How Hard did COVID-19 Hit the Logistics Industry?

Quarantine, social distancing, work from home, malls and theatres shut down, complexes closed – It is as if the deadly Coronavirus froze everything. It even ruptured the lifelines of logistics. But How hard did COVID-19 hit the logistics industry?

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With increased stipulations on vehicle movement except for essential commodities, many businesses have come to a standstill. Domestic airports are empty and just cargo flights in action. Only trucks containing essential commodities allowed to move. This situation has been going on like this for more than two-three months now. And the logistics business is feeling the pinch rather hard.

The Current Scenario

As of the third week of May, UAE still has mobility restrictions. Air Freight continues only to selected destinations. The freight capacity has been increased but then terminal acceptance and general cargo import delivery is only up to 6 PM. So, this is causing delays in deliveries.

Read Also: Benefits Of Online Car Rental Software

As for the sea freight, major shipping lines are skipping sailings due to lack of supply. It is causing a lot of disruptions in the delivery services. As for the trucking services, the borders between UAE and Saudi Arabia and Oman are still open. But then there are health and customs clearance on the way that delay the travel time.

The immigration offices in the UAE as closed as of now. So, no new visas are given. This means, that only drivers who have a valid visa will be able to drive. Secondly, new regulations have been released in Saudi Arabia. According to the new regulation, all trucks that come to the country need to release the trailers to Saudi Arabian transporters. This new development has become a huge challenge for logistics companies and fleet owners.

The UAE government has established all the regulations to ensure the highest safety for everyone involved. There are a lot of delays in every step of the transportation process. The extra time and money spent is affecting the bottom line. At the same time, orders are less. This means that the logistics companies and transporters are being hit on both sides.

Employees at Risk of Losing Jobs

It is not just the logistics companies that are badly hit because of the pandemic. The employees are also suffering. According to the IATA, more than 1.2 million jobs in the regional aviation sector are at risk because of this pandemic. Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, encouraged its staff to take leave. Many other logistics companies have had to drop staff to counter the increasing losses.

International Supply Chain Breaks

The international supply chain was disrupted because of the COVID outbreak in China. Most of the raw materials for many companies across the world are sourced from China. UAE airlines play a major role in transporting supply materials from China to the rest of the world. Currently, the pandemic has put a pause on the entire process.

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Revenue Drops

A major effect of the corona pandemic on the logistics business is a huge drop in revenue. UAE is home to large airlines such as the Emirates, Air Arabia, and Etihad Airways. Air transport brings in a huge chunk of revenue to the country. According to the International Air Transport Association, the revenue generated by air transportation in 2019 was $19.3 billion, which consisted of up to 5% of the nation’s GDP. However, now with the world fighting against this disease, travel has become almost nil. Also, airlines need to content with cancellations and refunds, which will further affect their bottom line.

Tackling Transportations Solutions in the Lockdown

Even as the logistics sector is struggling with the effects of the Corona pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, many companies are suggesting innovative solutions. At this point, there is no use focusing on the negatives and the if only’s. The best thing would be to see how the entire logistics industry can work together to overcome this problem.

Read Also: 8 Tips for Managing Fleet Vehicles

It is time to make the optimum use of a fleet management system. Fleet owners can use a unified system to identify drivers’ locations and check if they can take up the run. Second, the application can also be programmed to provide updated route details based on the spread of the pandemic. Thirdly, the app can help the fleet owners keep in touch with the drivers at all times and ensure their safety.

A crisis can help bring about an effective solution. Yes, COVID-19 Hit the Logistics Industry very badly. But, with the cooperation and use of technology, we can overcome the challenges and get back on the road to profitability. You can send an email to [email protected] to know how you can make effective use of the fleet management system to improve fleet performance and reduce unnecessary expenses.

Increasing Fleet Profitability – How to Get Maximum ROI from Your Telematics System

Telematics is an integrated technology that is making waves in logistics and fleet management. This technology can be described as a combination of telecommunication and informatics. In the days gone by, huge fleets of vehicles were manually managed using phone calls, messages, and log books. However, fleet management software applications and telematics have completely changed the way in which logistics are being managed.

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A telematics system includes a GPS-integrated vehicle tracking system, wireless connectivity or satellite connectivity, and a centralised server. This system captures a whole suite of data from the vehicle such as fuel consumption, driving speed, idle time, location, harsh acceleration, braking, vehicle faults, and lots more. 

In short, a telematic system allows you to capture all relevant data about all the vehicles in your fleet. This data can be used for various purposes, from safety tracking and vehicle management to supply chain management.

