02/05/16 by Egor Korneev.
Route Tracking – best approach to automatic arrival?
LoadTrek has recently expanded the automated route stop arrival and departure tracking to include both the location radius and the geofence of the location. Why retain both options? Which one is better for you? Let’s begin with a discussion of each methodology and the primary working principles behind each.
Location radius is a circle, typically 0.4 miles, around the location geocode. The on-board computer registers the arrival event when the vehicle enters the location radius and stops for a period of a few seconds.
The dispatching software automatically creates a default radius for a location with a valid address. This is a big advantage in a busy dispatching office. It saves time. The disadvantage of the location radius is the lack of precision in describing the actual boundaries of the facility.
Geofences are multi-vector polygons which users can precisely shape to a customer’s facility. An arrival to a route stop is recorded as soon as the vehicle crosses the boundary of the geofence. Unlike the location radius, the vehicle does not have to stop for the arrival to occur.
A dispatcher must build the geofence with clicks on the map, placing points around the boundaries of a location. Then, the geofence is sent to the devices in vehicles. The process to replace the default radius with a geofence is simple and takes only an extra minute. Yet, even that amount of extra time can be a significant disadvantage in a busy dispatching office.
What approach to use?
On the surface, each approach accomplishes the same task, creating an automatic arrival record when a vehicle enters a facility. Location radius is generated by the software. Geofences require extra setup by the user. When is the extra work justified? Let’s consider a case.
A large facility is located in an urban area. The location radius must remain relatively large to include the entire facility. As a result, the radius extends outside the boundaries of the facility and includes neighboring roads. A vehicle approaches a facility on a road that wraps the perimeter of the facility. The vehicle stops at a traffic signal and the arrival event is recorded, but the vehicle has another few minutes of driving remaining, and there is a line at the security gate. The vehicle enters the facility fifteen minutes after the arrival time was first recorded.
If the precision of the arrival times is important to your operation, then this is a good case for creating a geofence. We advocate using geofences for arrivals in all cases. They offer additional reporting capabilities that location radius lack, such as geofence-specific speed limits, inclusion or exclusion zone indicators, alerts on arrivals. However, If you run a very busy dispatch operation with multiple new pickup and delivery locations each day, then the simplicity of the location radius could be a good choice.
A company can use both approaches simultaneously, for different locations. If one location has a defined geofence, then the on-board computer will use it for arrivals and departures. If another location does not have a geofence, then the system will automatically fall back on the location radius for the route progress tracking.
In the later posts, we will discuss the Vicinity Arrival Reports that compare arrivals into location radiuses and location geofences. These reports can help you troubleshoot locations that require extended time to enter and cause non-compliance with the shippers’ schedules. Stay tuned.
Check out LoadTrek webinar calendar. We regularly hold webinars on new features and software functionality.
Written by: Egor Korneev
Edited by: Dushan Yovovich