Van Growth Drives Home Delivery

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the festive season coming closer, today we look at the way in which those on-screen clicks have fundamentally changed the traffic on our roads.

In the UK, a steady decline in heavy goods vehicles has led to the rise of the van. Smaller, more agile and capable of carrying a significant load in dense urban areas, the small to medium van is the largest sector of UK vehicle growth, lending itself perfectly for routes with regular stops such as parcel and grocery delivery. Such is their popularity, the number of vans on UK roads grew 33% between 2000 and 2014*, with van miles driven reaching 45 billion.

In the US, the size of geography means that heavy truck numbers have remained steady while vehicles for light loads split between vans and pickup trucks. Nevertheless the trend for van sales is still upwards with 17.4 million new vehicles set to hit the road this year, rising to 17.6 million by 2020.**

More vans = more emissions? Not necessarily…

With the introduction of city low emission zones and recent controversy relating to diesel engine calibration, there has been a very real move towards companies embracing electric powered vans, especially within towns. In the vanguard of this move is the postal, parcel and delivery sector, with operators such as the Royal Mail in the UK with 100 electric vans hitting the road in December 2017 and UPS in the US, who are looking to convert 1500 of its vehicles to electric serving New York City by 2020.

So what about navigation?

With electric vans still facing some limitations on battery range, using the optimal route has never been more important. With its portfolio of navigation and routing optimization options, ALK can provide vehicle specific solutions for vehicles of all sizes, thereby helping to turn those clicks to a delivery at your door.

Sources:
*UK Department of Transport – Road Use Statistics 2016
**www.statista.com

UPS Wants to Convert 1,500 Delivery Trucks in NYC to Electric by 2020

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/news/royal-mail-buys-100-electric-van

ALK Road Closure Alert: Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

Closure will take place from October 20 at 8 p.m. until October 30 at 5:30 a.m. Click here for additional closure information.

The maps in the following ALK solutions have been automatically updated to reflect the road closure:

  • PC*MILER Web Services
  • ALK Maps
  • PC*MILER Web

PC*MILER desktop customers:
We suggest you use the “Avoid Roads” feature to bypass the road closure. For complete instructions on how to use the feature, please reference Chapter 12 of the PC*MILER User Guide.

The “Avoid Roads” feature can be found in the “Tools” tab.

 

On the map, the cursor will now appear with a minus or plus sign. Click on the road segment(s) to be avoided.

 

IMPORTANT: Your avoid/favor preferences will affect routing only when Routing Preferences > Custom Roads > Use Avoid/Favors is selected in the Route Options dialog or current route profile. This option is turned off by default.

Done! You’ll now be routed around the road closure.

Blue Dot and ALK Technologies Partner to Deliver Driver Workflow Innovation

Unified mobile app brings a revolutionized driver experience

Denver, Colorado – October 11, 2017 – Blue Dot and ALK Technologies® have joined forces to deliver a new innovative driver workflow solution that enables fleets to improve the driver experience, reduce driver turnover and enforce fleet-wide driver standard operating procedures.

Distinctly Different Driver Centric Mobile App

Blue Dot’s MilesAhead™ DRIVE app uses the powerful ALK® Maps mapping platform as its foundation for commercial vehicle route and map visualization. MilesAhead overlays a LEAN Six Sigma-optimized driver circle-of-service workflow that manages the wide range of driver job tasks that occur both inside and outside the cab for planned and unplanned stops alike. Implementing a comprehensive driver-centric mobile app that is distinctively different from the “grid-of-apps” design approach that is so commonplace in the market today will positively impact drivers’ lives on the road both professionally and personally, said Mick Milnark, co-founder of Blue Dot.

Seamless Tablet Application

Leveraging ALK’s suite of integration tools, Blue Dot has embedded the CoPilot Truck application directly into its MilesAhead Drive unified application for seamless access to voice-guided navigation and industry standard routing. Blue Dot is the first ALK partner to incorporate the ALK Maps platform with real-time traffic display, street-level satellite view and weather and radar overlays into a tablet application.

Capitalizing on Shared Technologies

“Teaming with an innovative company like Blue Dot accelerates our shared strategy to capitalize on and bring to market our unique and compelling technologies,” said Dan Popkin, senior vice president, enterprise solutions, ALK Technologies.  “We’re thrilled that our first project together involves delivering an unprecedented solution that combines advanced driver workflow concepts with deeply integrated routing and mapping capabilities.”

See it today: Watch the Video.

For more information: Join Blue Dot & ALK for a webinar on the Driver Experience Revolutionized:

http://www.bluedotsolutions.com/trucking-technology-carriers/.

