In modern-day trucking, the importance of logistics is far-reaching. To operate at the highest levels of efficiency, fleet managers must consider all elements of the transport supply chain.
It can be a complex topic, but once you understand the key terms and why logistics are so relevant, it should be straightforward to develop plans to reduce costs, minimize risk, and streamline your operations.
Fleet logistics explained
Let’s start with defining some key terms by answering some common questions.
What is logistics in business?
The term logistics is used to describe the movements of goods from one point to another. In terms of fleet logistics specifically, this includes two main variables – warehouses and transportation.
Are logistics and supply chains the same thing?
Some organizations use the terms interchangeably, and a few even throw in additional terminology like logistics supply that can further complicate matters. But no, they are not the same thing.
Logistics are certainly part of the supply chain. However, in addition to moving products from A to B, the overall supply chain also includes all other elements of distribution - from the point your goods are sourced, up until they reach the end customer. Aside from transportation and warehouse management, this typically includes:
- Supply and demand forecasting
- Product sourcing
- Order processing
- Inventory control
- Managing third-party companies and partners
- Customer Service
The importance of fleet management and logistics
Poor logistics in business will significantly affect your bottom line, and even if your company is successful, there is always room for improvement. Fortunately for managers, fleet logistics tracking and optimization programs are available to help automate processes and ensure that goods are moved in a timely, cost-effective, and consistent way. Here are a few key areas where you can make improvements.
Reduce costs through improved efficiency
Wasted time equates to lost profits. The smoother your pick-ups, journeys, and drop-offs are, the more money you can save. You can reduce overheads and shave costs by:
- Packaging goods to maximize revenue per load
- Continually monitoring and controlling inventory levels
- Ensuring the efficiency of loading and unloading procedures
- Optimizing routes for the fastest journey times
These are essential trucking and logistics considerations for all fleets. However, the importance of logistics increases even more if your trucks are transporting perishable goods or are working on inflexible schedules.
Minimize vehicle risk
Vehicle safety is paramount to business success. Savvy fleet managers use GPS systems and fleet tracking software to plan routes and adapt on the go based on current road conditions and any expected delays due to road works, accidents, or adverse weather, etc.
The most reliable GPS solutions combine tracking with video telematics to provide additional metrics on driver safety that reduce the chance of collisions. Plus, by pinpointing a vehicle’s exact location, unauthorized trips and theft can be avoided.
If your vehicles aren’t roadworthy and reliable, you can’t get your goods from point A to point B. Unexpected repairs and breakdowns can be more time-consuming and costly than scheduled maintenance, so having a preventative maintenance plan can lead to considerable savings.
- Tire rotations
- Oil changes
- Brake inspections
Integrating diagnostic trouble code software can lead to even more significant savings, as minor mechanical problems can be identified and fixed before they turn into bigger issues on the road.
Leveraging technology makes it easier to keep track of all the data needed to comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements and improve your Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) safety scores.
Moving away from paper logs and timesheets to ELDs for improved tracking is a no-brainer in modern trucking. Business intelligence dashboards provide fleet managers with an unrivaled overview of driver and vehicle data, allowing for the effortless compilation of reports that enable you to automate processes for:
- Hours of service (HOS)
- Records of duty status (RODS)
- Vehicle servicing
- License, permit, and insurance renewals
Fleet management software
Logistics fleet management software eliminates guesswork from your planning and helps you make the most of your time and resources. Automation is the key to efficiency, and successful fleets recognize the importance of logistics technology in tracking the movement of their goods and vehicles. The most effective business decisions derive from accurate and data-driven analysis, so having up-to-date metrics on virtually any variable at the touch of a button translates to a significant competitive edge.
At Lytx, we specialize in comprehensive, all-in-one fleet management solutions that make it easier to protect your vehicles, drivers, and cargo.
Contact our team today to discuss your needs and learn how to increase visibility, improve safety, track vehicles, enhance productivity, and streamline DOT compliance – all from a single screen.