3 Key Factors for Efficiently Managing Trailer Utilization
By SkyBitz • Published March 26, 2020 • 4 minute read
The Need for Smarter Fleet Management
With over 7 million trailers across the nation, a number expected to grow by almost 10% over the next five years, how do fleet managers keep up with the ever-changing landscape & growing customer demands?
Managers need to analyze day-to-day fleet productivity quickly. However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed in today’s data-driven world, with so many metrics available to them. The key to maximizing uptime and profits is knowing how to turn that data into timely, easily consumable information so the appropriate business manager can increase productivity in their area of the organization.
1. Real-Time Visibility Equals Actionable Trailer Data
More and more companies are turning to connected technologies to track and monitor their trailers. Using smart sensors and asset management software connects fleet owners with their remote assets and provides explicitly vital trailer information such as customer location, exact location in the yard, dormancy data, and load capacity status.
Location of Available Trailers for Dispatch
The first critical piece of information dispatchers seek is the location of their trailers and which driver can be allocated to them that day. SkyBitz provides utilization and dormancy graphs and maps that show how long trailers have been sitting in the yard. Knowing exactly where an available trailer is can make a big difference in margins, especially when trying to respond to immediate customer demands. GPS tracking combined with geofence features provides a visual map of trailers, allowing dispatchers the ability to quickly find trailer location & status at multiple landmarks all at one time.
2. Reducing Driver Misses in the Yard Using Volumetric Sensors
The second critical factor for optimizing trailer utilization is knowing the capacity of trailers. Drivers are the heartbeat of this business, and ensuring they arrive at the yard to pick up a road-ready trailer is critical. SkyBitz uses volumetric sensor technology to provide fleet managers with information on the actual load inside the trailer. Equipped with an advanced camera that provides brilliantly clear images, the solution provides accurate volumetric calculations for total cubic space as well as entire floor space.
Images of the freight and any volumetric data are captured and viewable through the SkyBitz asset tracking portal, InSight, along with other contextual telematics data. Images can be obtained based on the door sensor trigger, either on-demand or via a user-defined parameter through the portal and are available for use in transport management systems (TMS) from the SkyBitz cloud, or by importing the actual images into the customers’ system.
3. Manage Detention Billing
The third critical factor for optimizing trailer utilization is identifying which trailers have been sitting at a location underutilized. With SkyBitz data, fleet managers can distinguish between trailers still in free time, and which have entered into detention. The software integrates with TMS/ERP systems and provides visuals of available trailer pools and access to analytics that allow organizations to reduce expenses by not exceeding the number of trailers needed at a facility and repositioning the underutilized assets. It’s important to be aware of which trailers are empty or loaded and identify outliers for under or over-utilization.
To recap, the key to the effective use of trailer data is to package information in ways that make it relevant and actionable for the myriad of people that keep your operation running smoothly. Proper asset utilization affects everyone from the drivers and dispatch to accounting and customer service teams. Understanding and utilizing the actionable data will ensure that fleet companies optimize business practices for efficiency, driver retention, growth, and profitability.