How To Optimize Fleet Productivity

Fleet productivity is a key metric for measuring efficiency in road freight. It offers crucial insight into the performance of a carrier and identifies where improvements can be made to reduce empty kilometres, streamline routes and manage costs. In this article, we look at how to optimize fleet productivity and the benefits of using a freight exchange platform. 

What is fleet productivity? 

In haulage, productivity is the measure of a fleet’s activity, including short distance, long distance, domestic and international transportation.
There are two ways that fleet productivity can be calculated:

  • by tracking the number of kilometers covered by a truck each day, week or month
  • or by monitoring how many journeys are completed. This data can be collected when a truck is fully loaded or travelling without a payload.

Depending on the activity being measured, a fleet will then be considered as strong or weak and carriers will be able to identify when a truck is immobilized without reloads. A recommended monthly minimum productivity target for carriers is 10,000 kms (fully loaded) per international truck.  

Why fleet productivity should be measured?

Strong productivity in a fleet is important to increase turnover, amortize fixed costs and decrease the number of empty kilometers recorded on journeys. A good analogy to better understand fleet productivity is to compare a truck to a machine: it needs to be kept running to be productive. In fact, every year more than 25 percent of trucks in Europe are travelling empty, leading to further road congestion, an increase in carbon emissions and a loss in revenue for carriers. This is why measuring key metrics should be a top priority to optimize resources and ensure the best overall output of a fleet.  

How can fleet productivity be improved?

An effective way to reduce empty kilometers and boost fleet productivity is by analysing existing data on transport routes, journey times, driver hours and the number of loads delivered. This can be done through a freight exchange portal, like XPO Connect. 
XPO Connect is a digital transportation platform designed to optimise the performance of a fleet. It works by matching carriers with customers that need to ship freight. The platform allows users to select transport orders that are compatible with a specific route and the technical specifications of a vehicle. This means carriers can find a return load that matches their availability and capability. 
To find new transport orders on XPO Connect, carriers simply submit essential criteria, such as date, destination and type of truck. The platform then displays available loads in relation to their geographical area, allowing carriers to submit a bid for the work.   

Fleet productivity and freight exchange platforms 

XPO Connect is a user-friendly platform. It operates through a personalized dashboard that displays key performance indicators, relevant trends, weather conditions and itineraries. The dashboard provides real-time visibility of existing shipments through track and trace tools, as well as an interactive mapping feature to find new opportunities and back loads. To enable carriers to make informed decisions when managing their fleet, XPO Connect also displays monthly statistics, such as revenue, average rate per kilometer and the number of orders allocated via the platform. Additionally, the new Post a Truck feature allows users to submit their truck availability in advance and receive email notifications of suitable transport orders. This can significantly reduce the possibility of empty kilometers and can help carriers to find the right load at the right time, which is an essential part of optimizing fleet productivity.