HGV regulations and restrictions are costing logistics operations tens of millions of pounds every year, so transport planners need to find clever ways to adapt to evolving legislation. Paragon will be speaking at the Microlise Transport Conference to discuss how logistics operations face a host of challenges above and beyond the traditional demands of transport planning.
“Whether you are complying with existing transport regulations such as the London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS), physical restrictions or temporary road restrictions, there is likely to be a financial or operational impact for logistics operations,” explains William Salter, Managing Director, Paragon Software Systems. “Transport planners need to understand upfront what may delay a vehicle arriving at its destination, and the effect this may have on their business and customers, so they can take steps to minimise the impact of any financial and operational risk.”
While calculating the cost of these regulations and restrictions to the industry may be complex, statistics do suggest the overall sum could be considerable. Figures from London Councils, an organisation representing the capital’s 32 borough councils and the City of London, show that 4,769 operators and 829 drivers were fined a total of £2.73 million during 2015/16 for breaching the LLCS. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which estimates the annual cost of LLCS diversions alone to be in the region of £30 million.
Meanwhile, there could be an added financial penalty if operators fail to prevent drivers ignoring certain road restrictions. Network Rail is now able to claim back the entire cost of bridge strikes caused by HGVs and with 1,800 occurring each year, steps will need to be taken to avoid costs of up to £16 million.
Logistics software has long been used to optimise transport operations, with street level mapping and truck attribute data helping to create accurate and realistic plans that factor in restrictions. The recent adoption of more advanced route control tools is also helping planners build routes that comply with complex, legislative road restrictions, such as the LLCS.
In spite of all of this, planned routes can be difficult to enforce once drivers leave the base. By integrating logistics software with telematics technology, operators are able to monitor adherence to the plan in real-time. Waypoint mapping functionality can additionally feed planned routes direct to the driver, providing turn-by-turn guidance through a Sat Nav device to ensure compliant routes are followed.
“The pressure on transport planning will only worsen as congestion increases and new legislation is introduced. Therefore, the challenge for logistics operations is to create delivery schedules that comply with all regulations and restrictions, without compromising the overall efficiency of the route optimisation process,” concludes Salter.