Trip planning has always been an essential part of the trucking industry. As software becomes more advanced, truckers can plan out trips to not only fins the most efficient routes, but also find the best prices on fuel along the way. However, even small inaccuracies in trip planning software can result in major costs and penalties for both drivers and fleets.
Lost Time and Extra Miles
Trip planning software doesn’t always have the most accurate or up-to-date information. Roads close for various reasons. New buildings and houses go up, which can reconfigure addresses and change maps entirely. While this isn’t much of a concern on big stretches along highways, once truckers get into more granular maps in cities and suburban neighborhoods, things can get a little chaotic. Poor map data forces drivers to re-route their trips on the fly, which leads to wasted time and extra miles. The result is late deliveries, higher fuel use, and that adds up to major costs to fleets and many adjustments on the logistics side. Data has shown that truck drivers are burning through over $600 million in extra miles due to inaccurate maps used for trip planning, with more than 20% of drivers reporting an extra 15-25 miles per day.
Penalties and Fines
In addition to the costs of fuel and logistics, there are legal penalties that come with inaccurate map data. Parking still remains a crucial issue for truckers, and bad map data can lead to fines and traffic tickets. Over 30 percent of drivers have reported receiving more than eight traffic tickets due to incorrect information on their maps. Relating to the above points of incorrect roads and addresses on maps, and how that can throw off a shipping schedule, the consequences can be even more severe. Truckers can find themselves placed out of service for traffic violations or running over mandated hours to make up lost time and miles.
Trip Planning Is Becoming More Important
As e-commerce grows, carriers that offer “last mile” services are going to need better trip planning software with near real-time information in order to keep supply chains moving. As things stand now, there are very real – and costly – repercussions to the inefficiencies of current trip planning methods.