Read Also: Driving Rules in UAE – All You Need To Know

However, are you making optimum use of your telematics system? Do you have any kind of system in place to track and monitor the performance of the telematics system and calculate the savings it helps you make? After you’ve spent so much time and effort in setting up a telematics system to monitor your fleet, you need to follow the best practices to maximise its ROI.

How to Calculate the ROI on Your Telematics System?

Before we delve into the best practises to improve the ROI of your telematics system, we need to identify parameters to calculate your return on investment. There are four major areas where you can check the effectiveness of the fleet management system.

  • Compliance

Compliance to government and safety regulations is one of the top factors that will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your system. Is the system designed to help you meet all the essential regulations and rules for your industry?

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The system should not only be designed to help you meet the regulations but also notify if there are any issues in any part of the fleet management. It should also help you detect problems and anomalies in advance.

For example, the system should let you know if the load carried by the trucks is within the stipulated levels. It should also notify in advance about vehicle checks and insurance payments. If your system helps you maintain compliance, then you are getting the full value for your investment on the telematics system.

  • Accountability

The telematics system should give you real-time and accurate data, which will help you make better and informed decisions. The GPS navigator should be able to identify the safest and shortest route between destinations.

Similarly, the system should give you precise data related to fuel consumption and distance travelled. The telematics system should also continuously update the location and give you the best ETA. Both these factors are very important not just for fleet management, but also for the supply chain management.

  • Safety

The safety of the drivers and the vehicles in the fleet are important factors to evaluate the performance of the telematics system. Functions such as speed monitoring and vehicle load monitoring can help ensure safety and reduce collisions.

The system can help supervisors monitor the time the drivers have been driving without rest. Based on the drive time and distance, driver shifts can be prepared. This method will help reduce accidents caused because the driver has not had proper sleep or rest.

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  • Efficiency

The telematics system should help in route optimization to reduce fuel consumption and schedule vehicle maintenance based on the distance travelled by the vehicles. The system should also give you accurate data that will help you plan the route and reduce waste of time and resources.

Best Practises to Improve Your Telematic System’s ROI

  • Outline Your Requirements

To get the maximum performance from your telematics system, you need to outline your requirements and set the targets. Do you want to use a telematics system to monitor fuel consumption, optimize route, or ensure better ETA?

Read Also: 31 Ways to Reduce Fleet Maintenance Costs

The telematics system can be configured based on your specific requirements. Else, you would probably pay for a lot of services that you may not be using. So, be clear on the expected outcome before you invest in a telematics system.

  • Run a Pilot Test

Before you implement the telematics system in the entire fleet, use it with a few vehicles. When you try it on pilot vehicles, you will find out the challenges and problems you could face when you implement the telematics system in the entire fleet.

The data collected during the test runs can also help you customize the telematics system based on your specific requirements and needs. It will also help the team understand how to work with the new technology. In case there are any issues with the system, then your loss is also minimal. So, always do a test run before you implement the telematics system in the whole fleet.

  • Train the Driver and Admin Staff

To get the maximum benefit from your telematics system, you need to provide the right training to the driver and the admin staff. They are the ones who are going to be using the system.

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So,  it is important they understand all its features and functions. During the training period, the staff may also come up with challenges you could face while implementing the system in real-time. The training should also include ways in which the staff can communicate with each other to enhance work efficiency.

  • Effectively Manage Data

The telematics system not only offers real-time monitoring and notifications but also collects a lot of data. To get the best ROI from your telematics system, you need to make the most of the data you collect. The system collects different kinds of data such as:

Driver data – driving speed, harsh braking, hard cornering, and such

Vehicle data – load, maintenance, compliance, fuel consumption, location, carbon dioxide emission

Route data – Distance, route details, toll gates on route, ETA

Analysing all this data will help you identify the best routes between destinations and ways in which fuel consumption can be optimized. It will also let you know when the vehicle service was done and notifies you about the next service.

This data will also help you identify well-performing drivers and rash drivers in your team. Based on all the data collected, you can optimize your fleet management. It will also help you meet your SLAs and compliance regulations. 

  • Dispatch Closest Drivers

One of the most efficient solutions for effective fleet management is to reduce unnecessary vehicle movement. You can do this by dispatching the vehicle closest to the pickup point. To do this, you need to have a map of the location of all the vehicles in your fleet, which the fleet management software can give you.

Read Also: What is fleet management – All you need to know

  • Identify Areas of Improvement
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Fleet managers should use the data not just for efficient fleet management, but also for identifying areas of improvement. By carefully analysing the data, you can find ways in which you can optimize routes, plan fleet movement, and also organize staff shifts. By doing so, you will be able to get the maximum ROI from your telematics system.

