August 20, 2019

Software charts truck traffic to predict dwell times at DCs

Software charts truck traffic to predict dwell times at DCs

Analyzing detentions at shipper and consignee facilities can help fleets avoid delays, KeepTruckin says.

By DC Velocity Staff

Fleet management technology provider KeepTruckin Inc. today launched a software tool that lets carriers predict facility dwell times before accepting a load, so they can minimize the "unnecessary expense" ofdelays and detention times.

The "Facility Insights" application aggregates data from the firm's connected network—including over 250,000 trucks and 55,000 carriers—to help fleets make smarter scheduling decisions, San Francisco-based KeepTruckin said.

The tool is needed because 75 percent of drivers are detained for at least two hours once a week at shipper and consignee facilities, the firm said. To reduce that, fleet managers can now search for a warehouse address to view its average truck dwell times by time of arrival. They can then optimize pickup and drop-off times by avoiding busy periods, thus minimizing delays and detentions and maximizing drivers' hours of service.

The product is the logistics sector's latest software tool designed to help fleets gain greater visibility about shipper sites, following Uber Freight's launch in January of its "Facility Ratings" platform, which allows carriers and their drivers to share ratings about the cargo facilities they visit. Third-party logistics provider (3PL) Transplace and California's Port of Oakland also share data about trucker turn times, in an effort to improve supply chain visibility.

KeepTruckin is a well-funded startup backed by $228 million in venture capital, including a $149 million round in April. The company said at that time that it would use the money to accelerate the development of an online freight-matching tool and fuel growth through increased hiring, investing in hardware, building partnerships, and furthering advancements in machine learning

The "Facility Insights" system works by analyzing data from trucks that use KeepTruckin's electronic logging devices (ELDs) or Vehicle Gateways, pairing a library of 60,000 geofenced facilities with real-time global positioning system (GPS) location data to determine when trucks arrive at a facility, when they leave, and how long they dwelled in between, Jai Ranganathan, KeepTruckin's vice president of product, said in a blog post. Carriers can opt out of the system if they don't want their data included in that aggregate.

Avoiding delays due to facility dwell times also reduces vehicle crash statistics, since drivers delayed at pickup facilities tend to increase their speed to make up for lost time. According to KeepTruckin, even a 15-minute increase in dwell time raises the likelihood a driver will be involved in a crash by 6.2 percent.

Another benefit is strengthening shipper relationships by improving transparency into arrival and dwell times, a metric that is often cited as an important part of becoming a "shipper of choice" in an age of tight freight capacity.

"Detention time is an unnecessary expense that costs the trucking industry over $3 billion a year. Unpredictable delays result in a chain reaction of late pick-ups and drop-offs that can throw off a dispatch schedule for days," Ranganathan said in a release. "We've entered an era where technology can provide insight into more granular trends and influence everyday decisions that have a direct impact on revenue."

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