Vilmate Blog

Transport App Development:
How You Can Cut Your Fuel Consumption Costs

fleet managementGISlogistics appservices

Cargo delivery is a process simple enough at first glance. You have a vehicle that carries some cargo between two or across several points at which all or part of that cargo gets unloaded. That’s about all there is to the whole thing. Well, at first glance.

Correspondingly, the potentialities for optimizing the process, including any meaningful reduction in the often hefty costs, seem to be very limited, if non-existent, even to savvy logistics experts. Can technology, and, more specifically, a transportation app, uncover any new avenues for optimizing your cargo delivery costs? And can it improve your fleet’s performance significantly enough to make it worth having such an app developed for your logistics business? The answer is positive on both counts. Let’s see how this can happen.

Logistics App Development and Fuel Consumption: Any Potential?


When it comes to fuel consumption, seasoned industry professionals may talk about fuel pilferage but according to most it's not a major issue and existing safeguards seem to be doing a good job. In the U.S., according to Fleet Financial, fuel pilferage only accounts for 3% of annual fuel budgets nationally. Another area of focus related to fuel consumption is that different vehicles consume different amounts of fuel.A common view is that a transportation app can’t help here. How is an app going to make a truck consume less fuel?

While logistics app development is, certainly no silver bullet when it comes to fuel consumption, an overly simplistic attitude can only add to the costs. And considerably so. To understand how, let us consider the several, often, routine scenarios that are, normally, responsible for fuel consumption overages. As we have personally made sure while developing multiple solutions for the transport and logistics industry, these scenarios can either be ruled out entirely, or rendered much less financially damaging by implementing a transport and logistics app.

Inability to Chart the Optimal Route


If the routes your vehicles take on a daily basis are not limited to a handful of well-trodden ones, logistics application software becomes central to cutting your fuel spend. In addition to being able to build the optimal route to any destination, and, thus, already preventing excessive fuel consumption, it can also give you the ability to identify the best route for different times of day.

For example, one of the transportation apps we have developed for a Nordic client of ours allows identifying the optimal route to a destination by taking into account several criteria. In particular, these criteria include the day of the week, ongoing roadwork or construction and more. It is possible to further expand this list by factoring in national and local holidays, public events which are taking place in the vicinity at the moment and other factors, impacting traffic in the area.

Inability to Control Driver Behavior


While trust is certainly important, it is still paramount that you know what your employees do during their working hours. This is all the more important when it is not only the work result that matters, but the process too. Cargo delivery would be a case in point. While your cargo is delivered sooner or later anyway, a driver’s out-of-home chores and personal matters should not be handled at your expense. Is there any way you can control the situation? From our experience, yes, there is. At least, as long as you don’t deliver internationally or interstate and focus on several local routes.

We had been approached to help a local U.S. food distributor optimize their delivery process. While the routes they used were usually well-known to their drivers, the company had no way of controlling their movements and stopover time. The logistics mobile app that then became part of the developed solution solved both of these issues.

It became possible to get a fix on any of the company’s delivery trucks at any instant in time and interact with the drivers whenever required. The app’s stopover reporting capability has helped dramatically minimize idle time. Moreover, this transportation app has helped the food distributor solve another major problem...

Excessive Fuel Spend Due to Speeding


While, at first glance, it doesn’t seem to be much of an influencing factor, speeding eclipses the miniscule average 3% fuel budget loss chalked up to pilferage in the U.S. by a large margin.

According to fueleconomy.gov, aggressive driving (comprising also rapid acceleration and braking) hikes up your fuel spend by 15-30% at highways speeds and by 10-40% in stop-and-go traffic. Just picture what these stats actually stand for - it is a huge amount of fuel getting sent down the drain daily translating to huge financial losses.

While being a challenge to implement and test due to the unstable GPS performance at rapid acceleration and braking, a logistics mobile app can help you curb the problem. It can both notify you about all cases of speeding, rapid acceleration and braking and give you the overall picture of your fleet’s performance with regards to this indicator. It can make it possible for you to both respond to cases of speeding and rapid braking on the fly and compare the stats for the different drivers in order to reprimand them when their performance is not up to par.

Vehicle Maintenance and Tuning


While the vehicle model is probably what matters the most when it comes to fuel consumption, properly tuning a vehicle can spare you extra fuel-related costs too. The most optimal, or, in plain language, the lowest fuel consumption can only be achieved by a well-tuned vehicle fleet.

With a good transportation application in place, you can receive vehicle usage information in real time and immediately respond to any fuel consumption deviations.

Notably, this comes with an additional benefit of being able to minister to an ailing vehicle sooner to prevent more serious (and a great deal more costly) vehicle problems. Sounds like something worth having, does it not?

There are several more areas of improvement a cargo carrier or any other company that runs a vehicle fleet can tap into solely with the help of transportation app development. Among others, they include improved reporting that can make your struggle against fuel theft a lot more efficient, as well as the ability to take your scheduling and routing to a whole new level. The latter would, in particular, allow you to significantly cut the amount of empty running through being able to promptly send any of your free assets to wherever they can be needed along the shortest possible route.

It is worth mentioning, that reduced fuel consumption is just one of the many benefits implementing transportation apps can give you.


(с) 2017, Vilmate LLC

 

Igor Bagayev CTO
Igor Bagayev is the CTO of Vilmate. Igor has taken part in the development of several transport management solutions and has a great deal of development experience in this area.
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