Press Contact: Gary Blohm Cell 303 359-9960

gblohm@bluedotsolutions.com

About Blue Dot

Blue Dot is a global enterprise mobile software, products and services company that delivers innovative mobile technology and solutions along with an IoT platform strategy to fleet transportation organizations. At the core, Blue Dot helps fleet transportation organizations move on from their costly technical debt, so they can both survive and evolve in the changing industry competitive landscape. Visit: www.bluedotsolutions.com.

About ALK

ALK Technologies is a transportation technology company dedicated to defining the optimal route to success through innovative routing, mileage, mapping and mobile navigation solutions. From trusted industry standard data to seamless integration, ALK solutions are developed for a broad range of industries, workforces, and everyday drivers on the road. For over 35 years, its suite of powerful solutions, including PC*MILER, CoPilot, and ALK Maps, have set the foundation for safe and efficient journeys worldwide – one mile, one driver, one vehicle at a time. ALK is a Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) Company and part of its international Transportation and Logistics Division, visit: www.alk.com.

ALK Map Data: Built for Commercial Vehicles

Commercial map data is the core of our business. At ALK, we have a team of GIS and mapping specialists that dedicate every hour of every day to ensure our premium-quality, street-level map of the North American road network is the most comprehensive and accurate source for our customers. These maps form the basis of our commercial brands in North America and are relied on by millions of drivers and more than 22,000 motor carriers, private fleets and third party logistics companies every day.

Our portfolio of transportation solutions offer the most comprehensive set of commercial truck restrictions in North America. It’s what defines us as the trusted industry standard for safe, accurate and reliable routing, mileage, mapping and navigation.

Check out what our robust set of commercial map data includes:

ALK Technologies Introduces PC*MILER 31, the Latest Version of its Flagship Transportation Solution

Annual software release showcases the company’s focus on driver safety and data visualization for improved decision making

 

Princeton, N.J. – July 19, 2017 – ALK Technologies, a Trimble Company and global leader in transportation technology and mobility solutions, today announced the availability of its latest version of PC*MILER truck routing, mileage and mapping software.

“Our flagship transportation solution continues to expand with the evolving needs of the industry,” said Dan Popkin, senior vice president, enterprise solutions, ALK Technologies. “More than ever, driver safety is the top of mind concern. With our continued focus on providing the industry’s most accurate routing functionality and offering new data visualization capabilities, we feel confident PC*MILER empowers dispatchers and fleet managers to make the best proactive decisions to improve driver safety and productivity.”

 

Visualization of Current Road Conditions and Wind Advisory Alerts
For any vehicle, especially trucks, slippery or snow covered roads can be incredibly dangerous. Knowing the condition of the road surface, whether it is dry, wet, or ice covered, can enable a dispatcher or fleet manager to determine the safest way to get their assets to a destination. With the new Road Conditions display directly on the map in PC*MILER, users can gauge potential impacts on the route plan and proactively route around hazardous conditions. Road conditions are designated as dry, wet/slippery, water/snow and ice/snow.

Similar to road conditions, wind threats, such as gale and hurricane force winds, can cause serious safety risks to trucks pulling lighter loads or those with higher profile trailers. Now, dispatchers and fleet managers will receive a notification in the route plan if the generated route intersects an area flagged as a Wind Alert zone.

Both road conditions and wind alerts functionalities are included with a current PC*MILER|Weather license.


Upgraded POIs with Validated Amenities for Hours of Service Planning and Safety
Having the most accurate data to schedule fueling or Hours of Service (HOS) breaks for drivers has become increasingly important for dispatchers and fleet managers. PC*MILER 31 provides authenticated amenity and truck parking information at over 7,000 rest areas, truck stops, and truck fueling stations. New locations were added and closed locations were removed to ensure accuracy for planners.

Additionally, where truck parking has been confirmed at a location, PC*MILER will now provide the total number of truck spots available, if 10 hour parking is allowed, and if parking reservations are offered.

PC*MILER runs on Microsoft Windows, IBM AS/400 (iSeries), and mainframe computers. PC*MILER is also available as a web-based application or can be seamlessly integrated with transportation and supply chain management systems.

For more information on PC*MILER visit our new website: www.pcmiler.com.


About ALK Technologies
ALK Technologies is a transportation technology company dedicated to defining the optimal route to success through innovative routing, mileage, mapping and mobile navigation solutions. From trusted industry standard data to seamless integration, ALK solutions are developed for a broad range of industries, workforces, and everyday drivers on the road. For over 35 years, its suite of powerful solutions, including PC*MILER, CoPilot, and ALK Maps, have set the foundation for safe and efficient journeys worldwide – one mile, one driver, one vehicle at a time. ALK is a Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) Company and part of its international Transportation and Logistics Division, visit: www.alk.com.

