One of the least heard about improvements in Quebec transportation services over the past decade has been the use of GPS. Global positioning systems, often abbreviated as GPS, are now equipped on almost every truck in the transportation and logistics industry. Most people assume GPS is only used to prevent losing a truck, but in fact, there are many reasons why this simple change to the industry is benefiting everyone involved.
Adding GPS to a truck is relatively inexpensive, and operating them monthly costs even less. Of course, large freight companies with numerous vehicles have a pretty big initial investment to get started, but once all the trucks are set up, the benefits come rolling in almost immediately. For this reason the practice has become almost universal in the industry, not just in Quebec or Canada, but in just about every major industrialized country with complicated transportation and logistics networks.
Not losing a truck is great, but the investment pays off in much bigger ways over time. To start, vehicles are utilized in much more effective ways. Routes can be thoroughly examined to minimize wasted time. Truckers almost never have to worry about getting lost and losing valuable time. Further, the fuel costs associated with lost drivers and longer than necessary routes are entirely eliminated. Constant fluctuations, and often increasing, fuel prices means companies are looking for cost savings wherever they can get them, and GPS truly lowers overall fuel use. Satellite communication systems, when used by both drivers and dispatchers, mean the best routes, no lost time, and less fuel consumption.
With these greater efficiencies, dispatch and clerical expenses can be greatly reduced. Even better, dispatchers and clerical staff can spend time on more valuable tasks rather than conducting crisis management. It wasn’t long ago that these employees had the difficult task of coordinating with lost drivers or dealing with angry customers because a truck took the longest possible route. GPS allows dispatchers to work on their actual jobs and not as mediators because of an easily avoided error.
Even with dispatchers and clerical staff having to work fewer hours, and work more efficiently, truckers using GPS are able to routinely make better on-time deliveries. Part of the reason for this involves faster updates concerning reroutes, the ability to track those reroutes faster and more advanced notice concerning road delays or necessary detours. All of this means much better supply chain management for companies, and much greater efficiency and profitability for freight brokerages. A truck operator will also never complain about getting to a destination faster, or avoiding that big delay on a highway.
Global positioning systems are a great advancement in the technology of freight transport, and transportation companies in Quebec have been happy to be part of it. When a technology benefits every employee, from clerical staff and dispatchers to truck operators, when it makes for happier consumers like small businesses all over Canada, and it allows for a more efficient and profitable industry, then it’s no surprise that technology is here to stay.