Rising fuel prices, growing concern for the environment and ever-tougher competition have paved the way for increasing use of telematics in the haulage industry. This has been confirmed not least by Volvo Trucks whose transport information system, Dynafleet, has now notched up more than 35,000 sales. According to industry analysts, sales of this type of system will increase seven-fold by 2012.
Within the haulage industry, telematics or wireless IT has taken the step from vision of the future to present-day reality in just a few short years. And the technology continues to develop swiftly, as do the possibilities it offers.
More efficient transportation and lower cost
The basic reason why increasing numbers of transport companies are choosing to use telematics is because they want to improve the efficiency of their operations and thus cut their costs. These are the words of Per-Anders Grsfjeld, who is marketing manager for transport information systems at Volvo Trucks. With telematics in the truck, the haulage firm can obtain detailed information about driver times, vehicle location, cargo content, fuel consumption and much more besides. This is information that makes it easier to use every truck in the most optimum way.
Better monitoring of fuel consumption
The ever-increasing fuel prices of recent years together with rising interest in the environment have significantly boosted the demand for systems such as Dynafleet.
The more expensive the fuel, the greater the interest among haulage firms in being able to monitor consumption, explains Per-Anders Grsfjeld. With reliable data it is easier to take decisions about what measures are needed to reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions.
Easier to meet legislation
New EU requirements concerning reporting of driver working times and tracking of transport assignments such as for hazardous goods is also made simpler by the use of telematics in trucks. By integrating Dynafleet with other commercial systems, all the information can easily be transferred to the haulage firms own administrative system. This makes it easier to process orders and handle the companys own time reports and wages administration.
More than 35,000 trucks equipped with the Volvo system
Back in 1994, Volvo was the first truck maker in Europe to launch its own system for transport information and now more than 35,000 trucks have been fitted with the system. Todays Web-based version, Dynafleet Online, was launched in 2003 and more than 10,000 trucks subscribe online to the services available. As of 2008, Dynafleet Online has been expanded with a range of new functions:
Temperature logging: Makes it possible to monitor the loads temperature, an important feature in order to be able to ensure the quality of refrigerated food. Driver coaching: Helps the driver to drive more economically. Connection to navigation tool: Permits automatic route planning for the driver. Connection possibilities in the cab: Data regarding the vehicle and driver can also be transferred to other electronic tools such as palmtops or laptops. This gives haulage firms even greater scope for individually tailoring their own applications so as to improve the efficiency of the entire transport chain.
User-friendly and profitable for the customers
With Dynafleet Online our customers can in a simple and user-friendly way meet emerging legal requirements and at the same time create the preconditions for increased profitability, says Per-Anders Grsfjeld. The fact that demand is now increasing quickly throughout Europe is clear evidence that we are right on track.