Route optimization software creates savings for multiple stakeholders

Taking full advantage of the benefits of increased fuel efficiency becomes much easier with comprehensive fleet management software. Automobile manufacturers have made efforts in recent years to both develop and market cleaner vehicles that emit fewer greenhouse gases and consume less gasoline or diesel. New mileage standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have played a significant role in speeding this process along. However, the overall scale of these programs is long-term. In fact, the federal government is aiming to have all new light-duty vehicles meet at least 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. President Barack Obama recently indicated similar measures are on the horizon for heavy-duty trucks and other carriers, but such an initiative will likely take several months or years to be approved and finalized.

Searching for the most cost-effective way to save money on fuel
Purchasing new trucks, vans or other elements of a small-business fleet is currently out of the question for many companies that use ground transportation every day. Enterprise owners are still feeling relatively cautious about the current U.S. economy. According to Reuters, the manufacturing industry, which frequently depends on consistent shipments of heavy-duty materials, experienced a sharp decline in activity in January. The news agency attributed much of the slowed growth to cold temperatures and disruptive winter weather, which placed a hold on previous upward trending momentum.

The most effective solution for small and midsize businesses may be to invest in routing software systems that enable managers to make more informed shipping dispatch decisions. A recent report from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) found that efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles uncovers a variety of benefits for both enterprise owners and consumers. For example, the study revealed that in 2010, American households each fronted more than $1,100 worth of the fuel costs associated with having goods transported long distances across the country. Using fuel-saving technology has the potential to reduce these expenses by nearly 50 percent.

"As fuel prices rise and transportation services increase, the potential household savings would rise to over $400 per year by 2035," the researchers concluded.

Commercial Carrier Journal, which also reported on the CFA study, highlighted the fact that saving money on fuel will have a tremendous impact on the overall U.S. economy. Because it would cost less money to transport products across the country, the long-term price of consumer goods would gradually decline. Americans would then have a total of nearly $30 billion available in extra disposable income to revitalize the economy.

Technology offers an alternative to purchasing new vehicles
Fleet owners can realize these goals much faster with automated technology such as route optimization software. This is perhaps one of the most cost-effective solutions for reducing the amount of fuel used per shipment, as these tools can be seamlessly integrated with any company's existing operations. There is no need for managers to invest large quantities of money in new vehicles, as they can simply access the resources to make a more informed and analytical analysis about their daily assignment scheduling. Jack Gillis, director of public affairs for CFA, toldCCJ that it's likely trucking companies and other fleet owners will embrace these findings with open arms.

"One of the reasons we believe a strong fuel efficiency standard for heavy-duty trucks will be implemented is because key components of the trucking industry are also seeking ways to reduce the enormous impact of fuel expenditures on their costs," Gillis explained.

Introducing route optimization software into daily routines doesn't simply lead to long-term benefits. The CFA report found that consumers could immediately experience $250 per year when fleet owners start thinking more strategically about their fuel usage. As a result, making efforts to reduce overhead spending should be a priority for today's enterprises. Managers have the chance to both improve the economy and boost their own industry competitiveness by enhancing overall efficiency. Removing a significant portion of consumer-end costs will help a company stand out among other organizations. Newfound disposable income within American households will also serve to boost business activity in the U.S, as individuals will be more likely to purchase goods they otherwise would have avoided.