Goodbye Roaming Charges, Hello Europe!

Good news for all Europeans: From mid June onwards, roaming charges for certain mobile plans in the European Union have been dropped. That means there’s a good chance you can now travel across Europe and use your data without worrying about extra charges. Say goodbye to surprise bills from your mobile provider at the end of the month when completing a delivery through several countries.

And the best part for CoPilot Professional and CoPilot Truck users?

  1. You will now be able to use ActiveTraffic when driving abroad without paying a hefty bill at the end of the month if you have a good mobile plan.
  2. You can still take advantage of CoPilot’s offline capability if you’re driving in areas with low data coverage. Say goodbye to interrupted service when crossing borders.
  3. If you have a monthly cap on your data usage, you can still use CoPilot’s offline maps to minimise data usage. Especially if you’re a fleet manager, this will keep costs down across the board.

So check in with your mobile provider and see how your data plan abroad has changed regarding your international shifts!

PS: If you are in the US or other places around the world, roaming charges will likely still apply. So make sure to turn off your data roaming if you want to avoid hefty bills.

The 2017 ALK Tech Summit Claimed an Unexpected Theme, One of Resilience

 


From the very first event at the 2017 ALK Transportation Technology Summit the overall theme of resilience began to make its appearance known. With the weather forecasts predicting heavy winds and torrential downpour it looked as though ALK’s 13th Annual Golf Outing, taking place at Bala Golf Club, would surely be canceled. However, our golfers proved to be more than willing as they marched out onto the golf course, armed with their ALK umbrellas. The day proved to be an overall success with the golfers staying out on the course throughout the entire morning without even the slightest complaint regarding conditions.

Our theme continued into the second day when Tim Hoelter, a top executive with Harley Davidson for over thirty years, shared his inspiring story of triumph. Tim, the only outsider among a group of 13 executives purchased Harley Davidson in a leveraged buyout in 1981. This buyout unfortunately aligned with one of the worst recessions in U.S history. Harley Davidson found itself under a staggering mountain of debt, an unsavory brand image, ownership of its trademark in jeopardy, and an onslaught of foreign competition and yet the brand persevered. Through strategic management, teamwork and innovation this unique group of men became the driving force behind what many regard as the most dramatic turnaround in U.S. business history, a true story of resilience.

When keynote speaker, YRC Worldwide Inc.’s Chief Customer Officer, Justin Hall, took the stage, resilience found its way back into the conversation but this time with a unique perspective. Justin shared his 5 S’s for “Resilience” today at YRCW which included Safety, Speed, Service, Space, and Segmentation. Justin went on  to emphasize the importance of company transparency in order to correct errors and grow from previous mistakes. This logic is what pushed Justin to create a customer advisory council to hear “the good, the bad and the ugly.” Hall has always understood that facing the negative head on is the only way for a company, particularly one as large as YRC Worldwide Inc., to find continued success.

While our three panels covered a range of topics including anything from the automatization of technology, to driver retention and mandating adaptive cruise control their was one fact that rang true, the T&L industry is up for any challenge. One of the biggest hurdles this industry is currently facing is that of technology itself, particularly regarding integration. As the industry is seeing trends that are heavily dependent on technology such as the electronic logging mandate or same-day delivery services, it is becoming increasingly more critical that all technological systems not only work together, but that you can trust them to work together. Ken Crane, director of IT operations at US Xpress Enterprises said, “There’s a tremendous amount of stuff to do, you’ve got to [fully] utilize time and assets. Bringing [technology] all together as seamlessly as possible is critical”.

This concept of integration is not a new one to ALK Technologies. As ALK looks to the future it is clear that continuing to integrate real time delivery information is key. However, it is a bigger mountain to climb than others may realize. As expressed by our senior vice president of enterprise solutions, Dan Popkin, “…we’ve made a massive investment in underlying GIS technologies. There is so much data that needs to be collected. It’s virtually impossible for any single map vendor to do it all themselves. Crowdsourcing has some great potential. We leverage customer data to create better data.” Despite the magnitude of this task we stand resilient, more determined than ever the adapt and adjust with the demands of the industry.

Resilience is essential for any industry to survive. At the 2017 ALK Transportation Technology Summit it was apparent that the T&L industry as this strength in spades.

