Palletways, which specialises in the overnight distribution of small consignments of palletised freight, is implementing next generation in-cab technology across its European vehicle fleet following successful trials. The GPRS-driven in-cab solution is being installed in about 1,200 Palletways vehicles and has been designed to further enhance the efficiency of the company’s network operations in the UK, Republic of Ireland and mainland Europe.
The technology has been developed by European IT solutions provider Trans-aXion, which specialises in the transport and logistics market. Palletways and Trans-aXion have worked together to tailor the system to the specific needs of the pallet network industry.
Palletways drivers use a handheld device to record Proof of Delivery (POD) information, including the recipient’s signature. The information is then sent in real-time to Palletways’ track and trace system, which can then be accessed by customers via their own PCs. POD information is sent immediately to the Palletways members’ depots, which have been involved in collecting and delivering the goods. Drivers can use the technology to view the list of deliveries and to pre-programme messages to alert their depots to unforeseen events and incidents, which can then be relayed in real time to the customer as required.
In addition, the technology greatly benefits the collection operation by alerting Palletways drivers about new orders to pick up in their local catchment areas, without the need to stop the vehicle and make contact with the depot. Using the full power of the integrated global positioning technology, the unit can relay a real-time picture of the location of each vehicle, allowing Palletways to enhance customer order response by allocating the nearest vehicle to undertake the collection.
Thomas Olsson, IT Director at Palletways, says: “The use of GPRS in-cab technology represents a first for the pallet network sector in terms of enabling real-time capture and distribution of POD information to customers and our distribution networks across Europe. It also enables us to increase the efficiency and responsiveness of our collection operations.”