TNT to optimise route plans with global system

Logistics company TNT has gone live with a global roll-out of Paragon routing software which will provide it with a common...

Logistics company TNT has gone live with a global roll-out of Paragon routing software which will provide it with a common operating platform across its 60-country international presence.

The c400,000 (£255,500) project will create savings in operational costs such as fuel, labour and vehicles. It will allow the company to pitch for new business quickly and accurately by efficiently calculating optimised route information for about 1,000 top clients and a network which spans more than 600 depots in 60 countries, TNT has said.

Chief information officer Luigi Pezzini said the company did not attempt to quantify return on investment.

"When you have a very large project you should quantify your returns but in this case you can understand the advantages by common good sense," he said.

Pezzini said using a common solution globally will allow better internal and external communication, give a common way of working and enable support for the software, which will not be limited by location, to be rationalised.

The software will allow TNT to quickly calculate the most efficient way of routing vehicles between depots and customer destinations so that the maximum number of calls is made by the least number of vehicles.

Data needed to generate optimised routes has to be hand-fed into the software, but Pezzini's goal is to develop the ability to feed this data into the system automatically.

The c400,000 cost for the initial phase of the deal involved TNT Logistics buying licences which will see the logistics optimisation software rolled out from its existing limited implementation to the whole of the organisation.

Simon Bragg, an analyst with ARC Consulting, said, "The basic problem is that there are too many trucks on the roads, running too many [empty or partly empty] miles. Why?

"Logistics companies tend to run each customer site independently, and users still pay for dedicated fleets.

"In a recent survey only 36% of logistics managers reported running trucks at more than 90% capacity on outward journeys while only 18% run at 90% capacity on return journeys," said Bragg.

"Best practice is to centralise the procurement, planning and execution of logistics services, which requires Web-enabled technologies. This means you see all outbound and inbound movements, and utilise backhaul and loadsharing opportunities," he added.

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