Conclusion

A telematics system is a must-have for fleet management. The system gives detailed and accurate data that fleet managers can use to optimize their services and improve performance. Outlining the requirements, running a pilot run, training the team, and analysing the data can help you get the maximum return on investment from the telematics system.

Driver Safety Scorecard: Steps to Assess and Improve Your Fleet Operations

Maintaining and managing a fleet is no easy task. As a fleet manager, you are responsible for the safety of the drivers and the shipment. You should also keep an eye on the operating costs. At the same time, you need to ensure that the processes meet the compliance requirements.

A fleet management system can help you track and monitor the entire process, from pickup to delivery. You can use this software application to optimize your performance and reduce unnecessary expenses. Even if you work out many solutions to reduce the operational costs and enhance the performance, you will not get reliable results, if drivers don’t drive safely.

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Unsafe driving costs not just in terms of money, but also in terms of time and effort. It can also result in non-compliance, which can be an even bigger problem. Did you know that in the United States, employers collectively spend more than $60 million because of vehicle crashes?

If you don’t want your company to make such unnecessary expenses, you need to focus on safe driving. Also, following safe driving practices can help improve your fleet operations.

How Much Will Unsafe Driving Cost You?

The direct costs of unsafe driving include medical expenses, cost of the shipment, and the cost to repair vehicle damage. Apart from this, you may also need to send another backup vehicle to transport the rescued shipment. The employer will also need to spend on worker’s compensation, social security, and disability insurance if required.

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Apart from the direct costs, the company will also have other expenses. Rescheduling the shipment and making other arrangements can be very costly. More so, if you have an agreement regarding the timeline of the shipment.

Losing one vehicle in the fleet means that the schedule for the other vehicles needs to rearranged based on the shipment priorities. A new driver needs to be appointed or other drivers may have to work overtime, both of which become additional expenses for the company. A new driver may also not be able to start work immediately as he needs to undergo training.

The other costs that the company may incur include administrative costs such as documentation, reporting, insurance management, and such as well as accident investigation costs. The fleet manager and the supervisor will need to work overtime dealing with the accident and its outcomes.

So, unsafe driving can lead to many other related problems, which can eat into your company’s earnings. Plus, it could also cause bad publicity leading to negative branding. No matter how you look at it, a small vehicle accident due to unsafe driving can lead to a lot of issues not just in fleet management, but also for the entire company.

Driver Safety Scorecard helps fleet managers and company owners get detailed insights about every driver’s driving practices. If you have a telematics system to monitor and manage your fleet, then you can easily build a Driver’s scorecard based on the data obtained from the system.

What Factors are Evaluated in a Driver’s Scorecard?

A driver’s scorecard needs to focus on four major factors – aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving, and seatbelt usage. Aggressive driving and distracted driving may overlap during certain times. If the driver had been distracted due to some reason, he may then start driving aggressively to make up for the lost time.

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Actions such as rude behaviour, frequent braking, passing in the shoulder lane, and erratic speeding may be constructed as aggressive driving. If the driver is not focusing on the road and veering into other lanes or doesn’t stop for traffic lights, it can be marked as distracted driving. Sometimes, the driver may not concentrate and ram into the vehicle in the front or slow down suddenly that the vehicle at the back hits this vehicle.

Turning off without switching on the indicators can be because of distracted as well as aggressive driving.

It is mandatory for drivers to wear a seat belt while driving. Most vehicles have a system that will automatically sound an alarm if the driver is not wearing a seat belt. Advanced telematics systems will also monitor seatbelt usage and send notifications if the driver is not wearing the seatbelt while driving.

One of the major causes of roadway accidents is over speeding. You can customise the telematics system by including the maximum speed limit of the vehicle. When the vehicle travels faster than the set speed limit, the concerned supervisors will be immediately notified. Another method is to fix speed limiters in the vehicle so that it will not be able to go faster than the stipulated speed limit.

All the factors are assigned points, which are then calculated to get a score for the driver’s performance. In some cases, points are assigned differently for driving before 6 in the morning or after 9 in the evening. As the points pile up against the driver, the fleet manager needs to take preventive action.

How Does the Driver Safety Scorecard Help Improve Fleet Operations?

The Driver Safety Scorecard gives you a clear picture of the performance of the drivers in your fleet.

Identify safe and risky drivers

This scorecard gives you accurate information about the way in which the drivers are driving. Based on data such as speeding, braking, collisions, seat belt usage, and other parameters, you can quantify a driver’s performance. Also, you will have accurate data when you’re preparing a report on the driver’s performance.

