Time and fuel are the key variables of profit or loss in freight transportation. Any minute or gallon wasted on non-revenue-producing activities will quickly erode already thin load margins.
Custom mobile apps have become a powerful tool for carriers to preserve profits on every load. As a custom mobile app developer, Eleos Technologies helps carriers of all sizes create driver-friendly tools that save time and improve fuel efficiency, among other valuable benefits.
This blog explores how top fleets use custom apps to maximize time and fuel savings.
The Fuel Efficiency Advantage
Next to driver pay, fuel is the highest expense, accounting for roughly 40% of truckload operating costs per mile, according to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). Surprisingly, the Technology Maintenance Council (TMC) found a 35% disparity between the most fuel-efficient driver and the least in a fleet. In other words, the least efficient driver will use nearly a third more fuel than the most efficient driver under the same conditions.
Custom apps can make drivers aware of fuel performance issues to self-correct their behaviors by providing immediate feedback through real-time integrations with vehicle telematics platforms. Whether inside or outside the cab, drivers can review and compare fuel consumption patterns with their peers to identify areas where they can improve and see immediate results.
Additionally, fleets can gamify fuel efficiency by creating an incentive program using the compiled data to create attainable benchmarks that drivers can strive to achieve. Drivers can easily track their metrics on behaviors such as engine idling, sudden acceleration and deceleration, and speeding, through their custom app and know where they stand in the incentive program, all while saving fleets money on every load.
Besides using a data-driven approach to reduce fuel costs, motor carriers can save money by using trip planning features in custom apps to help drivers find the best locations to buy fuel.
Knight-Swift has realized fuel efficiencies by using its custom driver app, developed with Eleos Technologies, to maximize driver route compliance for reducing fuel cost and waste. The Phoenix-based company uses an intelligent trip planner in its app, enabling drivers to choose route options that satisfy company policies for in-network fueling, out-of-route mileage, and compliance with hours-of-service (HOS) rules. As a result, the nation’s largest truckload fleet has seen driver satisfaction increase while netting significant fuel and mileage savings.
Optimizing Asset Utilization
Asset utilization is another key driver of load profitability. With custom mobile apps, fleets can better plan and execute loads by combining all pertinent trip planning information and resources into a unified driver interface.
Custom apps eliminate communication delays and planning errors with drivers by using real-time integrations with ELDs, asset tracking, and transportation management systems (TMS). Better visibility and communications enable carriers to optimize resources and proactively make adjustments, as needed, to ensure loads are safely delivered on time.
Using geofencing technology with a custom app, for instance, allows carriers to set rules for specific locations, such as prompting drivers to complete a customer-specific form when they arrive to load or unload. Additionally, fleets can use geofencing to automatically update arrival and departure times to recalculate ETAs and future load plans.
Fleets that use custom apps can provide drivers with access to detailed route, trailer, and load information, including traffic updates and alternative routes, to help them make informed decisions that increase on-time performance, safety, and job satisfaction.
NAPA Transportation offers a great example of improving asset utilization with a custom driver app. The company’s app, created with Eleos Technologies, has a “find my trailer” feature that gives drivers the location of assigned trailers with near-pinpoint accuracy.
Drivers simply click a button to find their trailer when at a customer facility and go to the equipment’s exact location rather than drive around a drop lot to find a trailer number. The company estimates this feature saves drivers up to 30 minutes daily at large distribution centers.
Streamlining Communication and Collaboration
Custom apps can be a centralized platform to facilitate seamless communication between drivers, dispatchers, and company departments. Fleets can use integrated features such as real-time messaging, workflows, and delivery updates to make everyone more efficient and reduce the risks of miscommunication.
For example, Groendyke Transport built a communication system on its custom app that allows fleet administrators to send text and video messages to drivers. The fleet regularly sends a short video called the “GTI Mobile Minute” to drivers, delivered via the app, that covers new items they want employees to know about. This constant communication helps drivers feel more connected to the company and has improved retention.
Enhance Efficiency Thanks to Custom Driver Apps
Continuously improving fuel efficiency and asset utilization is vital for long-term success in the competitive transportation landscape. Eleos Technologies has made it easy and affordable for fleets to develop custom mobile apps using pre-built components and integrations that can be easily tailored to their specific needs.
Our customers are achieving operational excellence, reducing costs, and driving sustainable growth by embracing innovative mobile solutions. Contact us to see how a custom app can put you ahead of the competition today.
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