To say 2020 was a challenging year for Australia’s transport industry is an understatement. Since March last year, state and border restrictions greatly impacted driver’s ability to move freely, many of these changing at short notice to accommodate ever-evolving situations.
Pair these restrictions of movement with increased consumer demand, supply chain issues, contact tracing requirements and social distancing, Australian truck drivers faced a monumental year. However, many of these obstacles and challenges could still be in place in the months to come.
With a market size of around $48 billion, Australia’s transport industry cannot afford to wait for these hurdles to be completely eradicated. Thankfully, a variety of new technologies and strategies are helping businesses overcome these issues and keep operations moving. Let us explore three of the top trends that will help keep the transport sector moving this year.
The transport industry has slowly adopted Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in recent years, but recent reports predict the use of these technologies in the sector will grow at a rate of roughly 13 per cent until 2029.
AI-based fleet management systems deliver real-time visibility across your entire fleet, no matter the size of your business. With compliance top of mind in 2021, these technologies enable you to stay compliant with each customer, site and region’s unique requirements. Even accidentally breaking these terms can cost your business dearly.
Managing permits and adhering to prescribed routes can be difficult to manage, so if a driver starts to veer off a designated course, real-time alerts will help you to redirect them to the correct path. By taking swift action, you can ensure your entire fleet is fully compliant with government and customer specifications.
Fleet management systems based on AI and ML are designed to learn from you, picking up on particular trends and patterns from across your business. As you become more acquainted with the system, it will begin to automatically detect anomalies and bring these to your attention as they arise. For example, if your fuel usage begins to rise, the system will alert you of the emerging trend. You can then dig deeper to pinpoint the reasons why this is occurring and take immediate action.
Implementing fleet management and GPS tracking systems means that businesses now have access to real-time data. It’s one thing to just collect and gather data, but in order for businesses to achieve long-term success, you need to be able to turn this info into actionable insights.
AI-driven telematics systems integrate all the data gather across your fleet into the one platform, making it easy for managers to immediately identify trends or anomalies.
With driver location data, you can cross check the amount of time it takes to complete a job against your planned time. If a job is taking longer to complete than expected, you can pinpoint exactly why this occurring, whether there’s bad traffic, too much idle time, or the driver has gone off-route.
Reports are generated in an instant, and you can customise them to highlight the data most relevant to your business. By using data to drive your decision-making process, you can make more confident decisions while driving down unnecessary costs. Australia’s driver shortage isn’t going away any time soon, so using data to drive your processes allows you to maximise productivity across your fleet and complete jobs on time to meet customer demand, even when resources are under strain.
Proactive Fatigue Management
Fatigue can have the same effect on driver performance as being under the influence. Businesses cannot afford to leave fatigue management to guesswork. Everyone in the Chain of Responsibility has a role in mitigating risks, from admin workers to senior management. One of the best ways businesses can create a safer and more efficient environment for everyone is through Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs).
EWDs allow a driver’s work and rest times to be recorded in real-time. No more waiting weeks to view driver information. No more additional time and costs having to manually enter driving hours. Everything you need to know is instantly available.
Many drivers find the uncertainty around reporting overwhelming. EWDs let transport drivers self-manage their own fatigue which streamlines the diary process reducing the amount of paperwork to fill out, allowing them to get on with the job quicker. All work and rest hours are accurately recorded, and the system itself gives a warning when it is time to take a much-needed break. No more guesswork – drivers can be rest assured they are staying safe and compliant.
As we enter 2021, businesses looking to overcome the obstacles set in place during last year must turn their attention to new technology innovations and trends. Fleets that integrate AI and ML, data collection and proactive fatigue management into their operations will see significant benefits today and into the future.