The industrial metaverse for road transport company

This article is a case study about the possible use of the industrial metaverse for a road transport company. If you don’t know what the industrial metaverse is, I suggest you read this article.

What does a road transport company do ?

Why the question may seem simple, its answer is actually interesting because every task performed is a task that can potentially be optimised. Listing all the tasks performed by both the driver and the transport manager will help us in this case study.

Transport of goods

This is probably the most important task, it is the core of the company’s economic activity. Transport can be for general cargo as well as for industrial liquids. The goods must be transported on time while respecting certain constraints detailed below.

Supervise operational schedules based on order books

As you can imagine, if the company makes money by transporting goods, it will make even more money if it transports more goods. Thus, the optimal use of the truck fleet allows the maximum number of orders to be met while minimising downtime.

Designing the terms of service and the conditions for carrying out transport with customers or service providers

What could be better than knowing in advance whether a contract is profitable? Knowing the projected operating costs is imperative in order to offer a competitive but profitable service.

Monitoring a budget

Whatever the sector, the budget is often at the centre of attention and with good reason: the lower the expenses, the higher the profits. As mentioned above, trucks need to be driven as much as possible to fulfil as many contracts as possible, but at the same time try to keep the costs involved (fuel, mechanical parts, truck maintenance, etc.) as low as possible.

Analyse the activity data of the structure or service and identify areas for development

Fuel consumption, average speed, downtime, maintenance costs, profit… These are all data that deserve to be analysed in order to determine the points to be improved and to improve the economic activity of the company.

We have seen the main activities of a road transport company, but what is the use of the industrial metaverse in all this?

The role of the industrial metaverse

Let’s say you own a transport company, you obviously want to maximise your profits at the end of the year. We will optimise the tasks we identified earlier, thanks to the technologies and opportunities offered by the industrial metaverse. As explained above, a transport company is profitable if its profits exceed its costs. We can increase the profit of the company by increasing its profits or by decreasing its costs , this is what we will see

How to increase profits ?

To increase profits, one must (simply) make more deliveries. In this case, one should be able to plan in advance how to maximise the time spent transporting goods.

It would be interesting to use known information about the places most likely to be congested to create routes that waste the least amount of time in traffic without increasing the distance or travel time too much.

With all the data on the efficiency and performance of the vehicle fleet, routes and areas where there is high demand could be identified leading to greater benefits.

Similarly, certain areas are more active at certain times of the year depending on the products that pass through them, so by cross referencing this time of year area activity data in advance, peak demand can be predicted and more orders reclaimed

Heat map of Europe’s most favored locations for logistics centers

How to Reduce costs ?

First of all, it should be noted that it is only possible to reduce variable costs and not fixed costs. Fixed costs correspond to costs that are not related to the operation of the trucks. These include: structural costs (salaries for management, non-running operations, support services, information systems, etc.), fleet depreciation and insurance and taxes. These include: structural costs (salaries for management, non-driving operational staff, support services, information systems, etc.), fleet depreciation and insurance and taxes.

Variable costs are costs that are directly related to the operation and use of the trucks. (e.g. drivers salaries, fuel, tyres and fleet maintenance and repair)

Thanks to the industrial metaverse and the real-world data provided by the truck’s sensors (GPS position, speed, fuel consumption, remaining fuel, oil level, possible mechanical problems, etc.) and by third-party services (weather, traffic conditions, work on the route, etc.), we will be able to create an interactive and “living” road map that will enable the road operator to reduce his variable costs.

Example of sensors on a truck and trailer

For example, he could run simulations in this industrial metaverse to test alternative routes and observe the impact on fuel consumption or travel time. With live traffic data, the fleet manager could indicate a change of route to limit the time spent in traffic jams and therefore the downtime that could have been incurred afterwards (time lost in traffic jams can postpone subsequent deliveries, possibly resulting in lost orders) while taking into account the dimensions and weight of the truck (passing over and under bridges, crossing a village…).

With data on the life of certain engine parts, the manager could organise preventive maintenance at calculated intervals while trying to stop the truck at a time when it will have the least impact on the business.