Type: Evaluation Essays
Sample donated: Max Kelly
Last updated: December 22, 2019
Q.1 How can the use of transportplanning and routing software packages such as Route Optimiser help transportcompanies to model and improve their operations? Areas to consider couldinclude fleet profile, number of depots, vehicle fill etc.
1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 WHAT IS TRANSPORT PLANNING? Transport planningrefers to the planning needed in the operation, allocation and management offacilities and services for the modes of transport faster, convenient,economical, and environmental friendly movement of goods and services.it is theestimation of all the possible travel demand and all the required services andfacilities needed to fulfil that demand. (www.economictimes.com) 1.2 ROUTING SOFTWARE PACKAGES- These software’s are used for the purpose of reducing costsand improving operational costs along with various other advantages for itsusers.
(paragon) these software’s can be used by all sizes of business fortheir transport route planning. Examples of routing software packages- 1. Routeoptimiser2. Paragonrouting and scheduling software3. Microline 2. ROUTEOPTIMISER SOFTWARE-The routeoptimiser software is used for daily route scheduling, optimisation andcontrolled transport planning and real-time fleet management for variety ofbusinesses and services across the globe. 2.
1- OBJECTIVE-The taskfor the live case scenario was to use and see the route optimiser software andexperience how transport planning is done through the use of a computer. Forthis, the class was assigned individual systems, each one having its own accessto the software for transport planning. The purpose was to create the mostefficient route keeping in mind areas such as fleet profile, vehicle fill andnumber of depots.
2.1 FLEETPROFILE- Fleetprofile refers to the kind of vehicle size, type and mix which, a business ownsfor the purpose of transportation of good and services.Whileusing the route optimiser software I did change the fleet profile many times,there were three different kind of vehicles (7.5T-van, 12t 17t) used formovement of goods. The optimisation of vehicle fleet affects the costs andprofitability of the whole movement drastically.
When I tried to keep the mixof all vehicles, the costs increased because of the 17t vehicles as they cannotaccess the cities directly, they need a 7.5t-van to support them in moving thegoods across the city which in turn increases the cost and reduces theprofitability whereas when I eliminated the 17t truck from the vehicle fleetand created a mix of 7.5t-vans and 12ft truck, the result was positive as thecosts of movement of goods went down along with increase in profits. This wasachieved as route optimiser was able to create a route where delivery usingthis mix of vehicle fleet have access to easy movement of goods in to the city.
The optimisation of vehicle fleet can work in either ways, depending upon thevehicle fleet you create as per your needs. In my case the optimisation waspositive and it did improve the profitability.For example- 2.
2 VEHICLEFILL- Optimumutilization of the storage available in vehicles has always been a matter ofconcern and debate for businesses, they always have a hard time utilising thefull storage capacity of the delivery vehicle as usually when a vehicle filledwith goods goes out for delivery to a place, it comes back empty but with acost of fuel, driver etc.Whileusing the route optimiser software I learned that the above problem can besolved by businesses if they plan delivery routes in such a way that thedelivery vehicle either comes back with their supplies or deliver in such amanner that their last delivery is near to their depot. The software helped mein planning more full loads as the routes and scheduling of vehicles was efficient.
The numberof hours in which vehicles operate plays a major role in the whole deliveryprocess and businesses often faces the problem of underutilization of the timeas a driver can only drive 9 hours a day in a week. Thus, forcing thebusinesses to use 1 vehicle per delivery in case if there was only one orderfor a delivery far from the depot in many cases. The software helped me inrouting and scheduling the delivery of vehicles in such a way that I was ableto plan multiple deliveries on 1 vehicle instead of 1 delivery on 1 vehicle.This was achieved as I was able to increase the number of shifts of driverswhich in return increases the number of hours for delivery vehicles in whichthey operate, up to 24 hours. The costof operating delivery vehicles can affect the profitability of a businessdrastically. While using the software I have learned that the cost andprofitability of the business depends upon the volume of the business as if thebusiness has a good amount of volume then it can absorb the added costs arisingfrom the operating costs of the delivery vehicles easily which will increasethe profitability of the business along with reduction in overall operatingcosts on the other hand if the business is on low volume then the added operatingcosts like driver fee, fuel cost etc. will decrease the profitability of thebusiness along with an increase in operating costs for the delivery vehicles.
Byplanning full loads of delivery on one truck on the same route instead of onlyone load of delivery on one truck, the software helped me in understanding thatfull loads can reduce the number of vehicles needed for delivery along withreducing the number of miles that a vehicle runs as the software creates suchroutes that is short in miles and schedules in a way that only one truck isable to do multiple deliveries efficiently. Thus, also reducing the fuel costsas the number of vehicles making the delivery reduces and the fuel consumptionalso decreases to an extent. Forexample- 2.3 NUMBER OF DEPOTS- I wouldn’t focus too much on thedefinition of transport planning. I like to see lots of practical examples…. Why don’t you have a look online and seeif you can find any case studies ? Paragon, Microlise and PTV group are allcompanies that provide planning and routing software.