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You can have training programs for risky drivers. For distracted drivers, you can have an intervention program to identify the cause of the distraction and do the needful. By doing this, you may be able to convert risky drivers to safe drivers.

Reduce Possible Traffic Violations

The driver’s scorecard will let you know which drivers are more prone to traffic violations. You can intensively monitor those drivers to prevent possible traffic violations.

Reduce Possible Accidents

Another benefit of using the driver scorecard is that it could help reduce possible accidents. Analyse the track record of the driver to identify possible reasons the accidents could have occurred. If the accident was because of aggressive driving, a warning could be given or precautionary action can be taken.

In case the accident was due to over speeding, then speed limiters can be installed in the vehicles that the driver uses. On the other hand, if the accidents were due to distracted driving, then the fleet manager can talk to the driver to understand the reason for distracted driving and do the needful.

Lower Maintenance Costs

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Safe driving reduces the stress on the vehicle, which in turn eases vehicle maintenance. Aggressive driving and long idling time increase the vehicle’s fuel consumption. The scorecard helps fleet managers identify such parameters and do the needful. The telematics system enables fuel optimisation and notifies you when it is time for regular service. All of this will help lower maintenance costs.

Improve Insurance Rates

Many insurance agencies offer up to 25% reduction in associated fees when companies use a telematics system for fleet management. This is because insurance companies have found that there is a nearly 45% reduction in accidents when a telematics system is used. A telematics system plus a driver’s scorecard helps reduce possible traffic violations and accidents and increases fleet safety.

Conclusion

Driver safety is a very important part of fleet management. Ensuring the safety of the driver on the road, in turn, ensures the safety of the vehicle and the shipment. When drivers drive safely, possible accidents and violations are prevented.

Not only do shipments reach the destinations on time, but the business also grows. Therefore, it is very important that fleet managers focus on the driver’s safety. The accurate data obtained from a telematics system can help prepare a driver safety scorecard.

The benefits of using a fleet management system are many. You can ensure your driver’s safety and also enhance the performance of your fleet. Contact us to know more about how our fleet management system can benefit your business.

Importance of Predictive Analysis in Fleet Management

Predictive analysis is the key to success for many businesses including a growing fleet management business. In today’s highly competitive business world, predictive analysis helps one to be prepared and analyze what may happen and thus be proactive rather than being laid back and deciding what to do after an event has occurred. Being a powerful decision-making tool, the importance of predictive analysis in fleet management includes improvement of efficiency and safety of vehicle conditions and driver behaviour.

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Predictive analysis is data-driven. Data is collected from all the sensors placed in the vehicle, traffic footages, GPS, cameras installed in the vehicle, and the software used to maintain the vehicle. Based on these data, conclusions are drawn and predictions are made for the future.

The most common problem faced by fleets today is safety. Millions of collisions happen every day on the road and managers have to take proactive steps in helping to prevent these accidents. But how can they do it when they are not the ones on the road with the vehicles?

Read Also: 31 Tips To Hire Best Drivers For Your Fleet

This is where predictive analysis comes into the picture. The data collected from various sources can give managers an insight into the causes of these accidents and help them find solutions to prevent these accidents. Most accidents occur due to the distracted driving behaviour of the drivers behind the wheel at that point in time.

Most of the employees of fleet management businesses work long hours. When drivers are on the road for too long they tend to get drowsy. Driving while they are drowsy can lead to dangerous collisions. Distracted driving behaviour can also lead to accidents.

When vehicles get into accidents, especially trucks and containers, not only are the lives of the people involved in the accident threatened but also of the people present in that area during that time. Many lives are at risk in an accident.

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Fleet management includes not only tracking of the vehicles but also vehicle maintenance, improvement of brand reputation, driver risk management and most importantly, improvement of efficiency and productivity thus reducing costs and so improving profits.

Importance of Predictive Analysis in Fleet Management


Data is the driving force behind all business decisions today. Managers need to analyse all the data available to them on their business thus making informed decisions to get the best output. This is also the key to getting ahead of the competition in the industry.

Predictive analysis in fleet management based on the data available helps managers to take action even before a problem occurs helping them always be a step ahead of others.

Data can be taken from the telematics software installed in the vehicles, cameras in and around the vehicle, traffic cameras, sensors in the vehicle and other sources. Most fleet managers have the technology at their disposal. The importance lies in knowing how to use these technologies.

Having a pile of data and not knowing what to do with it or how to make the best use of it is the major drawback most businesses face.

Businesses with big fleets have a lot of data at their disposal all the time. They monitor the performance of their vehicle in real-time and they get live data based on even the tiniest details of their vehicles. Managers have to know which of these data they have to use at what times. With all these data, managers can identify trends and patterns that occur and problems that may arise.

