Container specialist MacIntyre Transport has installed the TOPS… on the go mobile telematics system from Fargo Systems across all of its vehicles, after deployment across part of the fleet yielded numerous benefits for the firm.
Based in Felixstowe and with depots in Knowsley, Manchester, Selby and Tilbury, MacIntyre Transport is one of the UK’s leading container transport providers. In 2016, the company was acquired by Turners (Soham) but continues to operate as a standalone business. It counts shipping line of the year, MSC, among its key clients.
Fargo Systems’ relationship with MacIntyre Transport goes back to 2009 when the company first invested in TOPS transport management system. It later installed TOPS… on the go in 38 of its vehicles.
TOPS… on the go integrates transport orders and asset tracking as well as fleet and driver management tools. Able to run on most Android smartphones, it comprises transport job orders, GPS tracking, geofencing, automatic status updates and alerts, electronic signature capture and a variety of fleet management capabilities such as vehicle checks, timesheets and fuel/expenses. Demurrage and ETA alerts are also catered for.
With the company’s fleet currently standing at 280, MacIntyre Transport was keen to incorporate the system across all its vehicles, as Piers Kilfoyle, transport operations manager at MacIntyre Transport explains.
“Having embraced TOPS… on the go back in 2009, we consider it very much a business essential, bringing countless commercial and compliance benefits to our organisation,” he said.
Aiming to create a paperless process, from start to finish, and to improve the efficiency and accuracy of communications while reducing the manual effort involved in back-office processing, the Fargo system had to encompass all aspects of MacIntyre’s business including driver, fleet and job management.
Added Piers: “It will be looking after the lot. And from the transport operator’s perspective, it’s just one click to send a job to our driver, and they’re able to manage more trucks per operator and status updates and PODs are delivered automatically.”
However, the key to MacIntyre’s decision to invest further in the telematics system was for all its drivers to embrace the cab-based technology and for it to become an integral part of daily operations across all five depots.
A six-figure investment has seen TOPS… on the go and 10” handheld tablets installed in all 280 MacIntyre Transport’s trucks, with installation taking place over a six-week period, 30 vehicles at a time.
To ensure the new technology becomes second-nature to the drivers and forms part of their daily routine, managers met with their colleagues at the start of the working day – 4.30am in most cases. They provided an overview of the technology and explained how, when used competently, it could save time as well as simplify all aspects of their role.
Piers Kilfoyle added: “With our whole fleet now deploying TOPS… on the go, we know our return on investment is guaranteed. For us, this updated version of the technology will be a game-changer in how we do business.”
TOPS…on the go is used in all Macintyre offices to both transform and streamline the planning and communication flow between traffic operator and driver. Using the real-time milestone information, it is said to offer clients pinpoint accuracy, letting them know where a driver or consignment is at any given moment.
Increasingly, shippers also want to track data to end customer. Since embracing TOPS… on the go, MacIntyre can give clients total visibility, via either an EDI Interface or the secure TOPS.Web portal, enabling all parties in the supply chain visibility of the milestones captured straight from the driver on the front line.
This, says the firm, allows efficient planning by customers, consignees, shippers and distribution centres, amongst others in the chain – with real-time information at their fingertips without laborious email or telephone communication methods.
Piers continued: “The increasing sophistication and complexities of today’s global marketplace demands real-time information, but the benefits that TOPS brings aren’t all client-facing.
“Through the system, we’re able to control our fleet’s daily vehicle checks and defect notifications or capture ePODs via its camera when a site refuses to sign, for example. This level of information provides us with a real competitive advantage.”