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Delivery vehicles can boost retail brands, but choose the right one!

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With consumers increasingly opting to order online, and postal services struggling to cope, businesses are turning to delivery vehicles to ensure customer fulfilment. But the range of delivery vehicles available is almost mind-numbing. How do you choose the right one for your business needs?

In this guide, we outline the most popular categories of delivery vehicles, and what each is best suited for.

Delivery vehicles: category overview

Motorcycle delivery vehicles

Probably the best delivery vehicles for urgent or time-focused deliveries, motorcycle delivery vehicles can carry urgent documents, food, small objects, newspapers, magazines, invitations and gifts.

Due to the limited space of the cargo chest of motorcycles as delivery vehicles, it is only possible to carry smaller orders. It is worth mentioning that the weight and volume supported by the compartment should not be exceeded.

The main advantages of motorcycles as delivery vehicles are: higher speed, ease of parking, lower fuel consumption and economical maintenance. In addition, motorcycles do not cause traffic congestion and arrive faster at the final destination. This capability, as with any delivery vehicles, can be made even more efficient with the use of a fleet tracker to optimise routes for better timeliness and fuel consumption.

Vans

Vans can mix the load capacity of objects and there is no need for an external compartment to allocate what will be transported. Van delivery vehicles are ideal for companies that have long-term itineraries and need to supply several points in a single journey. The wide extension of the luggage compartment allows you to transport goods with large volume.

The van delivery vehicles can support up to 1,000-1,200kg of load and can be used to transport fragile, heavy or urgent products. Gifts, perishable products or products that require refrigeration are also included in the delivery list. Therefore, the van is the best vehicle for special demands over short or medium distances.

These are means of transport suitable for light loads and small freight – their performance is concentrated in metropolitan areas. In this sense, some business sectors benefit better from these delivery vehicles, such as B2B deliveries between e-commerce and shopping malls.

Advantages

  • great size to transport in big cities;
  • option to transport teams and materials;
  • spacious and powerful.

Disadvantages

  • many blind spots;
  • difficult to park due to its size.

Light truck

Light truck delivery vehicles are smaller than normal trucks and are adapted to transport cargo in large cities. Their capacity can reach up to 4 tons and the size varies between around 2.20 meters wide and 6.30 meters maximum length. Many medium size companies opt for this type of delivery vehicles, since it allows quick access in metropolitan areas to make deliveries. The most commonly used bodies are the chest, refrigerated and refrigerator.

Advantages

  • higher load capacity;
  • resistant;
  • low impact on the total gross weight of the vehicle, which decreases fuel consumption.

Disadvantages

  • many blind spots;
  • even more difficult to park due to its size.

6 tips to manage delivery vehicles efficiently

1. Know the delivery vehicles and fuel and maintenance costs​

The first step in efficient delivery vehicles control is to always keep the list of company vehicles updated. This means that in addition to the model and year, it is essential to keep up to date with data such as engine power, mileage driven and repair and consumption costs.

2. Prepare the expense forecast​

Keeping information about each of the delivery vehicles up to date also helps in another aspect of vehicle fleet control : creating a forecast of eventual expenses and provision for more regular expenses, such as fuel. This is because by understanding how much each spends, it is possible to prepare an estimate of likely expenses and also provision for constant expenses.

A good example of costs to be provisioned are those generated by preventive maintenance – automakers usually make this information available. And this is good for two reasons: in addition to the provisioned cost information collaborating with the organization of the cashier, having the car serviced also helps to save money. Which brings us to the next tip.

3. Keep up with preventive maintenance​​

Keeping track of vehicle mileage is also important so that the service date is not forgotten or ignored. And the review, in turn, is all about efficient fleet management – ​​since postponing preventive maintenance usually generates greater expenses.

That’s because every auto part has a lifespan. Changing or repairing items on time keeps the delivery vehicles safe and prevents more complex and expensive services from being needed, also preventing a vehicle from being stopped for many days. ​

4. Monitor and manage routes

​For efficient delivery vehicles control it is essential to know the paths of each one… And the reasons are several. First, because by understanding the route of each vehicle, it is possible to assess the efficiency of the service. A route that includes more customers, for example, is good for everyone, as consumers wait less time for service and cars will encompass more services per kilometer driven.

Then, because it is possible to contribute with emergency or unexpected assistance – when you have access to the route in real time, you can include a customer in the route if necessary or opportune for the company. It is also important for safety reasons: understanding the route allows you to avoid riskier paths for the driver’s life, and knowing where the car is allows immediate assistance in the event of an accident.

Finally, monitoring and managing the route of your delivery vehicles fleet contributes to the reduction of expenses. That’s because you can design paths that include more services, shorter routes, design maps with fewer risks or check toll savings opportunities.

5. Evaluate the performance of drivers

Managing the fleet efficiently also means evaluating team performance to develop internal policies, reward and training programs. Telemetry systems, for example, deliver various information such as average speed, sudden acceleration or sudden braking, among others. This type of data helps the manager to understand how the driver behaves and, consequently, to assess the need to offer defensive driving training, for example.

6. Set goals

​With all the information about the delivery vehicles at hand, it is possible to set goals so that management becomes even more efficient and positively impacts the company’s results. You can use data on fuel costs and routes chosen by the team, for example, to develop financial and performance goals – such as out-of-hours vehicle use policies or optimization of services by region.

Defensive driving or sustainability practices, on the other hand, are goals that contribute at different levels and in various ways to the company, traffic and community. In other words, you can set goals of all kinds for your fleet from the information resulting from management. And these goals, in partnership with the other departments, become important actions for the progress of the business, company growth and brand recognition.

Final words

Now armed with the overview of delivery vehicles and our tips on how to manage them properly, you should be able to use them to expand your business and increase your customer base.

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