How a Truck Tracking System Can Help Businesses In Improving Supply Chains

truck tracking system to monitor truck movement

Businesses that deliver goods to customers typically require a fleet of vehicles to support their delivery operations. The supply chain process is frequently complicated because there are often multiple fleets involved, internal fleet as well as external fleet from different delivery partners. Several fleets will operate simultaneously every day, and all of them require proper monitoring to keep their movement in check. 

A manual process of monitoring a fleet of vehicles requires a high amount of effort and time from dispatchers. There would be plenty of phone calls to check the location of each delivery truck, whether an order is successfully delivered to a particular customer and the estimated time of arrival of the order should the order be on the way. When processes like these are done manually, it is easy for issues to go unnoticed and it would be too late to rectify them later in the delivery stage. This is when late deliveries or missed deliveries happen. On-time deliveries are the key to successful last mile fulfilment as customers expect their orders to be delivered on time or as soon as possible.

All matters related to fleet movement can be monitored using a truck tracking system. With a truck tracking system, businesses can monitor all processes associated with delivering goods from Point A to Point B. 

Read further to understand more about truck tracking, how the system works, and the advantages it will bring to scale up your business.

What is truck tracking?

Truck tracking is an intelligent fleet monitoring device that provides dispatchers with visibility into the movements of the trucks using GPS technology. The device will acquire map coordinates and store real-time data into the system that it is connected to. 

Truck tracking can be a hardware device attached to trucks and is used together in a transportation management system. The hardware device would need frequent maintenance so that it could efficiently monitor the fleet of trucks. 

There is no delivery without a driver. Truck tracking can also come in the form of a mobile app and is always paired with a delivery management system. As long as the driver has a basic mobile phone with GPS function, they can download the app to enable truck tracking. 

Whichever type of truck tracker you choose, the technology will help businesses to streamline and automate their daily logistics operations. Truck trackers offer a variety of services that enable businesses to make real-time decisions such as:

  • Tracking location of each truck, delivery orders associated, and driver details
  • Providing GPS navigation to each delivery stop
  • Tracking loading/unloading times, late/missed deliveries
  • Providing real-time notifications to customers on estimated arrival times
  • Enabling communication between drivers and dispatchers
  • Calculating fleet capacity with all the available trucks in the inventory
  • Providing speeding and idling warnings
  • Providing alerts on incidents such as faulty engines and traffic accidents

How does truck tracking work?

Truck tracking works by retrieving and collecting activity data from the fleet via GPS. The truck tracking app will save all this data and transmit it through cellular networks to the cloud, which most truck tracking systems are built on. Dispatch managers and business owners would be able to view this data on the cloud-based logistics platform that will allow them to make sound business decisions.

What are the advantages of tracking trucks?

After you’ve grasped the definition of truck tracking and how it works, it’s time to look at the advantages businesses can gain by implementing this system. The following are some of the most common benefits of truck trackers:

Monitor and ensure fulfilment

Since truck tracking provides information on fleet location, dispatchers can easily identify the exact location of each truck driver and their delivery status at any point of time. This will reduce repetitive phone calls throughout the day between dispatcher and drivers. 

A good truck tracking system enables dispatchers to gauge traffic conditions in specific areas or times of the day and avoid them during the route planning process.  It will also assist dispatchers in selecting appropriate routes for a specific vehicle type, for example if this particular road condition is suitable for a flatbed trailer to pass.

Shorten delivery time

A trucking system would enable businesses to shorten delivery time via route optimisation. With an optimisation algorithm, the fleet assignment is automatically done by taking into consideration each vehicle capacity, delivery zones, pick up and drop off times. Drivers are able to get the fastest route, with the shortest duration, fulfilling their customers’ expectations for quick deliveries. 

Reduce out of mile scenarios

Out-of-mile scenarios happen when the drivers are driving on unplanned routes, perhaps they got lost, or avoiding certain roads or just using the fleet outside of working hours. By lowering the out-of-mile scenarios, businesses can substantially reduce unnecessary fuel consumption and vehicle wear-and-tear.

The truck tracking software‘s data will be accessible through daily, weekly, and monthly reports. Businesses can then identify how frequently out-of-mile scenarios occur during a given timeframe and hold the respective drivers accountable.

Optimise fuel usage

A trucking software would sometimes include a route planning feature. The route planning feature will enable dispatchers to optimise routes based on vehicle capacity, delivery zones, and delivery timings. As a result, dispatchers could direct drivers to arrive at a specific stop at a particular time without speeding or idling, which would contribute to a more efficient fuel consumption.

Ease maintenance planning

Businesses can determine when to perform routine maintenance on each vehicle by tracking the mileage of the fleet vehicles. The fleet will always be in tip top condition with preemptive maintenance, avoiding expensive parts replacement due to significant wear and tear. 

Additionally, proper maintenance enables businesses to ensure the safety of drivers. It is the employer’s responsibility to prevent workplace accidents, reduce risks and safeguard the well-being of their drivers.

