Telematics gets everything onto the supply chain

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Text: Juliane Gringer
Photos: G. Leclerc Transport AG

The Swiss forwarding company G. Leclerc Transport AG handles a large quantity of refrigerated transports for its food and pharmaceutical customers on a daily basis and delivers the ordered goods to their destination quickly, safely, in a resource-saving manner and fully documented. Without the telematics from idem telematics, this would hardly be possible.

On a sunny Tuesday, the driver of the forwarding agency G. Leclerc Transport AG in north-western Switzerland grabs his tray. In the cargofleet Driver App he sees which orders are pending and which items he has to take with him on his tour. Today, he brings vaccines to a clinic about 60 kilometres away. The driver quickly realises: everything is loaded – so he is ready to go! If something would be missing, he could report it to the dispatching department with just a few clicks, because the transport process is completely networked via telematics.

Truck and trailer are equipped with idem telematics technology: The telematics boxes from idem telematics are installed in the entire fleet of the company with its approximately 200 tractor units and 160 semi-trailers. “This means that everything is located in one portal, we can handle the order processing and the monitoring of the vehicles and temperatures via one system and only need one interface,” explains Edwin Kohli, Head of Sales and Projects and member of the company’s management. “This system is easy to use for everyone involved, and the quality is just right”.

Seamless documentation thanks to idem telematics

G. Leclerc was founded in 1960 and is committed to quality, economy and sustainability. Flexibility and innovation are important drivers for all business decisions. As a specialist for temperature-controlled transport, the family-owned company primarily supplies foodstuffs both nationally and internationally, including working 40 years for Manor, the largest Swiss department shop chain. “Since 2016, we have also made a strong entry into the pharmaceutical sector and now use 50 EIPL-certified vehicles only for these particularly demanding orders, where you cannot afford any deviations or gaps in the documentation,” says Edwin Kohli. EIPL is the European Institute for Pharma Logistics in Stuttgart.
The vehicle fleet of the Leclerc forwarding agency is optimally adapted to the needs of the customers. For example, 50 vehicles are EIPL-certified in order to meet the particularly high requirements of pharmaceutical transports.
About ten years ago Leclerc started to use telematics to monitor temperature-controlled transports. At that time the order processing had to be done by an additional system. “When idem telematics launched the all-in-one telematics portal cargofleet 3 on the market, we immediately decided on it because it offers significant advantages for us,” Kohli describes. “We are completely satisfied with the system, which runs very stable. In addition, we are convinced by the service provided by idem telematics: The contact persons are always ready to help us with advice and support, and if necessary, employees from Munich or Ulm have already come to Switzerland to work with us”.

Enormous relief for the driver

To ensure that the vaccines reach the recipient safely, the trailer keeps the goods constantly within the prescribed temperature range between two and eight degrees – this is monitored individually by the telematics system. In the event of a deviation, the system would immediately sound the alarm and inform the driver himself as well as the dispatchers at the company headquarters. All the necessary information is stored in the driver app behind each station of the day – in addition to the delivery address, the app also shows the number of pallets and parcels that the driver has to drop off. To enable the fastest route, it calculates the best way to each destination using the integrated truck navigation. This increases efficiency, explains Edwin Kohli: “Without this technology, our daily order volume would hardly be manageable”.

»Without this technology, our daily volume of orders would hardly be manageable.«

Edwin Kohli, Member of the Executive Board and Head of Sales and Projects, G. Leclerc Transport AG

The telematics system makes the driver’s work much easier. Via the app, he can call up all the data that is important to him with just a few clicks. “This is really all very straightforward, practical and well thought-out,” says Edwin Kohli. “For example, you can jump directly from the order to navigation. Such details save valuable time overall”. When the driver arrives at the recipient’s home, he can digitally confirm the delivery by signing on the tablet. Or the driver can report problems – for example, if he cannot deliver the goods because nobody can be reached at the destination address. The entire process is automatically documented. Customers can access all information online and see where their goods are at any time. Among other things, they can display the signature and download the corresponding document as a delivery note.

Ten percent savings in consumption

One function that Edwin Kohli particularly appreciates is “Eco Response”: “The sensors in trucks and trailers measure values that allow conclusions to be drawn, among other things, as to whether the driver is driving with foresight. “This enables him to give the drivers individual feedback on how they can drive even more efficiently. According to Kohli, this has many positive effects: “The driving style has a direct influence on consumption and wear – and thus on the maintenance costs of the vehicles. Since we are also constantly renewing and expanding our fleet, we cannot measure the effect exactly, but I am sure that we will save around ten percent, especially in terms of fuel consumption.

Environmental protection is a strong focus for the company: “We are strongly committed to sustainable production, make considerable annual investments in our modern vehicle fleet and make use of technical optimisations. In addition to driver training, for example, the trucks are adjusted to optimise consumption and are equipped with eco tyres, and detergents are used consciously and economically. For long distances, the company uses its own swap-bodies whenever possible to switch to rail.

The vehicle with the vaccine on board now arrives at the clinic on time. A member of staff is already standing by at the ramp, acknowledging receipt and pushing the goods directly into the building’s cold storage rooms. From there, the medical team can access the medicines – and rely completely on the reliability of the freight forwarder Leclerc.

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