The Advantages of Automated Geofencing for Telematics & Freight Software Companies

Every day it is easy to see the effects on the supply chain brought about by COVID, the Russia–Ukraine war, and other localized disruptions; effects that drive companies to look for ways to roll with the punches. At the end of the day, freight professionals and logistics tech platforms need to implement technology solutions such as easy geofencing to solve these challenges. They also need technology partners who can quickly and efficiently implement those solutions at scale.

In this article, learn more about how geofencing technology companies, such as those that provide automated polygon geofencing at scale offer advantages for freight professionals and logistics tech platforms.

Geofencing Defined and How It’s Evolving

Lexico by Oxford Dictionaries defines geofencing as “the use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.” Those automatic triggers’ effectiveness depends on the accuracy and precision of the geofence, and traditional geofencing can’t deliver the quality needed in today’s transportation and logistics industries. However, advanced geofencing platforms can.

Currently,  many freight brokers, TMS providers, or other transportation technology companies manually draw circular geofences. However,  manual drawing of polygon geofencing is time-consuming and prone to human error. Plus, manually drawing polygon geofences often leaves needed areas of the property out of the geofence while covering unnecessary ground that can flood freight professionals with inaccurate data. Other geofencing technology companies, like Kestrel Insights (KI), solve this burden by providing automated polygon geofences at scale.

According to Transparency Market Research, “the global market for geofencing is poised to expand at a stellar CAGR of 30.0% and generate revenues worth over US$ 2 billion by the end of 2022.” However, while the market for easy geofencing is growing, few companies are taking the technology to the next level. For example,  large freight brokers with in-house TMS, other TMS platforms, and Telematics or ELD providers manually draw all of their polygon geofences. In addition to this being time-consuming, companies might use inaccurate circular geofences that may not contain the actual perimeter of the area they aim to geofence. Polygon geofencing technology companies, like Kestrel Insights, solve this problem by providing a data lake of polygon geofences. Logistics platforms and freight professionals can implement these efficiently to manage more accurate and transparent shipping handling due to real-time updates devoid of inaccurate data.

Automation Uses Event-Based Actions to Keep Everyone Informed

The advantages of geofencing start with automated event-based alerts and actions. These automated alerts ensure all teams can coordinate their efforts. For truck drivers, a customized polygon geofence can help eliminate paperwork by connecting via API to the electronic logging device (ELD) to confirm the arrival, departure, and dwell times for accurate billing. These event-based triggers result in more informed management and the ability to handle changes within the overall transportation and loading/unloading schedule. This is the core advantage of easy geofencing.

Let’s consider an example use case. An ELD manufacturer integrates Kestrel Insights’ data into its analytics capabilities. When the driver crosses a geofence, the ELD software sends an alert to the respective dock management team. Knowing the exact location of that truck allows the team to immediately assess whether the dock is ready to unload the shipment. If the driver must wait, the ELD tracks the dwell time. Once the cargo is unloaded, the ELD software again sends an alert to connected systems to show when the truck departed and crossed the geofence again. This provides a documented record of the truck’s activities and its location in the context of time, but only as accurate as the geofence that those notifications are based on. As a result, shippers can rest assured that billed dwell time is accurate, and if something seems off, the shipper could use that data to compare tracked events to billed events. It all amounts to a better understanding and use of data to keep everyone honest and informed of all processes while goods are in transit.

Geofencing Improves Collaboration When Precision Matters

The Amazon Effect of same-day delivery has heightened expectations among consumers and supply chain collaborators alike. Everyone needs and wants collaboration to do more with less and know the moment a change occurs. Unfortunately, collaboration often falls short due to a lack of integration and poor visibility into the exact times when a load departs or arrives. With precise, easy geofencing, freight teams can finally increase collaboration by having more data to account for transportation schedule changes.

