07 December 2020
Route planning to mitigate bad
As a nation that loves to discuss the
weather, it’s a good thing we get plenty worth talking about. In the past few
years alone, the UK has faced severe winter flooding – particularly in
Yorkshire and the Midlands, extreme heatwaves and the infamous ‘Beast from the
East’; the snowstorm that froze much of the country in February 2018.
For logistics businesses who rely on using
the nation’s roads, such weather can be particularly impactful. Flash flooding,
black ice and snow, and even melting motorways can all cause significant road
delays and leave fleet managers with a delivery backlog and list of unhappy
While it’s not possible to predict every
weather abnormality or even to avoid them when they are forecast, bad weather
doesn’t have to throw a logistics operation into disarray.
Here’s how route
planning software can help fleet managers mitigate bad weather, as part of a
feature-rich Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD) system.
Watch your fleet in action and reroute on the fly
Route planning applications work best when
integrated with vehicle tracking
functionality, enabling not only the most efficient routes for a set of
drops, but live locations for each vehicle in the field for the team back at
Within PODStar, Touchstar’s EPOD solution, the route planning and
vehicle tracking capabilities work in tandem, which allows you to monitor real-time
driver progress against their planned routes as it happens.
This means that if unexpected weather
conditions are due to occur, or are already affecting traffic further along on
your driver’s planned routes, you can turn to dynamic route optimisation.
enough warning, you can act as your drivers’ eyes and ears, contacting them via
their PODStar connected mobile device and sending a new route that bypasses the
Route plan for a rainy day
Every logistics operation will have
motorways and roads it uses more than any others; the ones that will result in
the biggest delays if adverse weather slows them down.
It’s a good idea to have
contingency plans in place in the event that these routes are ever temporarily
unusable, this way the consequences of any sudden weather challenges shouldn’t
be as severe.
For example, you can use route planning
software to model likely scenarios if certain roads were to close or depots
were to be cut off, or even just if average road speeds were forced to slow in
various areas. How would these situations affect your fleet, its resources and
delivery schedule? Running through the probable knock-on effects can give you
the tools you need to keep operations going without interruption.
Empower your customers with live delivery information
Customers waiting on a delivery should
understand if extreme weather impacts your ability to reach them, but they
won’t tolerate being left in the dark. While contacting your customers to
inform them of any delay is an essential measure, enabling them to be able to
check for themselves is an extra win-win for them and your business.
With PODStar, your clients each have access
to a dedicated customer portal of their own, where they can view delivery
progress and dynamic ETAs via the system’s vehicle tracking system, as well as
place new orders and review old ones. This ability gives them autonomy without
having to pick up the phone, while your customer services team regain the time
otherwise spent making delivery updates.
Bad weather delays are always a
possibility, but they needn’t spell disaster for your logistics operation. EPOD
technology allows fleet managers to adapt quickly to unexpected complications,
keeping lost time and extra operational costs to a minimum. Find out more about
PODStar’s route planning capabilities by getting in touch with us today.