Transportation Management Transported by Mobile Technology

By Scott Fenwick,
Transportation Management Transported by Mobile Technology

Mobile technology is helping to solve problems in every corner of our lives, and for fleet managers, new capabilities are transforming the way they do business. Tasked with balancing the competing objectives of minimizing costs and maximizing services, mobile technologies that enable continuous connectivity with drivers, assets and cargo are helping fleet managers do their jobs smartly.

The increased affordability, reliability and speed of mobile technology enable virtually any fleet to take advantage of the “continuous connection” paradigm. For example, today’s low cost networks are providing enhanced communications capabilities by delivering vast amounts of data cheaply and quickly allowing for real-time information exchange. In addition, hardware has come a long way and vehicle operators now have rugged handhelds, smartphones and tablets that run customizable pick-up and delivery applications for better process automation.

Vehicle telematics is another area in which mobile technology as evolved. Sensors located throughout a vehicle now capture and communicate data such as vehicle location, fuel usage, idle time and compartment temperatures to back office systems. This data is then used to evaluate how well drivers are adhering to standard operating procedures and help establish more efficient vehicle maintenance programs.

Advances in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) now enable mapping solutions that are geared toward freight operations to help drivers calculate travel times, and optimize travel routes. They do this by providing real-time information about truck restricted routes, bridge height and weight limits, toll line and travel times. With better GPS and mapping technologies, fleet managers can gain efficiencies saving time and money.

As the roads get busier, having access to real-time traffic related data can mean the difference between delivering on time and not making the ETA. Thanks to content providers who now capture dynamic content such as real-time and predictive traffic, weather, and fuel prices, fleet managers have the tools needed to better control ETAs.

As supply chain management grows more complex, mobile technologies are evolving in response. However, with all the disparate data coming in to the back-office, enterprises must consider how best to merge and synchronize the information. The right freight and mobile asset management system can provide the needed orchestration layer to give companies unprecedented visibility into their shipping activities.

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