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Predicting the problems that may occur helps them save money, time, and reputation. Even one major accident that occurs can lead to wastage of a lot of money in the form of repairs, increased insurance premiums, compensations to the injured, legal expenses, compensation for loss of goods, and also loss of customers due to the injury to their brand reputation.

The key areas where predictive analysis comes into the picture in fleet management are:

  • Predictive maintenance of vehicles
  • Driving risk management
  • Cost control
  • Fleet productivity

1. Predictive maintenance of vehicles

Predictive analysis is useful in monitoring the health of your vehicles and seeing when maintenance is required. The various sensors placed in the vehicle can help you identify how they are working and see if there is any deterioration in the performance of any of its parts. Engine health is monitored constantly so that any small requirement can be fulfilled quickly.

Read Also: 31 Ways to Reduce Fleet Maintenance Costs

Scheduling regular service of the vehicles can help improve its functioning and increase its lifespan. It also reduces the risk of an unexpected breakdown of the vehicle or failure of any of its parts.
This can also help the managers identify when a specific vehicle has to be removed or replaced with a new one in the fleet.

2. Driving risk management / Prevention of accident

As previously mentioned, distracted driving is the main cause of accidents on the road. Drivers may drink and drive or they might be tired or drowsy when driving. It is the job of the managers to make sure that this does not happen.

Telematics systems in the vehicles give managers data about driving patterns of each driver. Data about harsh braking or acceleration and risky driving on the roads is available and based on that, the driving record of each driver can be maintained and they can be provided customized training in their weak areas.

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Data about accidents are also available to managers. When analyzing this data, you can identify certain patterns as to why these accidents occur and how they can be prevented. By taking this job into your hands, you ensure not only the safety of your driver but also the safety of the other drivers on the road, the pedestrians and also of the cargo.

3. Cost control

When running a business, it is difficult to predict all your expenses. You may have a specific budget and a view of where all costs will be incurred. But it is not always fixed and in one way or the other, some unexpected expenses will find you.

When running a fleet, you will always encounter unexpected costs. It may be in the form of repair of damages to the vehicle or increased insurance premium after an accident. The best way to not lose a lot of money is to be prepared to face any problem that may arise or prevent the problem from arising with the help of predictive analysis.

Cost-cutting and profit maximization is the main motive for managers and predictive analysis can help you to cut costs by a large margin.

4. Fleet Productivity

No fleet will make it in the long run unless it performs its functions well and makes deliveries on time and in good condition. Customer satisfaction is the key to success. As long as your customers are satisfied, they will remain loyal to your business and that will help your business prosper.

With the help of predictive analysis, data is compiled and evaluated to find out the best course of action in each situation. When the vehicles are in perfect condition and when drivers are also in their best forms, the efficiency of the fleet will improve.

According to the condition of each vehicle, jobs can be planned and done efficiently. Schedules can be maintained properly, deliveries can be made on time and customer satisfaction can be maintained.

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For example, you predict that a truck that you had assigned for a specific job in the future requires maintenance work now. If the truck is taken for maintenance now, it will be in its best condition to perform the job in the future or you can assign another truck for that job. It prevents the case of the job not being done due to lack of maintenance.

Predictive analysis is a very powerful decision-making tool. When decisions are made based on data already available to them, it becomes more effective as there are chances of the same situations occurring again. Being proactive and taking measures against your predictions that are based on data will help you stay ahead of the competition and make your way to success.

Data about thousands of tiny details of the fleet is available from various sources. Not all these details are necessary and so you have to identify the required data, compile it, analyze it and come to a conclusion. You have to identify the challenges you may face first before collecting the data on it and analyzing them.

Fleet management is not an easy task. With many vehicles under your command, you have to make sure that deliveries are made on time, the drivers are carefully doing their job while abiding by all the regulations and that there are no illegal actions done by your employees that may affect your business in a bad way.

Read Also: Top 5 Tips to Increase Efficiency of Your Fleet

Predictive analysis can help you in handling all these cases because you are prepared to face whatever may happen.

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Predictive analysis is one of the latest trends in the fleet management industry and intelligent managers are realizing its value. Knowing what is about to happen beforehand can help you take measures and be prepared for whatever is about to come.

In today’s competitive world, managers have to be updated with all the latest technologies and be aware of what is happening around them for their business to survive.

This is where the importance of predictive analysis in fleet management comes in. It can help you in preventing accidents and risky behaviour of drivers, predicting maintenance of vehicles, controlling costs that are incurred and improving efficiency and productivity.