Shipping, Tracking, Logistics and Satellites

Shipping, tracking, logistics and satellites – key features of GPS fleet management systems

No fleet management system can be all things to all companies, and the unique characteristics of your organisation will of course determine the best choice of solution to use for your shipping, tracking, logistics and fleet control needs. Still, there are some features common to almost all such systems, and things nearly every user should look for.

Modes of access for shipping tracking logistics and managshipping logisticsement software

With any management solution, there is the choice between locally hosted solutions or cloud-based options. In general, web- or cloud-based systems offer lower initial set up costs, but require periodic payments to use, like any SAAS platform. Cloud-based systems are often more attractive to small or young organisations for this reason. They also can have access problems if your internet connection is not top-notch.

Self-hosted solutions require a heavier initial investment, but no monthly fee. This is not always such a clear advantage, though, because of the need for regular updates and customer support. In the end, you’ll probably have an ongoing contract with the supplier either way.  Of course, self-hosted systems keep working even if your internet connection goes out, but communications issues are more common between your system and your fleet elements that between you and your ISP, and many cloud based shipping tracking logistics management systems can remain in contact with your vehicles even when the home office isn’t connected, and the manager can connect to the full system form any internet connection, even a smart phone if the office internet goes down.

Tenatively, web-based systems may have the edge here.

Vital features for any shipping tracking logistics and management solution

Some things almost every user needs. Make sure your chosen system provides you all the intelligence and control your organisation needs for these key areas:

Fuel Economy

Vital to cost reduction and a low carbon footprint, fuel usage management is a must-have feature for almost all fleet managers. Most systems will give you a full vehicle diagnostic report, and allow you to track various aspects of vehicle performance in real time. This isn’t limited to fuel use, levels, and efficiency of course, but that is one of the most important features for almost all users. The ability to track average and peak speeds and other unsafe driving red flags helps with safety, and each business will have their own idiosyncratic diagnostic data needs, but everyone wants to burn fewer dinosaurs per kilometre.

Route Optimisation

Whether you have two trucks or two hundred, route optimisation can be a huge headache without the right kind of computer support. A well optimised route structure reduces costs in terms of fuel, labour and productivity. It also makes regulatory compliance and reporting easier, or at least faster.

Computer route programmers also have an eye (well, webcam) for detail that few flesh and blood managers can manage. If the machine notices even one just-an-inch-too-low bridge than you do each year, it has already paid for itself. Just remember that it only looks for what it’s been told to look for. Modern traffic avoidance features can also keep your shipping tracking logistics assets from getting caught on a crowded ring road just as all the commuters head home.

Navigation

With the ability to change routes on the fly comes increased danger of your drivers getting lost in unfamiliar territory, or following their TomTom onto a wrongly-coded footpath. A navigation system that is integrated into your shipping tracking logistics management system will generally be a lot more reliable, and will certainly have the most up to date data about where the speed cameras are.

Using rules and alerts to keep your shipping tracking logistics assets moving

Almost all fleet management systems are capable of alerting the manager when a vehicle varies from its route or schedule, or is used inappropriately.

The simplest system is to set ‘exception alerts’ that trigger whenever a pre-set parameter is violated, such as the speed limit is exceeded, or a vehicle is used out of working hours.

A more complex option is to set up more sophisticated rules which perform designated actions (or even make recordings) when a vehicle idles for a suspiciously long time, drives unsafely in some way, or leaves a designated region.

Conclusion

Remember, choose the device that does everything you need it to do well. It doesn’t matter how well it performs a function you won’t be using.

 

 

 

 


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