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Freight Transport - It’s Complicated

… and getting more complicated all the time. Consider the government’s recent approval of the use of longer lorries (18.55m long - about 2.05m longer than standard) on British roads, on the basis, they claim, it will make businesses more efficient and cut emissions. Whatever the reasons for it, one thing is for sure - it adds yet another layer of complexity to an already multi-layered task for freight transport operators. It adds one more to the already bewildering number of restrictions on the types of vehicles that can be utilised by an operator, ranging from short vehicles through double deckers to EVs and, now, extra long trailers. In a very meaningful sense, all that choice is good, but on another level it must be managed incredibly efficiently if it is to pay off, because badly managed, it could lead to all sorts of problems and costly inefficiencies due to possibly running foul of bridge height and weight restrictions, clean air zones and now road width/suitability for these longer vehicles.

Image of several trucks overlayed upon each other to convey the complexities inherent in freight management operations,

Theoretically, none of this should be a problem for an operator, as modern transport management and routing systems should be able easily to cope managing the types of vehicles that can be used in any given location or on any route - as long as those systems have been fed with the correct data (including driver info) in the first place. In fact, a top drawer TMS should be able to handle that along with all the other complexities that occupy a freight operator’s mind, such as loading, part-loading and consideration of load type - feeding all that through to routing and scheduling, while following a hazard avoidance protocol that allows for route changes on-the-fly due to unforeseen road traffic incidents.

If an operator's TMS does not provide this kind of end-to-end solution, then each additional layer of complexity added to the management of freight operations, whether government enforced or industry driven, will give them a headache of outsize proportions. Of course, in that case, we have the pain relief: our CarrierNet TMS platform, of which you may find out more from Bashir Khan here.

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