Fleets not using telematics to full potential: survey – Canadian Shipper

Glenview, IL A survey of more than 2,400 fleet professionals has found that while technology adoption is at an all-time high with 77% using telematics for vehicle tracking, most fleets are only scratching the surface of technology’s potential.

The research conducted by Teletrac Navman deduced that following heavy investment in ELDs last year and technology saturation in the transportation market, fleets must focus on more sophisticated use of telematics features and data for competitive advantage.

Key insights from the survey include:

ELDs are the law of the land, but not everyone is using them.

  • 74 percent say ELDs remain their top compliance concern in 2018.
  • While 64 percent of fleets are using ELDs to track HOS, 31 percent are still using paper logs even after the ELD Mandate went into effect.
  • 72 percent perceived benefits from ELDs, with “less risk of compliance violations” at the top (28%), followed by “eliminating manual processes” (20%).

Despite high adoption, most fleets aren’t using telematics to its full potential.

  • Respondents ranked “peace of mind/knowing where vehicles are” as the top benefit from telematics (46%), followed by “more efficient routing and dispatching” (32%).
  • Several important telematics features showed marked decrease in utilization since 2017, such as monitoring speeding (down 18% since 2017) and harsh braking (down 12%).
  • 36 percent of respondents said fuel costs are their second largest expense, but only 29 percent reported using their telematics solution to monitor fuel usage.
  • 30 percent use telematics to track maintenance needs, down 10 percent from 2017.

Using technology to evaluate drivers improves safety and retention, but many companies don’t do it.

  • When asked if fleets were currently using telematics to measure driver performance, 43 percent answered no.
  • 25 percent plan to invest in driver warning/alerting technologies and 9 percent in fatigue monitoring technologies.
  • 26 percent of those using telematics have seen reduced accidents as a result and, of those who benchmark and evaluate driver behavior, 57 percent say they reward their drivers for good performance.
  • More than 50 percent of organizations said rewarding driver performance was directly responsible for reduced safety violations, and 52 percent say it improved driver retention.

Amid economic optimism, organizations are expanding fleets despite driver shortage.

  • Fleet owners see short-haul freight as their biggest growth opportunity (49%).
  • 41 percent say they plan to upgrade fleet equipment this year, and 37 percent say they’re expanding their fleets (up 13% from 2017).
  • With more than half of respondents experiencing a talent shortage, 58 percent say they are increasing driver pay and 36 percent are improving benefits to recruit and retain new drivers.

“We’re seeing more companies invest in telematics, but unfortunately many are only doing so to check the compliance box, not making the most of the technology to better their businesses,” said Sid Nair, senior director of transport and compliance, Teletrac Navman. “That’s likely due to tech fatigue especially in the wake of regulations that demanded new technology, like ELDs, but in the long-term it will be a crippling hindrance, as we’re already seeing a widening gap between companies leveraging technology to drive fleet profitability and those who are merely reaping the benefits of the current high demand. Training everyone from drivers to fleet executives on how telematics data can boost operations is key, as the data alone won’t drive change.”

To download the report, please visit www.teletracnavman.com/benchmark/transportation.