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SmartTrans puts trucks on track

TRUCKING companies now have a tool that can save them up to 20 per cent of their transport costs.

WA-based SmartTrans’ system works out the best order for deliveries and the most efficient route for the drivers to take.

SmartTrans operations manager Bryan Carr said the system was programmed with the speed limits on all roads and where there were no right turns.

The system uses road data collected by Telstra for the in-car navigation system being developed by BMW.

Mr Carr said the system took into account travel times, when goods had to be

delivered, the time needed to make a delivery, driver employment conditions and special needs such as vehicle clearance heights and special lifting arrangements.

“It even takes into account a relationship a particular driver may have built with a customer that the company wants to foster,” he said.

The company also has a global positioning

-based system which can track each vehicle in a fleet.

When coupled with the route planning software, it not only tells a dispatcher where a given vehicle is but where it should be.

Mr Carr said the system made it easy for managers to quantify what their delivery fleet cost them – beneficial for both day-to-day management and for preparing tenders.

SmartTrans managing director Ron Heeks said the company’s system was currently being used by Harvey Fresh in the South West and Armaguard in Melbourne.

Mr Heeks said Australian transport costs ranged from $18 billion to $33 billion, depending on which reports you believed.

“We’re looking to save 20 per cent of that,” he said.

Mr Heeks said the software cost $15,700 and the Telstra road data needed to run it a further $17,000.

“The road data cost is a bit of a bugbear with us. In the US, road data is available for free,” he said.

Mr Heeks said a company running a fleet of around twenty trucks and gleaning only a 5 per cent transport saving from the system could redeem its cost in just eighteen weeks.

He said the company’s planned to sell the technology over the Internet, either through subscriptions or on a pay-per-use basis.

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