If you’ve received a package at your home or office recently, you probably didn’t give much thought to how it got there. You’re just glad that book or set of dishes you ordered online showed up when the company said it would, unlike the guessing game of old. Companies in the delivery business have refined their processes to a considerable degree, using wireless technology to impressively improve their efficiencies and customer service, save considerable amounts of money and importantly, reduce their environmental footprint.
Watch UPS Move Millions of Packages with Wireless
It’s estimated that UPS and FedEx handle more than 20 million packages every day In the U.S. Much of that is done through long-haul trucking, which has a substantial impact on the environment. According to a report produced by the environmental consultant group, BSR, transportation sources accounted for about 40 per cent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2006. Those same trucks are also massive users of fuel, consuming about two-thirds of all truck fuel, or about 1.5 million barrels of fuel a day.
Wireless technology is allowing delivery companies to reduce their emissions and save fuel in numerous ways. Routes are being perpetually optimized, as fleet managers are now privy to real-time data that indicates situations such as unexpected traffic jams or hazardous road conditions, and adjust their fleets accordingly. Fleet management wireless software also provides them information to use reverse logistics. For example, conditions might prevent a truck from delivering its goods according to schedule. However, wireless data can inform a dispatcher of that problem, who could conceivably locate another vehicle in the area with available load capacity to assist.
Engine idling and “out-of-route” miles, which are miles incurred by driver mistakes, can also be substantial and eliminating or reducing both can have immense positive effects. A study by the Environmental Protection Agency shows that remote monitoring of engine idling, which is now being conducted wirelessly, and driver education on the wasteful practice could lead to a reduction of more than 23 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and nearly $9 billion in fuel costs. Research also shows “out-of-route” miles could account for as much as 10 per cent of a driver’s annual mileage, and that wireless systems used to avoid such problems could save as much as 13 MT CO2 and almost $5 billion in fuel costs.
Other examples of wireless at work to save money, time, and the environment in the delivery industry are on-board telemetric monitoring systems that communicate data from machine-to-machine (M2M). M2M telemetrics can measure driving performance indicators such as CO2 emissions, fuel efficiency, braking behavior, miles driven, speed, and even tire pressure. When evaluated in total, this wirelessly-enabled data can help companies determine appropriate measures to take to improve the efficiency of their vehicles and their drivers.
Companies are also using mobile technology to improve customer service. Consumers are now able to track their deliveries in real-time, and make adjustments on the fly to change delivery locations or times.
The U.S. transport industry is benefiting from incorporating wireless into its business on numerous fronts. It’s improving its fleet management capabilities, which lead to smarter and more efficient operations. It’s also reducing costs and environmental effects, and improving customer service. Yet, there’s still significant room for even greater returns, potential on which the innovative wireless industry will assuredly deliver.
Watch more segments highlighting the benefits of wireless communication, on topics such as urban parking, environmental monitoring, smart water management and more.