Fleet Analytics Change the Way Carriers, Truckstops Operate


Photo credit: Brittany Palmer/NATSO

Today’s fleets have information coming at them from all direc­tions. Engine sensors, telematics devices and electronic logging devic­es are transmitting data in real time, and a growing number of fleets are analyzing that information to obtain value. What they find could change the way truckstop and travel plaza operators do business, according to those within the industry.

“When you talk about fleet analyt­ics, the range of what fleets are using in terms of analytics range from JB Hunt’s announcement that they’ll be spending $500 million over the next five years, much of it in analytics, at the top end to the small fleet that will probably be pushed into it either by government regulation or what their customer, the shipper, demands that they do,” said Roger Cole, a former NATSO chairman and editor of NATSO’s Biz Brief.

Brian Larwig, vice president of business intelligence and optimiza­tion, at TMW Systems, said fleets look at analytics to evaluate their operational status as well as their revenue and expenses. “They do that through thousands of different met­rics,” he said, adding that carriers can look at revenue by lane and customer. “The other side is using analytics to drive the business forward and use it predictively. They’re looking at trends over time.”

Mike Lombardi, recently retired executive vice president for sales for TA, said some fleets are incorporat­ing data from engine and powertrain sensors into the ELD so all the infor­mation is transmitted together, giving fleets a window into the truck and the engine. “They know what is happen­ing in real time and they don’t have to wait to run the data,” he said.

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Mindy Long's photo

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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