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Ekim Saribardak

Operations

How To Transport Delicate Goods Safely With Fleet Management Systems

Businesses no longer have to rely on manual inspections or crude monitoring options to ensure cargo integrity

Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - 12:03

Transporting cargo over long distances has always been a logistical nightmare, but when the goods are of a delicate nature, the whole operation becomes significantly more challenging. Perishable foods, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, and other delicate goods all need special treatment during transportation to keep them in optimal condition; in many cases, constant monitoring of the cargo’s temperature is necessary to ensure its integrity until delivery.

Luckily, thanks to the technological advances of the last two decades, logistics companies no longer have to rely on rudimentary methods such as manually inspecting the cargo hold, which used to be a cause of excess downtime and loss of productivity, and wasn’t particularly reliable.

The advent of GPS tracking systems and IoT technology has been groundbreaking for fleet and delivery businesses. The ever-increasing demand from markets and consumers for better quality products has led to the development of sophisticated fleet management systems that offer myriad tools to streamline fleet operations, including optimized route planning, real-time delivery information, remote temperature monitoring and control, and vehicle health data. This information is crucial in the decision-making process for managers and can help companies improve their maintenance schedules while lowering operational costs.

With its superior connectivity, IoT technology provides the tools to transmit vast amounts of data quickly. Regardless of their size and nature, you can be sure all shipments will arrive at their destination on time and in perfect condition, which would have been considered nothing short of a miracle a few decades ago.

Save money and prevent hazards

Companies must be extremely careful when handling perishable products and chemicals. Owing to the delicate physical or chemical nature of these goods, the methods used to transport them should be chosen carefully. Constant monitoring is crucial because even the slightest increase in temperature can lead to deterioration or considerable loss of product quality, and negatively affect revenue. A great example of this is that most vaccines become unusable when left at room temperature for more than an hour, meaning that a simple malfunction in the cargo hold could spoil an entire shipment worth many thousands of dollars. Technological advances in the fields of IoT and GPS have resulted in vehicle-tracking devices with precision sensors that can report even the slightest change in temperature in real-time, allowing any problems to be identified and fixed or the cargo to be transferred to another vehicle before a loss of quality occurs.

Improved operations

Complex delivery operations involving delicate cargo can end in unintended downtime and loss of productivity if not coordinated properly, and unfortunately, many fleet businesses employ supervision practices that are inadequate when it comes to disruptions and unexpected issues. Advanced fleet management systems offer a wide range of prominent tools to help logistics companies overcome these daily challenges. Best vehicle GPS trackers on the market provide greater visibility and near-instant updates about goods throughout the delivery process. This gives field managers a high level of coordination and information flow, allowing them to optimize delivery routes, make last-minute adjustments to operations, and prevent any delays.

In addition, remote temperature monitoring grants real-time access to the condition of the cargo hold, which is critical for managing the transportation of food and other perishable goods. With optimized operations and the ability to fix issues that arise during transport, businesses can significantly increase their productivity and deliver more cargo on a daily basis.

Continuous data recording

To improve the quality of service and learn from previous mistakes, businesses need to collect and analyze data about their shipments. The precision sensors on board GPS tracking devices gather detailed information about cargo temperature, the vehicle location, and diagnostics data during transport, which is transmitted and stored on remote data servers for a set amount of time. Fleet managers can access this information on demand and generate delivery and temperature logs.

As well as being used to improve future shipments, these logs can be used as proofs of service, which are demanded by all types of businesses. What’s more, detailed logs can quickly resolve disputes over ruined shipments that could otherwise lead to long and costly legal proceedings.

Industry compliance

Perishable foods, pharmaceuticals, and other chemical products are exposed to many dangers during transportation, making the distribution of these goods arguably as important as their manufacture. IoT-enabled sensors can report changes at set intervals to help businesses achieve and maintain regulatory compliance. Regulations differ based on the industry, but the sensor data can be used to accommodate for the changes per cargo. Field managers can integrate the sensor data into their systems to ensure continuous monitoring and automated compliance.

Engine diagnostics data

All modern-day vehicles store a huge amount of engine diagnostics data on an onboard computer known as the engine control unit. The engine control unit processes data from various sensors and inputs, and ultimately controls all engine functions. Vehicle tracking devices that fit into on-board diagnostics-II ports are uniquely equipped to access and retrieve engine control unit data. This is invaluable for companies that operate a vehicle fleet for transporting delicate goods because anyone with access to the tracking server can monitor and observe the vitals of the vehicle in depth, including the fuel level, engine load, and vehicle malfunctions. Managers can detect broken-down vehicles and those in need of repair, company trucks that consume more fuel than others, and irresponsible drivers.

Conclusion

There’s little room for error when transporting perishable goods because a simple oversight in temperature settings or a malfunctioning cargo hold could result in losses worth many thousands of dollars. Thankfully, businesses no longer have to rely on manual inspections or crude monitoring options to ensure their cargo’s integrity; fleet management systems have become so advanced that not only can fleet managers use them to optimize delivery routes and lower operational costs, they can also observe the condition of a vehicle and the temperature of its cargo hold as if they were there in person, thus guaranteeing the shipment will arrive at its destination in perfect condition.

Regardless of the nature of the cargo, having instant access to actionable data allows managers to make informed decisions and ultimately execute seamless logistics operations.

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About The Author

Ekim Saribardak’s picture

Ekim Saribardak

Ekim Saribardak is CTO at Rewire Security, and a highly motivated IT professional who possesses a never-ending love and passion for web application and software projects. He is experienced with technical knowledge in all areas of telecommunications, GPS technology, web applications, digital marketing, and product management. He has an aptitude for problem-solving and decision-making with the ability to influence others in complex and pressurized circumstances. He has been a technology geek since 1990, starting from the moment he first had his hands on a computer. Since then, he has been researching and studying anything related to computers, fascinated with the way computers are changing everyday life. He has worked in both hardware and software fields for different businesses for more than two decades.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ekim-saribardak-20816a4aBlog: https://www.rewiresecurity.co.uk/blog/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/baaluo