Fleet Managers and the Internet of Things: What Does It Mean for You?

Posted by Skye Robinson | March 23, 2017 | blog, Newsletter

If you pay any attention to the news at all, you’ve heard of the Internet of Things, or IoT. And if you’re a consumer of any kind in today’s society, you have experienced the IoT firsthand, especially if you have a home automation system. But the Internet of Things doesn’t stop at your personal life. It’s headed into your professional life too, and it will dramatically change the way you operate as a fleet manager when it gets here.

For the trucking industry and fleet managers in particular, there isn’t much you need to know about the IoT in order to take advantage of it. It will become part of the fabric of how your workday flows. But for those who want to know what it really means, here’s a quick description: The Internet of Things is a connectivity between the Internet and people / objects (the things). Using cloud-based technology, GPS (global positioning system) and RFID (radio frequency identification), the trucking industry’s use of the IoT will connect vehicles, drivers, dispatchers, fleet managers, shippers and others in ways unheard of before, generating real-time data for better decisions and more efficiencies, both for the fleets and the warehouses and shippers they serve.

This will mean huge value for the industry as the IoT drives efficiencies across the board. According to SupplyChain247, the IoT in logistics is expected to generate $1.9 trillion in value in the U.S. over the next 10 years, and an overall $8 trillion in IoT value globally.

Although we’re not talking about trillions of dollars when we’re talking about the day-to-day operations of your business, the potential benefits of the IoT are many for a fleet manager as well. The real-time data enabled by the IoT will give fleet managers insight into traffic conditions, driver routes or re-routing, scheduling specifics, maintenance, fuel efficiency, driver behavior, and more.

With this real-time information, fleet managers will be able to improve operational efficiencies as they make informed and timely decisions based on the data they’re seeing. This might mean changing a driver’s route to bypass construction, adjusting schedules when weather causes a delay, improving communications with customers regarding shipments, adjusting routes or speeds for fuel efficiencies, and much more.

Because it is Internet-based, all of this information is accessible to a fleet manager remotely. No longer tied to a desk and computer screen (or phone) to stay on top of drivers and shipments, a fleet manager will be able access all this data from a smartphone while out of the office making better use of his or her time—which also increases efficiency as you’re able to do more during your workday.

The Internet of Things might sound a little futuristic and even scary, but it’s going to make your job easier and more efficient than ever before.

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