Tried and tested solutions for new provisions of the law

In August of this year, the amendment of the Act on road transport entered into effect which governs, among others, the work time of drivers, which is one of the most frequently broken provisions of the law in the transport sector. How is it possible to avoid penalties related to the improper working time of drivers in a large transport company and improve internal procedures?

The document that entered into effect on 16 August governs important aspects in road transport. The purpose of the Act is to implement European Union regulations in Polish law, starting with issues related to launching a business, the operation of bases of operations, and the working time of drivers. The Act clearly specifies the requirements that road transport companies should pay particular attention to. Lawmakers focused on:

  • Driver working time
  • Recording equipment
  • The technical condition of vehicles
  • The transport of dangerous goods
  • Operating licenses
  • Driving licenses
  • Total vehicle weight

Time is money, but not always profit

All of the regulations in the amendment affect the quality of how a company operates. It is worth underlining that the owner of a well managed company need not worry about penalties as in accordance with Article 92b of the Act on road transport, a transport company cannot be fined if it ensured proper work organisation and discipline. If any irregularities are found, the employer taking steps aimed at correcting the situation may constitute mitigating circumstances.

Experience shows that penalties in road transport are mainly imposed for the violation of provisions of the law that govern driving time, required breaks, and the rest periods of drivers. Under the new provisions, the working time of drivers cannot exceed 48 hours per week. (Note – working time should not be confused with driving time) and the records should be kept for two years. In exceptional situations, working time can be extended to 60 hours, but only if the average weekly working time in the last 4 months does not exceed 48 hours. The procedures for recording the working time of drivers, especially in large transport companies, require a large amount of office work. However, today’s solutions help significantly improve this process.

One of the possibilities is to remotely control the work of drivers from the office. Existing telematic solutions that are currently available on the market and are offered by among others by Transics, allow for the activities of drivers, tachographs, and vehicles to be remotely checked and for all necessary information to be sent to the office in an easy to understand form.

The office platform developed by Transics constitutes a command centre for all operations related to transport management. TX-CONNECT guarantees real time access to all information that is needed to perform transport related tasks, from accepting an order to the delivery of the load to the client. Thanks to solutions that are tailored to each client, the forwarding agent may, among others, remotely manage the working time of drivers and their activities, send orders, manage routes, and report all key parameters. The TX-CONNECT office platform developed by Transics can also be easily integrated with applications developed by other transport software providers which significantly helps increase the effectiveness of a transport business.

Controlling working time is one of the basic duties of a transport company. Current solutions allow for the regular inspection of digital tachographs and the real time notification of both drivers and forwarding agents if working time is exceeded. A business can then have a strong argument in regard to control authorities, namely that the business ensured adequate supervision. The TX-Connect software also regularly calculates the remaining available working time of the driver, taking into account work and rest periods over the course of a day, week, and 2 weeks, in accordance with current provisions of the law. This allows for the effective planning of the working time of the drivers and the maximum utilisation of the available working times. Thanks to Transics’ telematics, office workers can also remotely access the driver card and the mass storage memory of the tachograph. This is very important in companies with long routes or whose vehicles never come back to their home country.

Caring for the quality of work and transport, it is worth investing in telematic software which will allow for the working time of drivers to be clearly recorded and monitored. Investments in fleet management systems are recouped by increasing efficiency and limiting operating costs, especially in large companies, where fleet development also leads to an increase in the amount of administrative work.

Transics publishes Q3 2013 trading results

Q3 2013 revenues of €13.2 million, up 5.2% year-on-year

During Q3 2013, Transics generated revenues of €13.2 million, up from €12.6 million in Q3 2012, representing a year-on-year revenue increase of 5.2%. Revenues reached €9.2 million in the core markets of the Benelux and France and, in our development markets, the revenues reached € 4 million. This compared to €8.7 million and €3.9 million in Q3 2012. Year-on-year, the revenues in the core countries increased by 5.4% and in the development countries by 4.8%.

Business highlights

Transics announced in September the launch of its new on-board computer, TX-SKY. TX-SKY complements the TX-MAX (GO) series and is fully integrated into Transics’ TX-CONNECT back office software. The concept of the new on-board computer revolves around a high-performance platform.

The outlook for 2013

The company is maintaining the guidance it gave in August and expects FY2013 revenues and EBITDA to remain in line with 2012 revenues and EBITDA.

