges—like earning more revenue per mile, retaining drivers, and keeping up with regulations.
This is true whether you run a large enterprise or a small startup. If you have to manage more than one commercial truck, GPS tracking can probably help.
What is GPS fleet tracking?
GPS fleet tracking refers to the use of embedded IoT (Internet of things) sensors to track and collect data from logistics vehicles in real-time. It lets you know where they are at any given moment.
So whether you’re considering investing in GPS fleet tracking for your own fleet or you are looking at leasing trucks from a provider that uses GPS fleet tracking technology, you can look forward to the following benefits.
Get accurate ETAs
GPS fleet tracking can help provide more accurate ETAs (estimated times of arrival) for your fleet vehicles.
This helps you better plan operations and makes it easy to keep customers updated. Instead of constantly calling drivers to ask for updates, you can share truck location data directly with customers (think of it as a more advanced tracking number). This leads to more satisfied customers and better business overall.
Another benefit of GPS fleet tracking is the ability to plan more efficient routes.
For example, it can help you identify drivers located nearest to a job, or it can recommend alternate routes when sudden road obstructions require a detour.
Generally, GPS fleet tracking helps you plan optimized routes ahead of time and in real-time so you can maximize vehicle utilization.
Lower fuel costs
Fuel costs can add up fast, but with GPS fleet tracking you can lower them by improving route planning, encouraging better driving behavior, and reducing idle time.
According to FleetOwner.com, “the average long-haul truck will idle anywhere from six to eight hours a day for as many as 250 to 300 days each year,” and “long-haul trucks idling overnight consume more than 838 million gallons of fuel each year,” while the “EPA says fleets can save more than $6,000 per truck annually by limiting excessive idling.”
With GPS fleet tracking, you can track fuel usage and efficiency to eliminate unnecessary fuel expenses.
Reduce fleet maintenance costs
On top of lowering fuel costs, GPS fleet tracking can help you save on vehicle maintenance.
How? By automatically notifying you when different maintenance tasks are due. For example, it could notify you that a truck is due for an oil change every 25,000 miles. The same goes for other routine maintenance tasks like tire replacements and wheel alignments.
This way, you can perform maintenance only when needed. And by keeping up with preventative maintenance tasks, you’ll have fewer repair costs, too.
Improve fleet security and driver safety
Cargo theft is a real threat. In 2020, there were 1,502 total cargo theft events, up from 1,106 in 2019 and 1,181 in 2018.
GPS fleet tracking can help. It lets you create customizable geofences, which are essentially virtual borders around designated areas. That way, if a vehicle ever leaves its assigned area, you can be notified immediately, which helps prevent theft and unauthorized use.
Geofencing also helps you improve driver safety. By knowing vehicles’ exact locations, you can alert drivers to harsh driving conditions and monitor course deviations and dangerous driving behavior like sudden breaking or sharp turning, which encourages drivers to drive more responsibly.
Lower truck insurance costs
The improved fleet security and driver safety made possible by GPS fleet tracking can also lower your truck insurance costs.
This is because truck insurance companies tend to offer lower premiums when you put safe driving measures in place.
Avoid Hours of Service (HOS) violations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates Hours of Service (HOS) regulations to limit the amount of time drivers are permitted to be on duty. These regulate driving time and the number and length of rest periods to help ensure drivers stay awake and alert.
To help you avoid HOS violations, GPS fleet tracking can automatically alert drivers when they are near their break or the end of their shift and help them plan better routes.
Improve time management
Lastly, GPS fleet tracking can help improve your logistical time management.
For example, it can help you avoid billing discrepancies by tracking and monitoring when and where drivers start and stop their shifts. It can then generate automated work reports to eliminate paperwork and other administrative burdens like phone calls.
Now that you better understand the benefits of GPS fleet tracking, you may want to invest in it. After all, it can help improve your company’s logistics in more ways than one. Do your due diligence and choose a GPS fleet tracking solution that will help you meet your business goals.