Route planning and optimisation

Route planning and optimisation #BeyondTracking

Vehicle telematics began with the basic ability to track vehicles only, and has progressed at a rapid rate, to a point where vehicles can now be traced in real-time via the cloud on mobile devices. In addition to knowing the precise location of assets, fleet managers have access to a myriad of information, ranging from speed to fuel consumption.

Fuel accounts for 40%-60% of a fleet’s total operating costs. The insight gained from data can be used to improve route planning and optimisation, reduce unplanned trips and allows the fleet manager to make real-time decisions and immediately communicate directly with the driver. Live maps allow fleet managers to know exactly when and where a driver is on a particular route, or when he deviates from a planned route.

Proper route planning and optimisation could benefit fuel usage in the following ways:

Reduce distance traveled:

The main objective of route planning is to ensure vehicles travel the least amount of distance possible. Proper route optimisation will plan the optimal route, reducing kilometres driven, resulting in the saving of fuel.

Avoid problematic areas & Geo-Zones:

Route optimisation usually aims for the shortest possible route, however, the South African context makes this more complicated. Often protest action will make certain routes inaccessible or too risky to use. Geo-zone or Geo-fencing is used by fleet operators to see geographical no-go areas drivers should avoid. It can also be used to set what asset functionality can be accessed in this area and make some features inoperative, for example, a dump truck would be unable to tip a load, unless it is physically in areas predetermined for this action to occur.

Pickup & Delivery:

Given the right data, a fleet manager can start to find patterns and form insights into how to better use assets and optimise delivery and pickup routes. If the same asset can be used to make multiple pick-ups and deliveries along the same route, it will not only reduce fuel use, but also driver time and asset allocation.

Vehicle maintenance

Proper route planning means less wear and tear on individual vehicles. The condition of a vehicle has a direct impact on its fuel consumption. In the current economic environment and with its accompanying challenges, fleet managers aim to reduce costs wherever possible, and conserving expensive assets is essential.

React to events

With breaking news and events, fleet managers have to react quickly to avoid protest action or accident scenes that could lead to long delays, excessive idling of trucks, and the risk of putting drivers and vehicles in harm’s way. With the right telematics partner, quick decisions are based on real-time data aiding in fast and accurate communication directly with drivers.

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

A very welcome result of route planning and optimisation is the reduced impact on the environment. Pointless kilometres are driven or vehicles stood idling in traffic, resulting in additional gasses being omitted. Proper fleet telematics indirectly helps a company reduce its carbon footprint by limiting CO2 emissions. Ctrack can support these calculations in our software by loading vehicle emission data provided by the OEM, and calculations that could be shown in relevant reports.


Crystal – Fleet Management Software

As a global leader in Vehicle Telematics, Fleet Management, and Insurance Telematics Solutions, Ctrack launched Ctrack Crystal earlier this year, a fully customisable platform that combines all the existing functionality and a variety of new features into a new cloud-based platform that is easy to use, and allows fleet managers to react more effectively.

Ctrack Crystal features a comprehensive host of intuitive functionalities, including the ability to easily monitor fuel usage and efficient driving. The driver app includes a built-in navigation system that will ensure that vehicles are always travelling on the optimal route while incorporating multiple stops in the most efficient manner.

Managers can easily drill down into vehicle specifics and perform tasks such as the assigning of jobs or to utilise functions such as the Integrated Camera Solutions, Driver ID, Operator IDs and immobilisation of vehicles. These functions can all be viewed via the live map and monitored and controlled from the one-stop Crystal portal.
Vehicle maintenance can also have a substantial effect on fuel consumption. Crystal’s improved asset control allows fleet managers to stay ahead of service and maintenance schedules, licensing, and vehicle usage.

Proper route planning and control with quality data from Ctrack, can support fleet managers to maximise the vehicle’s efficiency, ensure the operating cost of the vehicle over its lifespan is controlled, and also ensure high customer satisfaction where vehicle trip data is shared with customers.

Ctrack can help your fleet improve on it’s performance and achieve the Return on Investment as initially planned, and “Beyond”.