For additional coverage of the 2017 ALK Transportation Technology Summit check out our articles on JOC.com here and here

Countdown to the 2017 ALK Transportation Technology Summit

5 ALK Product Training Sessions

 

 

          

The Backbone of Your Bottom Line: Revitalizing Your Business through Routing Optimization

Jon Rasmussen, Manager, Sales Engineering
Jason Pereira, Manager, Technical Support, Enterprise Solutions

Having routing and navigation software is essential in the trucking industry. Knowing how to best utilize the features and functionality within the software is critical. Just running a route from point A to point B may not be yielding the results you want – in this session, our expert software engineer will provide and demonstrate how to use PC*MILER to analyze scenarios in batch and real time to address operational and financial challenges in your organization. You’ll leave this training with how to best utilize PC*MILER to further optimize your business.

Transforming Data through Visualization

Rishi Mehra, Director of Web Products

From route planning to post trip analysis, the impact of visualizing data on a map can improve both predictive and real time decision making as well as enhance productivity. Viewing assets, weather conditions, traffic, and truck points of interest is just the beginning. In this session, organizations wanting to build map-centric applications or partners wanting to upgrade their current systems will gain insight into the limitless ALK Maps platform.

 

CoPilot Truck In-Cab Navigation: Best Practices for Better Business

Jason Saganski, Sales Engineer, Sales Engineering

Correct implementation and proper configuration of truck and routing profiles with precise destinations is the first step to success for a company using CoPilot Truck. The first part of this training will teach you basic truck and routing settings and other customization options. Next, our CoPilot Truck expert will demonstrate route optimization components and how to successfully utilize CoPilot FleetPortal, a back office remote configuration tool.

 

The Power of PC*MILER: Customization Options for Operational Success

Kara Jo O’Neil, Senior Product Manager

PC*MILER is filled with features and functionality that help in all areas of routing and mileage. But did you know you can tailor PC*MILER for your company’s specific business needs? These tips and tricks will streamline operations and improve efficiency – guaranteed! In this session, attendees will learn how to:- Customize routing options, trip costs, and vehicle profiles; Create avoid/favor road preferences​ ​and custom places​;​ Configure trip-based and global application level settings; and more!

 

Leveraging ALK’s Back Office Fleet Management Tools

Bill Nimchuk, Senior Product Manager

Discover how CoPilot Truck’s companion web-based remote configuration and route visualization tools provide clear visibility of your fleet’s routing activity to ensure compliance and maximize operational efficiency.

 

 

 

4 Technology Spotlights

 

 

 

       

Behind the Scenes of Video:
Using data to increase efficiency and improve driver behaviorMike Soricelli, Product Manager, Video Intelligence & Partner Integrations, PeopleNetVideo solutions in the commercial freight industry are a key component in driver exoneration and reducing damages in the event of a collision. However, when you aggregate multiple data sets with video, it adds a whole new dynamic to this technology. In this session, learn how to optimize this data to define benchmarks that identify specific coaching opportunities to improve driver behavior – and incentivize drivers – by gauging trends in perpetual safety improvements over time. Use KPIs at the fleet level or take a deeper dive by terminal and driver to learn how to increase awareness, efficiency and accident prevention.

 

 

The Future of IoT Asset Tracking and Fleet Management: SMARTrailer™

Henry Popplewell, President, SkyBitz

Smart trailers are the future of asset tracking and fleet management – but what is a smart trailer? SkyBitz President Henry Popplewell will breakdown the aspects of a smart trailer, exploring the evolution of its capabilities, including recent innovations, like solar-powered tracking devices with local wireless networks, features only recently made available in the market. Learn how your company can utilize SMARTrailer™ and its advancements, turning your “empty box on wheels” into an asset that will provide real-time communication, powerful data, and a clear ROI to your bottom line.

 

 

The Move to Omni-channel Freight Service: Solving the Final Mile Delivery Puzzle Through Advanced Transportation Management Systems

James Stevenson, VP of Sales, TMW Systems

Online retailing continues its dramatic growth, and industry experts predict this trend to continue at a rate of nearly 9.5% a year over the next five years. The rise in omni-channel sales is changing the supply chain, as retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers are now providing immediate product availability to customers by employing multiple shipping and delivery options. This growth in e-commerce is forcing freight carriers to rethink and expand their service offerings.Traditional carrier transportation models are not designed to handle the challenges of omni-channel service, which requires multi-stop planning for final mile deliveries and end-to-end visibility of order location and status for the customer.James Stevenson, VP of Sales for TMW Systems, discusses how carriers are changing their transportation models in order to meet these new delivery challenges. He explains how adding a final mile component to a TMS provides carriers with the agility and responsiveness necessary to adapt their business to a 21st century economy.

