Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Spt-Oct 2015 Contents You're a truck driver tasked with delivering
freight throughout cities where the streets
are congested, and network hubs are
destinations beyond the city bounds.
In a single day, you may need to make
100 deliveries or more, each with a customer
deadline to meet. Road hazards, such as a
breakdown on a main arterial road, might also
make your task more challenging. Even more
important than dealing with the pressure is
staying safe and alert for the big tasks and long
hours that lie ahead.
In these circumstances reliable and seamless
communications are a must. They enable you
to stay constantly connected with headquarters
so you can report any challenges you face on
the journey, while your team mates can monitor
your wellbeing wherever you are.
The pressure on our delivery drivers is
immense and that's no surprise, given road
freight's high value to the national economy.
Recent research estimates revenue derived
from the sector is about $52 billion and growing
at 4.1 per cent per year. As one of the most
economical and efficient ways to transport
heavy loads, especially through cities and
on short-haul drives, the sector has grown
to considerable scale --more than 42,000
businesses use the sector, it employs around
200,000 people, and further research predicts
road freight tasks will nearly double by 2030.
However, the unfortunate reality is that
freight drivers are performing one of the most
dangerous jobs in the country. An average of ten
truck drivers are killed on the road each year.
Further research shows that about one-third of
all work-related road crash fatalities occur within
the freight industry.
We ask a lot of our drivers, and while no-one
would want timely delivery to come at the
cost of driver safety, the pressure of on-time
performance can create considerable risks.
So how can we provide drivers all the
assistance they need, when they need it? How
can we help prevent accidents from occurring
or, if they do, ensure drivers have access to the
vital emergency support they require?
Comms the key
One important way is to ensure all drivers
are equipped with, and supported by, the
right communications technology. Recent
advances in technology, especially in the mobile
broadband and digital space, are helping relieve
the pressure on drivers without compromising
safety or business outcomes.
Communications devices, such as
smartphones, digital two-way radios and tablets,
for example, are helping to increase worker
safety and business productivity thanks to
valuable new applications that benefit transport
companies and many other enterprises.
A growing number of digital two-way radio
applications are increasing safety standards,
response times and operational efficiency.
For example, radio applications can be used
to track a driver's speed via the in-built GPS.
So if a driver is speeding, headquarters can
be alerted to request the driver to slow down.
Additionally, in times of emergency, the GPS
functionality can be used to pinpoint precise
locations to ensure driver safety.
Another digital radio application leverages
the in-built GPS and mapping functionality of
two-way radios to automatically determine a new
route if roads are gridlocked.
Meanwhile, job ticketing applications are
available to help manage busy workloads and
enable greater efficiency. In circumstances
where drivers are managing a large number of
deliveries in a day, a job-ticketing application
provides a simple but highly effective way for
drivers to send a message instantly back to
base after each delivery is done. In addition,
staff at headquarters can create, assign and
monitor job tickets through the radio network
to deliver routine tasks more efficiently. These
tickets are sent out to drivers over the network
and can be accepted or declined by a driver
with the simple push of a button.
Applications that enable smartphones to
mirror the capabilities of digital, two-way
radios are also coming to the fore. It is now
possible to turn virtually any communications
device (including smartphones, tablets and
computers) into two-way radios, creating
a virtual network of push-to-talk voice
communication for workers in any role,
wherever they may be around the world.
Once the exclusive domain of two-way radios,
these products work with any combination of
broadband networks and devices, allowing for
reliable, secure and affordable communications.
In an industry that will only continue to grow
in scale and pressure, it's essential that workers
at the heart of transport operations, and those
looking after them, are equipped with the right
tools to do the job properly -- to the highest
possible levels of safety and efficiency.
Martin Chappell as the general manager,
radio channels, has responsibility for Motorola
Solutions' Australian and New Zealand
commercial radio channel. For more information
APPLICATIONS ARE THE
KEY TO INCREASING
SAFETY AND PRODUCTIVITY
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS --- SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015
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