Dynamic geofencing service providers, such as Kestrel Insights, are especially beneficial in managing all supply chain activities in painstaking detail. There is no standard in the world of geofencing; carriers, shipper, and brokers can all be operating off a different geofence they each drew for the exact same location. This level of discrepancy adds to the confusion and inability to reconcile data between parties. KI is the standard for geofencing in the transportation and logistics, where all parties come to operate off the same, and highest level data set.

Location-Based Reporting Leads to Better Route Planning and Ongoing Optimization

By partnering with advanced geofencing service providers, teams can be more accurate, decisive, and efficient in supply chain route management. While a simple ELD can provide primary travel data, integrating an easy geofencing API can provide centralized operational data. In addition, with a precise polygon geofence in place, logistic teams can optimize their load management through:

  • Baseline Metrics – Companies must have baseline numbers to grasp where operations need to change before the most effective optimization can occur.
  • Exact Dwell and Detention Timeframes – Logistics managers can see and address the problems creating these unnecessary charges with improved data.
  • Connectable Missed Delivery Windows – By leveraging ELD and geofence data, fleet managers can connect the dots to optimize delivery schedules.
  • Identify Actual Travel Time – While the latest GPS systems provide more accurate ETAs than ever, they do not account for sudden traffic changes, fuel stops, and driver breaks the way data from a bird’s-eye view can.

More Data Helps to Track Driver Performance

While some drivers might consider geofencing as another intrusion of management control, shippers can use this technology to identify and share preferred driver performance. Fleet managers can collect everything from compliance data to on-time arrivals and departures. This data is especially beneficial for facilities with multiple points of entry. When a company can see that the drivers arriving at the main gate are getting dinged for late arrivals while others using another gate are not, this becomes an opportunity for better fleet management and gate assignments. The best analytics can only be derived from advanced, easy geofencing data, allowing yard managers to eliminate inefficiencies and create more profitable deliveries for everyone involved.

Geofencing Also Improves Fleet Security and Driver Safety

The advantages of geofencing in logistics transcend performance KPIs by their usefulness in improving the security and safety of yards, ports, and individual drivers and trailers. For example, with an accurate geofence, fleet managers can be alerted to unexpected departures and delays, missing loads, and lost trailers. Easy geofencing can also help ensure hours of service rules are honored and that drivers can plan their wait times for unloading and loading to maximize the usage of driver amenities.

In addition to providing data for essential business operations and logistics, fleet managers can link publicly available crime data with geofenced areas to ensure greater driver and asset security and safety.

Geofencing Lowers Operating Expenses

By tying in robust, easy geofencing, freight and logistics professionals can promote cost-efficiency for their clients and their own operations. Logistics decision-makers can confidently change their processes to maximize security, safety, and effectiveness. With accurate, polygon geofences implemented at scale via automation and access to that data, professionals have access to real-time reports that can track current costs, point to areas of fuel waste, and avoid inefficiencies and errors found in manual tracking and data sharing. These points are not only helpful for a company’s profit margin but also sustainability tracking. Immediate alerts from accurate, easy geofencing can get drivers en route to the correct location without wasting precious resources such as fuel, time, and expenses. Knowing one’s increased drive-time data, companies could utilize this information to competitively offer hourly rates for drivers instead of by the mile. Furthermore, geofencing can easily and accurately support a “virtual timecard,” minimizing the time and costs associated with manual calculations.

Put Advanced, Accurate Geofencing to Work in Your Supply Chain With Kestrel Insights

Despite the vast differences between one freight operation to the next, every process can benefit from precise, accurate location data of the exact location of a shipment, implemented efficiently at scale. Advanced, accurate geofencing service providers give their clients automated and precise polygon geofences, eliminating the inaccuracy of arbitrary circular geofencing and the expensive inefficiency of manually drawing polygons. Kestrel Insights can provide the best of both worlds with the most extensive data lake of locational information available, turning any virtual polygon perimeter into an easy geofencing experience. Get automated geofencing at scale implemented into your technology platform by seeing your Geofencing Efficiency Score.