Driving Profitability Through Cloud-Based Routing, Compliance and Navigation

Laura Lohrke, Senior Product Manager, Omnitracs

Are your managers and drivers tired of using different applications to do their jobs? One for dispatching, trip management, navigation and proof of delivery – and yet another for compliance? Come find out how we have combined the best from Omnitracs Cloud-Based Routing, Dispatching, Mobile, Compliance and Navigation to create a streamlined experience to connect drivers, trucks and the back office.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Industry Focused Panel Discussions

 

 

Survival of the Fittest Technology

Transportation and logistics is a trillion dollar industry. With numbers this high and so much at stake depending on your gut-instinct is no longer going to cut it. Panelists will discuss how technology can be leveraged to catapult data-driven companies as the big winners in this space.

  • Moderator: Sean Kilcarr, Editor, Fleet Owner
  • Ken Ehrman, Founder, I.D. Systems
  • Ken Crane, Director of IT Operations, US Xpress, Inc.

 

The Driver Draft: Recruit and Retain Top Talent

Drivers are the heart and soul of any transportation organization. It is vital to implement strategies not only for successful recruitment, but retention, of these valuable assets. This interesting mix of panelists will discuss how technology in the cab, safety concerns, compensation, and a drive-life balance impact recruitment and retention in the trucking industry. From the research side, the carrier side, and even a current driver, we will have all perspectives covered!

  • Moderator: Jim Park, Editor, Heavy Duty Trucking
  • Leah Shaver, COO, The National Transportation Institute
  • Doug Schrier, VP of Continuous Improvement and Program Management, Covenant Transportation Group
  • Allie Knight, Professional Driver, Jim Palmer Trucking

 

The Merge: Getting Safety Technology and Drivers on the Same Page

Upgrading fleets with the latest accident-avoidance and video camera technology is just the beginning of keeping our assets secure. Driver incentive programs, buy in and ensuring all this in-cab technology isn’t too distracting is a big piece of the puzzle. This panel of experts will discuss the latest safety regulations and how safety technologies, programs and other safety-related strategies can support key safety initiatives and ensure only the best equipped drivers are on the roads.

  • Moderator: Bill Sullivan, Executive Vice President of Advocacy, American Trucking Association
  • Lee Sarratt, Director of Safety, J.B. Hunt
  • Jeffrey Clark, Founding Partner, Center for Transportation Safety Excellence
  • Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, President & CEO, Garner Transportation
  • John McKown, America’s Road Team Captain, Professional Driver, UPS Freight

 

2 Unique Philadelphia Experiences

 

 

Kickoff Reception and Dinner

Monday, May 22, 2017
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
1426 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

               Tuesday Evening Entertainment

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
6:00pm – 9:000pm
Independence Beer Garden
100 S Independence Mall W
Philadelphia, PA 19106

              

1 Event

 

 


ALK Road Closure Alert – I-85 Atlanta, GA

Please be advised I-85 in Atlanta, GA near Piedmont Road has been closed due to a collapse.  If this road closure affects your business or travels:

 

  • ALK Maps, PC*MILER Web Services & PC*MILER|Web customers – We have updated the map data for these products to avoid the road closure.
  • PC*MILER Install customers –  We suggest you use PC*MILER’s Custom Roads Manager feature to avoid the road closure.  For information on how to use the feature, please reference Chapter 12 of the PC*MILER User Guide.

 

If you have additional issues or questions, please contact ALK Support at pcmsupport@alk.com.

 

We will inform you when the road is reopened.

The Trade Show Season Begins in Europe

 

Last week was a busy one for our European team with two events happening in France and Germany: SITL Paris and LogiMAT (Stuttgart).

SITL Paris (International Week of Transport and Logistics) is the largest international exhibition of transport and logistic. It brings together all the innovative products and services dedicated to the transport of goods, freight forwarding and the logistics chain. This year, we demonstrated our products and solutions together with our partners Zebra Technologies and Rayonnance.

Our French colleagues worked hard to strengthen our relationships with partners and clients, throughout the entire week and further develop our business on the French market.

                

 

LogiMAT, the International Trade Fair for Distribution, Materials Handling and Information Flow, was on at the same time in Stuttgart, Germany.

​We had a wonderful opportunity to join forces with our partners Scansource and Honeywell to sponsor a networking dinner​. ​Many of our German partners were present, which gave us a chance to catch up with everyone and see how we could move forward together.

        

The entire ALK team is very happy with what we achieved last week in Europe and is looking forward to taking part in the upcoming trade shows and partner events!