Hoogvliet is Taking Major Steps in Digitalising Transport with Trimble’s Fleet Management Solutions
Supermarket chain Hoogvliet has equipped its 37 trucks with new Trimble CarCube on-board computers. Using the CarCube, drivers can digitally record hours, communicate with planners as well as monitor the temperature in the reusable tubs and view their reverse camera. In addition, Trimble’s Performance Portal also provides insight into their driving behaviour.
Reusable tubs play a crucial role in Hoogvliet’s distribution process. The vast majority of the 70 supermarkets receive these tubs several times a day, which can accommodate 30 roll containers full of fresh and non-perishable products. When the driver has left the full tub, they take the empty one back to the brand-new automated distribution centre along the A12 in Bleiswijk.
“The driver has left the supermarket within seven minutes,” said Kees Twilt, transport sector manager at Hoogvliet.
Thanks to the reusable tubs, Hoogvliet is able to offer its supermarkets multiple delivery times and multiple ordering times per day. Supermarket managers can deploy their employees more efficiently.
“Unlike other supermarkets, they don’t suddenly have to receive and process sixty roll containers. They can unload the reusable tubs whenever suits them, so they only need a smaller storeroom,” explained sector manager Kees Twilt.
Integration with Temperature Logging from Tcomm
All 37 Hoogvliet trucks have recently been equiped with a CarCube. The investment in Trimble’s CarCube on-board computer stems from the desire to digitalise and automate the transport processes.
“Our trucks didn’t have an on-board computer. Communication with the drivers was by telephone. Times were tracked manually with pen and paper. In addition to a timesheet, each truck also had a temperature sheet. On departure and arrival, the driver had to note the temperature in the reusable tub. In short: it was time to take the next step in transport optimisation,” explained Twilt.
Choosing Trimble was largely motivated by the possibility of integrating Tcomm’s temperature logging system. Every 10 minutes, the on-board computer communicates not only the geographical position but also the temperature in the reusable tub to the Trimble back office system.
“Trimble is the only on-board computer supplier of all the ones we asked to offer direct integration with cable. The Trimble solution works perfectly and is financially interesting. Thanks to the unique integration, we don’t need separate SIM cards to monitor the temperature of the reusable tubs remotely,” said Twilt.
Camera Images on the Screen of the CarCube
In addition to the temperature logging system, the Rudozi camera system is also integrated with the on-board computer. As soon as the driver reverses or switches on the work lights, the CarCube shows the images from the rear camera.
“Space is often tight at supermarkets. The camera helps the driver to manoeuvre, but also to pick up empty reusable tubs,” Twilt explained.
Insight into Driving Behaviour
Hoogvliet uses the data from the on-board computer to coach drivers. Trimble’s Performance Portal analyses data and translates it into clear information about driving behaviour. The drivers receive weekly performance reports.
“We can now compare the performance of the Volvo and Mercedes drivers fairly and objectively. We see how they handle their trucks, how much fuel they use and what driving behaviour they exhibit. If we see any areas for improvement, we can train them on that.”
Satisfied Planners and Drivers
Both the planners and the drivers are happy with the system. The planners no longer have to constantly call the drivers to find out the status of a trip. They can now track the journeys in FleetCockpit, Trimble’s back office planning tool. And with Trimble’s FleetXPS app, they can also track their 20 charter vehicles. The drivers are happy because they no longer have to write down their hours and temperatures on paper. “And yet they don’t have a whole dashboard full of devices, but one screen that they can also use to monitor the temperature and see the camera images.”
The implementation and commissioning went smoothly. “We kept the menu as simple as possible and trained our mentor drivers well,” Twilt highlighted.
“In addition, Trimble provided high-quality support. Nine times out of ten, we received a quick answer to our questions. And even for that tenth time we never had to wait long for an answer.”
Real-Time Insight into Arrival Times
The investment in the on-board computers is expected to save Hoogvliet time, both in the office and in the cab of the trucks. Because most data are now recorded digitally, the number of errors has decreased. However, the implementation is still too recent to be able to talk about cost savings and payback periods. Twilt and his team are now fine-tuning the systems and preparing the next step since Hoogvliet has not finished digitalising and automating yet.
The supermarket chain is considering purchasing FleetHours, Trimble’s solution for wages calculation. Tcomm’s temperature logging system will soon automatically generate alerts if the temperature deviates from the norm. In addition, the company is thinking of linking the on-board computers with a transport planning system.
“We would like to provide the supermarkets with real-time insight into arrival times. This will enable them to deploy their employees even more efficiently, but also ensure that the empty storage tub—possibly filled with packaging—is ready to be taken away. Plenty of plans, but unfortunately we can’t do everything at the same time.”