Freight services are an essential part of our global economy, and with our ever-increasing demand for consumer items, it is more and more important to run an efficient and cost-effective business.
Around 90% of freight is moved by road. It is important to maintain economic growth, but also important that road freight is moved in a sustainable way. In order to do this, we will see fewer vehicles on the road, putting more freight on the remaining fleet and thus needing fewer journeys.
Fuel economy and consumption makes up 19% of a vehicle’s cost of ownership, but there are ways to improve fuel economy by sensible route allocation and driver behaviour. Fitting systems for up-to-date traffic information will help drivers to find a less congested route, meaning less time idling in traffic. Reducing the number of incidents of harsh braking, speeding and idling can make a huge difference to fuel economy by ensuring your underperforming drivers have up-to-date training to improve their performance.
Looking after your fleet can prevent a lot of wasted fuel. Fitting the correct tyres and keeping them at the right pressure can reduce fuel costs by 15%. Regularly cleaning out or replacing air and oil filters and making sure the engine is correctly tuned will improve the overall running costs and safety of the vehicle.
Keeping in touch with your drivers is an important element in running a successful fleet. Being able to give jobs directly to drivers saves them coming back to the depot and keeps the vehicle on the road doing its job. A two-way communication system is a way of getting feedback from your drivers as to whether there are any delays or problems being encountered.
When adding a vehicle to your fleet, make sure you choose one best suited for its mission. Make sure it is equipped with the necessary equipment, such as ply lining from vehicle-accessories, which will protect the inside of your vehicle from dents and scratches and prevent rust, which will affect the saleability of your vehicle.
Fleet managers have the unenviable job of ensuring that the movement of freight on our roads is as efficient as possible and at the same time decreasing the environmental impact it has.