In the world of fleet management, there are two big jobs. The first is to maximize the amount of time a fleet driver spends on the road with a fully loaded trailer. The second is maintaining visibility of fleet assets.
If a driver leaves the dock, drives 700 kilometers to make a delivery, off-loads their trailer, then returns with an empty load, inefficiencies abound. If fleets can’t be monitored, drivers could take inefficient routes, spend too long idling at one location or arrive at a depot unexpectedly, catching unloading crews unaware.
Based in southern India, WowTruck, a logistics firm tracking tens of thousands of vehicles, knew there was room for improvement. So, the company that delivers goods for the likes of Amazon, Unilever, Britannia, and Samsung, introduced an app to help maximize trailer loading and enhance fleet asset tracking.
WowTruck recognized how critical location is to its business, so when deciding on a location data provider for its new app, WowTruck turned to TomTom.
Let’s look at how the WowTruck app used vehicle location insights to improve driver safety, reduce CO2 emissions and improve cost efficiency.
WowTruck has become known as a leader in connecting shippers (i.e., Amazon) to carriers (i.e., independent truck drivers), striving for a great delivery experience with maximum efficiency. They’ve developed B2C and B2B solutions for the fleet management industry.
For its consumer customers, WowTruck has implemented a convenient app that can be used to schedule and book a pickup. For example, an individual who’s rented a new apartment wants to hire a truck to move their belongings to their new home. That individual would open the WowTruck app and enter their current and destination addresses and request a pickup.
On the backend, there could be multiple trucks nearby also using the app. Each of those truck drivers will see the individual’s request. One driver will accept the job based on location and price. The app then shows the individual’s location on a map. The driver is routed to the pickup point, loads the goods, and uses the WowTruck app to efficiently route to the destination.
From a business-to-business (B2B) side, the WowTruck app connects shippers to carriers or drivers. The company also maintains a call center that supports the driver on their way. Understanding the challenges of asset visibility, WowTruck designed its system to include business critical use cases:
Early notification – When a truck is close to its destination, the WowTruck system triggers an alert to a supervisor. In turn, loading staff are notified to prepare to load or unload the trailer.
Idle alert – Notifies the call center when a truck has not moved for a specific period. The call center representative can contact the driver to verify that there’s not an issue with the delivery.
Dynamic ETA – By using real-time location data, an estimated time of arrival (ETA) alert is sent to the customer for the estimated pickup/drop off time. This is a vast improvement over the previous “as the crow-flies” (i.e., straight line) calculation which used the fixed speed of trucks.
Best route calculation – An algorithm sends the driver the fastest, safest and most efficient route to the destination.
To find the best location technology provider for its needs, WowTruck conducted several proof-of-concept studies, on both mobile and web interfaces using PHP and React JS. The company checked the accuracy of waypoints, the reverse geocoder and route efficiency.
Following detailed analysis, TomTom came out on top. WowTruck compared various Maps APIs and found that the TomTom Routing API is more flexible and extensive in terms of parameters. This translates to superior fastest route calculations, making it more suitable for trucking applications. Truck routing is very different than vehicle routing, where turning radius, vehicle dimension, weight and cargo type (i.e., HAZMAT) must be considered. The TomTom Routing API is purpose-built for the specific challenges associated with routing large fleet vehicles, a true differentiator for fleet management software companies and fleet managers.
In addition to technology, WowTruck evaluated non-technical considerations. The TomTom pricing model offers certainty and complete control over spending, reducing the impact on unplanned surprises. WowTruck was also impressed with how TomTom demonstrated the qualities of a trusted partner by offering access to technical resources and providing early access to beta products for testing.
Joseph Stervin, CTO at WowTruck says, “The TomTom price model helped us to realize a 68% reduction in our costs. We also really appreciate how TomTom gave us early access to their innovative beta products so that we could test them against our various use cases. Their pricing and flexibility are a true differentiator for us.” Stervin added, “Their APIs are extensive, robust and easy to implement”.
Using TomTom’s technology, WowTruck has found ways to develop its business and overcome the two main challenges of logistics and excel at each. They are moving tens of thousands of vehicles throughout southern India and tracking them safely and efficiently every step of the way.
“Our innovation is what sets us apart. Our customers have come to rely on our precision and safety record. Knowing the location of our fleet assets has been fundamental, and our use of TomTom data has helped set us above the rest,” says Joseph Stervin, CTO at WowTruck.