Surefreight is one of the leading logistics companies operating between Britain, Ireland and Europe. The company has been operating a large fleet of vehicles and warehousing facilities from their depots in Newry, Bradford and Cardiff since 1989, where they provide a range of haulage, storage and distribution services. The company operates a mixed fleet of 112 vehicles comprising DAFs, Scanias and Volvos.
Operating such a large and varied fleet, travelling thousands of miles per week, results in extremely high fuel costs and Frances Fields, General Manager of Surefreight, took on the challenge of trying to reduce these costs. The company needed a solution that could track the precise location of their vehicles at any given time and reduce operating costs, especially fuel costs, explains Ms Fields.
Initially, Surefreight began working with CMS SupaTrak on a trial basis fitting a number of their vehicles with the award-winning EcoTrak fuel saving technology. During the trial period, CMS SupaTrak worked closely with Surefreight, listening to their requirements and imparting vital industry knowledge, learned through the extensive research and development stages of EcoTrak, to ensure the successful management of the trial.
When the trial first began, the average MPG being achieved by the fleet was 6.9 MPG. Across a mixed fleet, such as Surefreights, this is not too far from an identifiable industry average. However, by monitoring and managing driver behaviour and identifying drivers with less efficient performance, and addressing them where necessary, EcoTrak customers across the UK and Ireland are increasing their average MPG by on average, 1 MPG. Frances Fields explains that its not a question of training our drivers, our drivers know how to drive to reduce fuel consumption, we just needed a tool to allow us to monitor and manager their driving styles. EcoTrak gives us this without the need for costly driver training courses.
By the end of the trial period, the average MPG being achieved across the fleet was 8.0 MPG. This increase equates to an annual fuel cost saving of over 300,000, after the cost of implementing the EcoTrak solution.
After considering a number of other solutions available, including EcoTrak, Surefreight chose to have EcoTrak installed across their entire fleet of vehicles.
The performance of the vehicles, and their drivers, can be established using the EcoTrak reporting suite a comprehensive fleet management tool which can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection, 24 hours a day. As well having instant access to the whereabouts of each vehicle using the mapping system, a number of intelligent reports can be run showing a number of vital vehicle management parameters, including the real-time MPG being achieved by each vehicle, the percentage of time a vehicle spent in cruise control, the percentage of time a vehicle was driven in green band range and instances of engine idling. Ms Fields recalls numerous occasions when she has rung a driver after seeing his performance on EcoTrak and been greeted by a guilty sounding voice saying dont worry.I already have it in cruise control.
Using the EcoTrak reports, Surefreight analysed their drivers behaviours to identify instances of poor performance and ascertain drivers who were persistent offenders. The EcoTrak MPG League Table Report, graphically maps each drivers performance against the expected target MPG.
In addition to the significant fuel savings that are being achieved by Surefreight, other areas of the business are also benefiting from the EcoTrak solution. Surefreight are actively using the systems reporting capabilities to facilitate timesheet management. Timesheet reports can be set to arrive in a nominated email inbox at an allocated time perhaps weekly or monthly to document drivers hours worked. This negates the need for time consuming manual timesheet administration, which can be a costly burden.
In addition to the EcoTrak fuel saving technology, which has been used successfully by Surefreight since summer 2008, EcoTrak+ economy engine remapping is now being trialled, which is expected to bring further fuel savings of up to 10%.