Transics International NV, established in 1991, develops and commercialises fleet management solutions for the transport and logistics sector. Thanks to many years of experience, thorough R&D efforts and an intensive focus on the customer experience, Transics has become the leading European player in its sector. In addition to its headquarters in Ypres (Belgium), Transics is active throughout Europe. The company has been quoted on the stock exchange (Euronext Brussels) since June 2007.

Bray Transports reaps big benefits of cooperation with Transics

Transics helps Bray Transports take transport management to the next level. By implementing Transics’ fleet management solution, the French carrier has succeeded in optimising its everyday operations, while significantly boosting its performance. Impressive are, for example, the reduction in motorway costs (-20%) and in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption (-5 to -10%). Transics’ telematics software, which is praised by the drivers too, allows Bray Transports to manage its fleet more efficiently and in a more responsive and agile way, while ensuring legal compliance.

A family business established in 1962, Bray Transports currently employs 115 persons. It has a fleet of 90 vehicles, which consists of 45 Euro 5 and as many Euro 5/EEV heavy-duty vehicles. After a slowdown in activities, due to the economic climate that has negatively impacted the transport industry in the past few years, Bray Transports is experiencing renewed growth. To achieve that aim, it resolutely chose to diversify its offering and bolster its image. The carrier also launched an ambitious corporate programme aimed at making its activities more sustainable and responsible and, consequently, achieve the ISO 26000 certification.

Fleet management at the heart of the corporate project

Bray Transports has been using Transics’ solutions since 2006. It recently decided to replace its existing QUATTRO on-board computers by the TX-MAX. Incorporated in Transics’ TX-CONNECT back office platform, TX-MAX helps the management and dispatchers gain a centralised view on all relevant fleet-related data. This overview enables them to take proactive decisions based on, for example, up-to-date driving times and optimally plan every transport mission. The TX-CONNECT platform also includes advanced reporting features. The available reports and indicators help the carrier monitor and improve the operational performance, while raising productivity and profitability levels. Today, half of the heavy-duty vehicles at Bray Transports have been equipped with a TX-MAX on-board computer. The integration was a great step for Bray towards implementing its corporate strategy and taking fleet management to a whole new level, surpassing the limits of traditional transport management.

“For today’s carriers, efficient fleet management implies much more than simply controlling driving time restrictions and tracking the distances travelled. Our job is getting more complex every day. We also have to take into account criteria like social security times, fuel consumption, carbon emissions, driving style, anomalies and incidents, as these, too, have a major impact on our performance and on customer satisfaction,” says David Bray, General Manager at Transports Bray. “Add to that the needs of the back office: our freight planners have to be able to visualise and track vehicles as well as service times, in real time; they need to generate customised reports and have to communicate efficiently with the drivers. Last but not least, the ever-changing legislation plays a major role too. An advanced fleet management tool has to support carriers in complying with rapidly changing legal requirements, while also helping them to prove compliance to the controlling authorities.”

Multiple benefits

The TX-MAX on-board computer provides plenty of relevant features, such as the GeoFencing functionality. GeoFencing – or virtual surveillance – is a feature that combines geolocalisation with objective criteria or operational restrictions. It allows the carrier to automate numerous data in order to take proactive measures whenever needed. For example, GeoFencing enables Bray Transports to send positioning points to drivers and define automatic rules to notify the back office that a vehicle has (or has not) entered a predefined zone and has (or has not) exited it within the predefined time. More than allowing the real-time monitoring of operations, GeoFencing also enables carriers to keep their customers abreast of deliveries (i.e. whether the goods were delivered at the right address, at the right time) and then make an itemised invoice. “GeoFencing is an extremely powerful feature that helps us trim costs by optimising our operations and enhancing customer services. It provides us with clear insight into the exact status of each vehicle, depending on the criteria of our choosing. We could no longer do without it today,” Bray remarks.

“We have gained a substantial return on our investment in Transics’ TX-MAX and TX-CONNECT solutions, in the past few months already. One of the major benefits we’ve experienced is a 20% drop in motorway toll expenses, which is a significant saving for us. This reduction demonstrates how TX-MAX and TX-CONNECT greatly help us optimise our routes. Moreover, we have also cut total fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 5 to 10%. Here too, the savings are impressive and fit perfectly in our commitment to raise the sustainability of our operations. Today, we have only integrated TX-MAX into half of our fleet. So there’s much more in savings to come. We are confident that Transics will help us reap even more tangible and measurable benefits in the future, in the fields of performance, customer services as well as corporate social responsibility,’ Bray concluded.