When will you need to use a truck tracking system?

In general, transportation companies and businesses which manage a delivery fleet would benefit from a trucking software. However, there are some circumstances which necessitate the use of a truck tracking system.

If your business processes a high volume of transactions, a trucking software will enable you to streamline many delivery orders that require multiple pick-ups and drop-offs, single-leg and multi-leg.

You can also benefit from a truck tracking system if you have a large delivery fleet. Large delivery fleets frequently collaborate with multiple delivery partners and vehicle types. The software will provide you visibility into your delivery partners and the status of each delivery at any point of time. 

Key features of truck tracking system

Driver navigation

Navigation is imperative to making on-time deliveries. A trucking app should be able to offer accurate turn-by-turn navigation throughout the entire journey, even in the most remote areas. With a route planning feature attached to the system, dispatchers are able to pre-plan routes which will then be displayed to the drivers. Upon clicking ‘Start Journey’, drivers should be able to navigate themselves and complete each delivery safe and sound. 

Although driver navigation features offer numerous benefits, installing a GPS tracking system has drawbacks. From the driver’s point of view, a GPS installed in fleets could imply that their employers are micromanaging their work. As the business owner, it is best to communicate with the drivers to avoid misunderstandings. Inform the drivers that installing a GPS tracking system does not imply that you do not trust their work but rather build trust through measurable work performance.

Task assignment

Since the logistics software uses a GPS tracking system, dispatchers can easily identify available drivers based on locations and delivery routes for the day. This will allow dispatchers to distribute delivery orders to the fleet more efficiently. The trucking app which comes with the tracking software will allow drivers to accept/decline jobs. This would reduce miscommunication and phone call distractions while driving.

Route planning

Most truck tracking systems would have a route planning function where dispatchers can plan delivery routes in  advance, assisting truck drivers in finding the shortest route to get to Point A to Point B in the least amount of time. Planned routes would take into account road and weather conditions, as well as open windows for pick up and drop off in certain distribution centres and warehouses. 

Real-time tracking

The real-time tracking feature provides dispatchers with the most recent location of each truck in operation. This feature uses GPS technology to collect data which is then displayed on a logistics platform. Imagine these trucks as colourful pins on a physical map. Now imagine this in your desktop where you can click on each pin and know who is driving the truck, what is inside the truck and what time will the truck arrive at its destination.

Alerts and notifications

A good truck tracking system will include notifications to dispatchers, drivers as well as your customers. When there is a new delivery order, dispatchers would receive a new notification on the logistics platform. Dispatcher will send this order to an available truck driver. The driver would then receive an alert in the trucking app, to either Accept/Decline the job. In case of a late delivery, the truck tracking system will send an automated notification (SMS or email) to the customer. 

Notifications like these are important to reduce miscommunication and improve visibility across the entire delivery process. 

Analytics dashboard and reporting

The analytics dashboard and reporting feature will allow businesses to understand their performance with real-time insights. Typically, the feature itself will be showing important datapoints, such as the number of successful vs failed deliveries within a specific timeframe. 

For example, the frequency of delivery delays occur within specific drivers, partners, zones, and clients. Businesses would be able to make informed decision whether to increase fleet capacity or remove troubled delivery routes in daily route planning. 

One advantage of using a trucking app is that it sometimes comes with an ePOD collection function. It allows drivers to collect proof of delivery through the app, and it will be sent to the cloud. This would allow the finance team to process the ePOD immediately and send out invoices within the day. 

How to choose a proper truck tracking system?

Choosing a decent truck tracking system would largely depend on your business needs, size of fleet and transaction volumes. There are many IT vendors out there which offer different types of services.

There are several criteria which you should consider when you are looking for a truck tracking system provider: 

Easy to implement

One of the benefits of cloud-based logistics solutions is how quickly you can do it and how little maintenance it needs. It should require minimal training across different functional teams, including dispatchers, drivers, as well finance and admin team who can quickly pick it up and hit the ground running. Does it offer a trucking app so that you can reach your drivers even when they’re on the road?

Provides good customer service

Before purchasing a truck tracking system, it is important to understand the support that the vendor provides. Do they have training sessions for your dispatchers and drivers? When there are issues with the software, do they have a customer support specialist to attend to it?

To ensure that the vendor is well-versed in the logistics industry, check out the companies which are using them.

No software/hardware maintenance

Handling onsite equipment can present a safety hazard between disinfection, social distancing, and lockdown laws. When you start to use a logistics platform, the time spent on maintenance should  be very little and maintenance now rests on the vendor. Your logistics system provider should fix bugs, add new features and update the software periodically. 

Final thoughts

We hope you have a thorough understanding of the truck tracking system, how it works, and how it can help your business grow.

If you have any questions about a truck tracking system, please get in touch with Yojee. We will gladly assist you in selecting a plan that meets your needs and allows you to streamline your logistics operations easily.

Like what you are reading?

Schedule a demo with us to find out how Yojee can help your business.