A new approach to optimising transport fleets is streamlining logistics for global freight companies – delivering unprecedented efficiencies and cost savings.

It’s centred on a solution that can help boost on-time delivery and improve tracking visibility for customers – all while minimising transport and fuel costs, and reducing environmental impact.

This may almost sound too good to be true, but it’s real, and it’s being successfully utilised now, with many world-leading logistics service providers (LSPs) quickly discovering the power of advanced location-based analytics.

The software can be integrated with your existing systems, and acts as a single point of truth to optimise fleet management and operations.

Commonly known as Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, it allows you to map your enterprise information and perform sophisticated analysis to recognise the trends and patterns that help streamline operations.

The advanced analytics capabilities make sense of Big Data – collecting large volumes of information from real-time sensors and varied sources.

Key insights are then delivered off the back of this data, ensuring your business decisions are based on facts, not estimates.

By factoring in external considerations such as traffic incidents, road works and weather, the technology can determine the optimal transport route and delivery sequence for your vehicles.

This cuts travel distance and time, which means less fuel expended, reduced wear and tear, and lower CO2 emissions.

Viewing your distribution network on a map also enables you to avoid disruptions and reroute deliveries if required.

You can even set ‘geo-alerts’ – notifications that are triggered when a boundary is crossed by a certain person or vehicle – so you’re instantly made aware of potential issues. This great story map will show you exactly what I mean.

In terms of customer service, location-based analytics software can be used to provide customers with an online, real-time order tracking system – offering them full visibility over the location and status of their goods, with accurate delivery timeframes.

One global LSP who recently introduced new routing software powered by the technology estimates it will help them save approximately 35 million litres of fuel and reduce costs by more than US$300 million annually.

If you’d like to learn more about enterprise-wide GIS implementation, I recommend this piece on Hanson Australia’s GIS roll-out. Their locally developed logistics solution became a blueprint for their parent company to use worldwide, and it’s a success story that remains a benchmark today.

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