Delivery vehicle tracking has revolutionized the delivery industry. Real-time information on the location of vehicles benefits the business by allowing a carrier to predict delivery times, allowing pre-delivery notifications which can be forwarded to customers. Delivery vehicle tracking also allows the company to react to factors affecting the pending delivery before they become a problem. In addition, delivery vehicle tracking can allow the prediction of possible delays of subsequent deliveries and pickups and allow the company to give notice to ‘downstream’ customers. Which keeps both the shipper and customer informed increases repeat business, benefiting the company.
Delivery vehicle tracking also empowers the customer and increases expectations of the company's performance, raising the bar. However, improved technology provides the ability to clear that bar. Many carriers keep online delivery tracking, allowing customers and shippers to track progress, see estimated delivery times, and get real-time warnings of possible delays, or early deliveries. Informed customers can plan to be home when a delivery is made, avoiding the possibility of theft of a package from a front porch. Similarly, business customers can plan dock work and be prepared to unload or load cargo.
Such increased efficiencies can allow more deliveries in a given time. In addition, knowledge of traffic data and route planning allows for shorter travel times, and can effectively increase service radius.
Delivery vehicle tracking information also benefits the driver. The driver’s task is the focus of the delivery and real-time data allows the company to assist the effort. In the past, if a delivery was delayed, catching up and getting back on schedule was the burden of the driver. Even if the driver informed dispatch of the delay, there was little help they could give, other than informing customers and warning of a delay.
Empowering the customer increases stress on the driver. As higher customer expectations push the company, those expectations are passed on to the driver. If a delivery is late, pressure on the driver increases, possibly motivating them to take greater risks in traffic, increasing the chances of accidents. Time stress may also cause distracted driving, causing navigational errors, especially in unfamiliar areas. A driver also may park in inappropriate or unsafe locations or rush while lifting or carrying packages, increasing the possibility of injury. Present-day delivery vehicle tracking technology allows the company to be proactive in supporting the driver and dealing with delays.
Real-time delivery vehicle tracking allows the company to be engaged in the delivery. The driver can be informed of traffic conditions, and updated driving directions can help keep them on schedule. Support from dispatch can reduce stress on the driver, and enable a focused, thought out approach to the situation. A coordinated, team response helps the driver avoid feeling isolated.
Similarly, dispatch can warn the driver of high crime areas, and caution the driver to be wary. Delivery vehicle tracking can monitor the vehicle’s location and note variations from a planned route, giving early warning of mechanical problems, traffic delays, and at the worst, theft. The company can begin responding to such occurrences almost as they happen, reducing possible dangerous situations.
The benefit of using delivery vehicle tracking information and other technology is the ability to use real-time data to create a team approach to deliveries. The company benefits by becoming a more nimble competitor and allows it to benefit the driver by providing logistical support.