Fleet Management

30 04 2010

Definition: Fleet management comprises the target-orientated, optimal planning, supervision and control of the fleet operations based on the available resources, considering internal and external influencing factors.  A special focus is on the integration of organizational processes with modern information systems.

Field of applications:

  • Object track (vehicle tracking)
  • Health and safety tracking
  • Fuel and speed management
  • Sales order transmission
  • Route planning
  • Driver management
  • Vehicle diagnostics

Route-Planning-Definition: Route-Planning serve to arrange different transport orders to tours of a vehicle fleet

TSP = Travelling Salesman Problem -> find the shortest way of a circular tour that is as cost effective as possible and that visits a certrain amount of customers exactly once.

VRP = Vehicle routing problem -> the VRP is an extension of the TSP in which various vehicles areconsidered

PDP = pick up and delivery problem -> inPDP consignments are picked up at at one place and transported to their destination

the PDP is an amplified VRP

Kinds of Route Planning:

Static Route Planning: You have static theoretical data used ( not how it is in reality) -> More time to verify and decide

Dynamic Route Planning: Contains real/new data (like weather, traffic jams etc.) -> You have little time to verify a decision


  • Improves efficiency & productivity
  • reduce operating costs
  • speed up logistics activities
  • transparency of all the transport events
  • automatical data transfer from the order entry system
  • optimal order distribution to the tours (cost-, time and customer optimal)

Advantech Fleet Management Solutions

Further information:

PDF concerning the topic

Fleet management in former times was more about buying/selling/repairing of cars. You didn’T buy a car BRAND-new but buying it when it had 20.000 km for example because it’s more cheaper then. There were different policies how/when (in which step of the product lifecycle) you buy your “fleet”.

Transportation methods

7 04 2010

To transport the unit loads mentioned in the post below there are different transportation methods (getting goods from one location to another):

  • Transportation on the land (In this method the goods can be transported by lorries on the streets or with railways on tracks both have advantages and disadvantages and both are dependent on the infrastructure. If you want to transport your unit loads/goods with railways you would need a good connection to a railway station and the desired destination as well. So you are dependent on the railway tracks. If you chose transporting your goods in lorries you would be as well dependent on the infrastructure (but not on a that high extent that with railway, but lorries are prefered driven on highways on which you have to pay more and more fees for using them). With lorries you are more flexible than with railways but if you have to transport huge amounts of goods along a long distance railways might be cheaper and more efficient. But we also have to consider the steady increasing prices for gasoline which could make transporting with lorries inefficient in the future).
  • Transportation on the water (The transportation with ships is also dependent on the infrastructure of the starting and the destination (you need at least loading/unloading harbours), it is slow but cheap for high amounts of goods and therefore used for transporting much goods from one continent to another)
  • Transportation in the air (Transportation with airplanes is like all ways of transporting goods dependent on the infrastructure. For airplanes you need airports but never the less it’s the fastest way of transportation for medium and long term destinations. But on the other hand it’s very expensive and therefore only used for “valueable” goods).

A special kind of transportation is used for the transportation of crude oil and similiar goods: They are transported through pipelines on the land or under the water across countries and oceans. If you have built the pipeline this kind of transportation is easy to use, cheap and therefore an convenient way of transporting a mass  product like oil.

An overview about different kinds of transportation is given here.

Unit load

7 04 2010
What is unit load about?

Most of the products sold to private and corporate consumer nowadays move along the supply chain packed in unit load. The idea of unit load was to combine many items into one bigger single “unit”. This “unit” can for example be a single container or if we think more simple just a cardboard box which contains six packs of milk.

So as you can see the advantages of unit load are enormous: It facilitates the charging and discharging of transportation vehicles (lorry, ship, plane, train) because with unit load you only have to unload some bigger units instead of many small ones. Furthermore the unit load items like containers are build extremely space-saving and can be stacked easily, this saves place and therefore also money. It is also responsible for protecting the transported goods against damage.

Summing up we can say that unit load makes handling, storage, and distribution of googds more efficient. It’s not just a logistic tool, it furthermore helps to save money!

The “bigger units” in which the smaller items get packed are called Unit Load Devices (ULD) like for example paletts and containers.

Now you should have an overview about the topic unit load. If you are more interested in this topic click this link for additional useful information concerning this topic.