People who are active in the sectors of transport, shipment and logistics are often searching for solutions which would increase their company's profitability. It is worth looking at the methods they use. The condition of this branch may impact the entire national economy.
According to the data of the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS) from 2015, the contribution of transport in the Polish GDP is 10%1, and the amount of people employed in this sector is approximately 500k2.
Moreover, for the past five years the branch grew dynamically. At that time, more than 40k new transport companies were created, and the national transporters gained the position as the European Union leaders; due to servicing approximately 25% of the market (according to some estimations). This sector's annual value is more than 40 billion PLN. Each change in this sector more or less directly touches every consumer in Poland. For example, in the reflection of the prices of trading products.
Let's look at the methods used by the transport branch in order to search for reasonable savings. New technologies, which are used by the transport sector, have been developing intensively for many years. Moreover, the companies from this sector are more willing to convert to telematics. Telematics are systems which gather and analyze data concerning the daily functioning of the equipment used. - I would never seek savings on equipping the vehicles or in IT, because those are crucial matters in the company's activity – explains Pawel Czerwinski, owner of CeDeTrans shipment company.
What are the most popular telematic tools? One of the most common and basic is the GPS locator. Studies conducted by a producer of similar devices, indicated that due to a consistent monitoring of cars from one fleet and automatic suggestions of the most advantageous routes, company owners were able to reduce the use of vehicles by approximately 5% year on year. This means a lesser use of equipment, and fewer expenses on check-ups and vehicle parts. In the cases of companies that own between five and fifteen cars in their fleet, the savings counts into the tens of thousands of PLN per year. The solutions of this type are, for example, Optitrack made by Ruptela, and Truck4U by Trimble.
Another set of interesting telematic tools contains devices which decrease the use of fuel in company cars by monitoring and regulating the driving style of particular drivers. According to estimations, the cost of fuel is approximately 30% of transport fleets' operating costs. Even minor savings in this sphere may appear significant in the scale of the entire company. A good example is Driver Coach made by the Astrata company. This device, which is installed in the driver's cabin, analyzes the style of driving in real-time. It displays the data on the monitor and sends aggregated data to the company. This allows the company to monitor how the vehicle is used, and correct the possible errors immediately.
Since we are talking about displaying the announcements to the driver, it is worth mentioning that courses for drivers have a significant impact on a smarter use of the equipment. A good example of an intelligent coaching system is a telematic device made by Lightfoot company. On the contrary to the most common tracking devices, the announcements played by this gadget are heard by the driver only3. This allows the driver to improve his driving style, before the company is informed about the errors. However, if the driver makes the same mistake three times, the report will be sent to the company, regardless. This is a good example on how to introduce a “soft” training techniques, and on how to use the new technologies for building the feeling of trust and of employees' independent responsibility for the equipment.
Telematics is not the only thing that can create savings in transport. - The internet gives many other possibilities. For example, I search for savings in online currency exchange. On one hand, I have clients all over Europe and I settle with them in different currencies. On the other hand, many costs related to the company's activity, for example check-ups of vehicles and salaries, are settled in zlotys. A favorable currency exchange rate is very significant – adds Pawel Czerwinski. For example, by exchanging fifty thousand euro via Cinkciarz.pl, you can save 11.4 thousand zloty* in comparison to the exchange rates offered by banks.
* Exchange rates as given on 13.04.2016
2T. Wilk: Biezaca sytuacja w transporcie drogowym w Europie. Samociazek, 30.06.2015