Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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Forecasted profits: The benefits of making extreme weather integral to fleet safety

A successful business will look for any way in which to distinguish itself from the competition. For fleet companies, these differentiators have been numerous over the years.

Before road transport became gridlocked with emissions targets and air quality rules, fleets could sell themselves on their personal courier service, their speed of transportation or their ability to meet tight deadlines. Latterly, the war has been fought in terms of efficiency, with the fleets that can make the most of their diesel offering the lowest prices in an era when transport costs continue to rise.

Whatever the differentiators, safety has always been a pillar of the fleet industry - after all, there’s no point promising customers a fast or sustainable service if the package arrives scuffed and broken as a result of a slight mishap on the M25.

However, safety itself could now be the new competitive advantage that fleets can offer to position themselves above their rivals. This winter has seen some of the worst weather conditions in living memory, indeed some of the worst on record. By and large, the fleet industry coped well on roads that were often flooded and with routes that needed multiple diversions.

Customers are aware of the issues with the weather and looked sympathetically on missed deadlines, cancelled services and late deliveries. However, sympathy could soon wear thin, if the extreme weather many people thought was just a blip – a short-term nuisance – became the norm.

Meteorological experts have identified changing weather patterns across the world and scientists and ministers believe the onset of global warming will make floods and other extreme conditions become more prevalent in the future.

If fleets can equip themselves to perform better than their competition during these adverse weather events, their reputational stock is likely to rise and more business will follow as a result.

For example, operators that invest in fleet management protocols that not only inform drivers of the safest way to behave on icy roads, but check they’re putting this knowledge into practice via telematics systems, can lower the number of working days lost to driver injury.

Or what about a delivery company equipped with advanced GPS? It can let its drivers know of potential traffic caused by a blown-over tree well in advance of the first brake lights and division sign, allowing them to recalculate a quicker, more efficient route to their destination.

Freezing temperatures can expedite the time it takes for small defects to result in huge vehicle maintenance issues, so companies looking for a new competitive advantage need to ensure their HGVs, LCVS and buses do not have even the smallest defects. This will mean the whole fleet can stay on the road with more business being taken, not to mention the small matter of lower mechanical repair bills and reduced capital expenditure.

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