October 11, 2022
Do more with less: Maximize resources with intelligent trailer management
Recap: Second Solera Fleet Solutions webinar
It’s no secret that the trucking industry is essential to our economy. In 2019, trucks moved 10.23 billion tons – or roughly 72.5% – of the nation’s freight by weight. And, thanks in part to external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving consumer expectations, the industry has changed and grown significantly even more since then: the American Trucking Association predicts the 2022 numbers will show a 24% increase in freight tonnage, representing a 66% rise in revenue.
However, as the industry grows and evolves so do its challenges. Two of the industry’s most prevalent ongoing issues – the driver shortage and lengthy detention times – were greatly exacerbated over the last 2.5 years. For example, in 2005 the industry had a shortage of roughly 20,000 drivers. Today, that number is closer to 80,000. Between 2014 and 2018, driver detention delays of 6 hours or more increased 27.4%. Around 34% of respondents to another survey indicated detention further increased during the pandemic.
Additionally, the unique circumstances of the last couple of years have also created new challenges for the trucking industry:
- Labor crisis now extends to operations and maintenance
- A shortage of trailers for rent or purchase and prices have skyrocketed
- Damaged supply chains
- Inflation and fuel cost volatility
Ultimately, this all boils down to a single, potentially frustrating conclusion: Fleets must figure out how to do more with less. You must figure out how to get more turns out of the trailers you already have. Luckily, the answer for this is less complicated than it seems. It involves using trailer tracking technology.
While it may have started as a simple solution aimed at improving trailer utilization through location pings, trailer tracking and telematics technology has greatly evolved over the last 20 years and can now improve every aspect of your business. During our second webinar introducing Solera Fleet Solutions, Roni Taylor, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, and Elana Quast, Sr. Product Manager, both of Spireon, a Solera company, discussed how trailer telematics can now help you:
- Haul more freight with the same number of trailers
- Improve driver satisfaction and retention
- Reduce detention times
- Automate and/or outsource operations tasks
- Better allocate and utilize the skilled talent you already have
- Gain real-time visibility into both the location and contents of each trailer
- Run an overall more efficient, more profitable fleet.
For your best chance of success, it’s important to look for a few key differentiators, paying special attention to whether the trailer telematics provider uses cutting-edge technology. A few important features to look for include intelligent reporting and analytics, improved driver experience, sophisticated cargo sensing technology, and a managed services option.
The right reporting and analytics solution not only provides you and your fleet with ample data, it also intelligently organizes and presents that data in a consolidated, customized, actionable format. You should be able to use this tool to do things like automate yard checks, manage trailer pools, obtain real-time visibility into utilization, evaluate inactivity, and get detailed history reports.
When it comes to improving your driver experience, timely information is key. One of the top contributors to truck driver burnout is the amount of time wasted waiting around. This time could be significantly reduced with the use of something like a driver information app on their phone. That way, all the information they need to make more money and be more efficient – from trailer location to navigation to load status – is right in the palm of their hand.
Did you know that the industry standard ultrasonic cargo sensing technology is only 70-75% accurate? Cargo information accuracy is critical to maximizing efficiency. Look for cutting-edge technology that uses a combination of features like time-of-flight lasers, optical imaging, and machine learning. This kind of comprehensive cargo visibility can not only help reduce detention time, but it can also provide critical volumetric information for optimizing your loads.
Finally, one of the best ways to backfill your employment needs is by skipping the direct-hire process altogether with a managed services option. The right managed services program goes beyond consultative trailer management by industry experts – it can also help maximize ROI on your telematics investment, provide key benchmarking information, and give meaningful, actionable insights.
As you can see, trailer tracking technology has come a long way from one location ping a day. Solera Fleet Solutions offers all these key features and more to provide you and your fleet with comprehensive, real-time trailer visibility through Spireon. If you want to hear more from Roni and Elana about how Spireon can transform your business through intelligent trailer management, you can sign up to view this webinar on-demand. For more information about trailer tracking and asset management, please contact us here or speak with your sales representative.
Our next webinar in the series takes place on October 6 and covers knowing fact versus fiction when it comes to ELDs and compliance. Register now to reserve your spot.
We hope to see you there!