Established in 1962 by Emmanuel BRAY, BRAY was initially an expert in the area of farm produce. At that time, it shipped products only for its own account. Gradually, however, BRAY became a transport company that shipped bulk goods. Over the years, BRAY Transports started providing its customers with transport solutions to meet their needs, thus becoming an expert in Just-in-Time transport for industry and large distribution companies, the transport of hazardous goods (ADR), transport requiring extra-tall trailers (between 2.90 and 3.20m high inside) and pallet transport throughout Europe. Today, under the management of Dominique BRAY (second generation) and David BRAY (third generation), BRAY Transports wishes to keep its status of an independent family transport business that is close to its customers.
www.transportsbray.com

Established in 1991, Transics International NV, develops and commercialises fleet management solutions for the transport and logistics sectors. Thanks to many years of experience, thorough R&D efforts and an intensive focus on the customer experience, Transics has become the leading European player in its market. Headquartered in Ypres (Belgium), Transics is active throughout Europe.

Dutch carrier Heitrans steps up to a Transics fleet management solution

Fleet management expert Transics was happy to recently equip the trailers of Dutch carrier Heitrans with TX-MAX-GO on-board computers. The logistical division of Heiploeg, Europe’s largest shrimp supplier, swapped its existing, more limited fleet management system for a Transics solution. The decision to choose Transics was made on account of the extensive functionality and future-proofness of the platform.

The roots of Heitrans go back to the start of the previous century, when the Dutch fisherman’s village of Zoutkamp became the centre of Europe’s shrimp fishery. Over the years, a steady, well-considered growth has led to a series of milestone modernisations. In 1999, Heiploeg opened a state-of-the-art production facility, just outside the village centre. Around the same time, it set up an own transport division specialising in refrigerated and freezer transport, Heitrans, which ships the shrimps from the new production facility to the customers and the overseas peeling plants.

Constant quest for quality and efficiency

“We are committed to delivering a constantly high product quality, throughout the entire processing and transport process,” says Rudie de Vries, logistics manager at Heitrans. “To transport the fresh and deep-frozen products under optimal conditions, advanced and reliable fleet management technology is a must. The solution we had installed in our trucks some years ago, provided us with possibilities for GPS positioning, communications and service time registration. That was fairly restricted, though.” A pilot with Transics’ TX-MAX-GO on-board computers immediately convinced Heitrans to switch to Transics, because of the completeness of the product offering.

From navigation to eco-driving

Integrated into the TX-CONNECT back office software, the TX-MAX-GO on-board computer offers drivers a wide range of communication, navigation and positioning features. Driving and resting times are recorded and saved. Thanks to the CAN bus connection, digital tacho data are automatically downloaded, while fuel consumption and driving style data are logged. On top of that, the TX-DOCSCAN mobile document scanner boosts the efficiency of the drivers, as they can now immediately scan all fleet documents and forward these to the back office in Zoutkamp. As Heitrans sets great store by sustainability, it also considers integrating Transics’ TX-ECO programme, which guides drivers on their way to green driving.

Taking a lead, through consistent quality

“Heitrans is on a constant quest to raise efficiency, while working in a sustainable and innovative manner. So, our fleet management portfolio, which is designed to improve the efficiency in transport companies, is perfect for them. We are happy to help the Heiploeg Group consolidate their quality lead, also in the transport process,” concluded Arie Van der Jagt, VP Regional manager Benelux-Germany.

Heitrans is the logistics service provider of the Heiploeg Group, Europe’s biggest shrimp supplier. Over the years, Heiploeg has built up and consolidated its leadership position. Based on over a century’s experience and expertise in shrimp fishery and shrimp processing, the group keeps refining its production methods and product innovations. Safe, sustainable and efficient transport services are a main pillar of the group’s offering. Heiploeg’s logistics division, Heitrans, has a modern fleet of 16 trailers and 28 trucks that ship shrimps to customers throughout Europe and the peeling plants in Morocco.
www.heitrans.com

Established in 1991, Transics International NV develops and commercialises fleet management solutions for the transport and logistics sectors. Thanks to many years of experience, thorough R&D efforts and an intensive focus on the customer experience, Transics has become the leading European player in its market. Headquartered in Ypres (Belgium), Transics is active throughout Europe.