Technology and sustainability go hand in hand, and truck route optimization software is a great example. While the push for green trucking may be more visible in Europe than in the US, there’s definitely a buzz about newly-efficient engines, trucks that run on alternative fuels, and even Uber Freight – which touts as one of its advantages “no more deadhead miles.”
If you want to go green, however, there’s no need to wait for these technology-driven trends to be introduced in your business. Advanced truck route optimization software can aid your green trucking strategies right now. Here’s how.
The first principle of sustainability when it comes to hauling freight by truck is to burn less fuel. And the easiest way to do that is to drive fewer miles in less time. With advanced truck route optimization software, routes are planned and executed using sophisticated algorithms that cut unnecessary fuel usage down to the bone. It means you’re also saving money every day, by using your existing equipment more efficiently. That might be a lot more attractive than shelling out nearly $400,000 in the short term for a brand new hydrogen-powered truck.
Route optimization is about more than simply finding the shortest way of going from A to B to C to D on a multi-stop delivery trip, although that is the first order of business. It enables (and may even proactively suggest) other strategies and practices that save fuel and emissions. Here are a few:
Deliver on time. Turning up on time reduces the chances that drivers will be left idling in line and burning unnecessary fuel while picking up a load or at the point of delivery, since they’ve turned up when the customer is ready to receive them. It also means drivers can fit more deliveries into a day, because they deliver faster, and can quickly be on their way to the next delivery.
Drop off heavy items first. The heavier an item is, the more fuel it takes to haul a mile. Truck route optimization software can factor in the weight of each delivery and ensure that the heaviest item(s) are delivered first to minimize fuel consumption, even if that means driving a few extra miles.
Identify backhaul opportunities. Advanced route optimization software uses the power of computing to crunch unimaginably complex possibilities and scenarios, including identifying opportunities to pick up another load on the way back to the depot, or move loads between DCs on the way to a delivery. Another opportunity to save miles and fuel.
Support carbon-reducing strategy changes. Route optimization software also gives you a powerful strategic tool to assess carbon-reduction strategies. You can run what-if scenarios before changing a thing or spending a dime, to see if alterations will have the desired green result. What if you consolidated two delivery regions, or split one into two? What if you changed the delivery schedule to a customer? What if you deployed a different fleet mix?
Green trucking doesn’t just mean more efficiently-deployed trucks; it means fewer trucks, too – on the road and in your depot. Reducing inefficiencies in truck routing means you need fewer trucks to complete the same number of deliveries, or to handle an expanding business. That decreases road-congestion, cuts air pollution and saves you money, via lower capital costs and maintenance charges.
Whether you’re interested in stepping up to the plate to bat for sustainable freight practices, or simply saving a substantial amount in transportation costs, advanced route optimization software offers compelling benefits.
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