Logistics Industry uses planning techniques to make freight leaner and greener
The UK’s logistics companies are being urged to embrace the latest in transport modelling solutions for planning routes to avoid congestion and minimise fuel use, and therefore emissions.
Modelling company PTV Group, a member of ITS (UK) is highlighting how its extensive expertise gained in simulating the movement of people at a micro level through individual junctions and macro level across cities is also being used to make goods movement more efficient.
The company, which has continually expanded in the UK over the last five years to employ 35 transport and logistics professionals based in London and the West Midlands, says better logistics planning cuts costs by at least 15 per cent by a variety of methods such as designing a booking system that can be controlled through the delivery board in the factory and one for drivers to know the exact time when to arrive at a factory without waiting around.
“It’s all about collaboration,” says PTV’s Director for Logistics Software James de Roo. “We are using planning solutions that make better use of the vehicles and drivers’ time and creating solutions to ease the challenges the logistics industry deals with every day.”
“For example our PTV Route Optimiser product automatically plans orders into optimised trips, handling differing vehicle profiles, and calculating transport costs including toll charges and CO2 emissions. Our users have found it can mean they don’t need as many lorries to undertake all their commitments, so there are significant opportunities to save on fixed as well as variable costs.”
“The huge improvement in real-time data and software technology means transport modelling can be done in the here-and-now,” explains PTV UK & Ireland Director Devrim Kara. “The way that freight gets moved around the UK is still a mystery to the transport planning community, but we have shown that freight movement data and relatively simple software solutions can integrate freight into transport and logistics planning towards making better use of our existing road capacity. Integrated transport and logistics planning can also help reduce fuel use and that in turn brings an important benefit for air quality, so it’s a quick win-win.”
PTV says its UK team are now taking a lead from the aviation industry by working on simulations on how people and goods could be transported together in the future. It’s urging logistics companies to work with transport planners and the industry to try out ideas virtually to see what works, helping further cost cutting and creating new commercial opportunities for an industry with notoriously tight margins.