Try to find the “Hoggs Back brewery”video on U Tube, or New Look and Microlise…. TABLE OF CONTENTS-1. INTRODUCTION2. Q.2What are the advantages and disadvantages of carrying freight by rail? Providetwo examples where companies have transferred the movement of freight from roadto rail. What were the main drivers for change and how successful have theybeen? 1.
INTRODUCTION Inthis assignment, the advantages of carrying freight by rail are criticallyevaluated. Additionally, this assignment also discusses the disadvantages ofcarrying rail freight. The two examples where companies have transferred themovement of freight by rail to road are also determined in this assignment.Moreover, the main drivers for change and how successful have they been, beingalso evaluated. 2.
ADVANTAGES OF CARRYING FREIGHT BYRAILWAYS- 2.1 LARGE UNIFORM LOADS OVER LONGDISTANCE- Railways is used for large uniform loads over long distanceas it economical, quicker interms of speed and best suited for long distances. (intermodal book)For Example- For every 100-tonne km that coal is transportedin Britain, 79% is undertaken by railway along with many other commodities. 2.2 HIGH SPEED AND SAFER- It’s speed over long distances is more than anyother mode of transport, except airways. Thus, it is the best choice for longdistance traffic as well.
Railway is the safestform of transport as the chances of accidents and breakdowns of railways areminimum as compared to other modes of transport. Moreover, the traffic can beprotected from the exposure to sun, rains, snow etc. (class notes) 2.3 RELIABLE- Over the years railway has proven to be the most reliablemode of transport due to its on-time arrival along with other benefits likesecurity of freight in transit, a lower level of accidents etc. (class notes) For example- The moving annualaverage for punctuality on the UK’s railways was 91.6% for the 13 periods to 7January 2012.
This is a composite statistic across passenger and all types offreight and infrastructure trains. (www.freightarranger.com) 2.4 ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY- Trains are considered one of the most energy-efficient meansfor transportation.
To transportation one passenger one kilometre, a car needstwice to five times the energy by a train. This average increase from four toeight times in the case of an aircraft. (class notes) 2.
5 LESS AFFECTED BY WEATHER- Railway is prone to weather to an extent where it is leastaffected by weather as compared to other modes of transport as rail tracksusually doesn’t work only in the case of extreme weather conditions. 3. DISADVANTAGES OF CARRYING FREIGHT BYRAILWAYS- 3.
1 BIG INVESTMENT OUTLAY- The railway requires a largeinvestment of capital as the cost of construction, maintenance and overheadexpenses are very high as compared to other modes of transport. Moreover, theinvestments are specific and immobile. In case the traffic is not sufficient,the investments may mean wastage of huge resources. (class notes)For example- In the currentfive-year plan the cost of enhancing and maintaining the railways has a budgetof 15 billion GGP.
(www.ft.com) 3.2 LESSCOMPETITIVE MARKET- The more you bring in competition, the more youcan be confident of working in the most efficient way. (mark carne, railwaynetwork chief). but the reality is opposite as the market has very few playersdue to the conditions involved in this market.
3.3 NO DOORTO DOOR- Rail transport cannot provide door to doorservice as it is tied to a particular track. Intermediate loading or unloadinginvolves greater cost, more wear and tear and wastage of time. For example- railways only work in an intermodal setup where road transport is usedto provide door to door service. 4. LIMITEDROUTES AND FIXED TIMING Another disadvantage of railway transport is itsinflexibility.
Its routes and timings cannot be adjusted to individualrequirements.Thus, making it less flexible in terms ofdifferent modes of transports. For example- From London to Edinburgh, virgineast coast has the license to run 30 trains but due to limited routes and fixedtimings, first group has been granted a license to run only 5 trains a day,calling at Newcastle(www.telegraph.
co.uk). 5. NORURAL SERVICE- Because of huge capital requirements and traffic,railways cannot be operated economically in rural areas. Thus, large ruralareas have no railway service even today. This causes much inconvenience to thepeople living in rural areas. 4.EXAMPLES OF TRANSFER OF MOVEMENT FROM ROAD RAILWAY – 4.
1 ASDA-Asda is a British super market retailer, headquartered inLeeds, west Yorkshire. It is the second largest supermarket retailer whichfocuses on selling food, clothing, electronics, toys, home furnishings andgeneral merchandise. Also, it is a subsidiary of Walmart, the largest supermarket chain in the world. (www.asda.com) Prior to 2001, Asda was mainly using road transport for themovement of all the goods from its centres to the supermarkets all over theUnited Kingdom, but then they realized that they should change their movementof freight from road to rail. Asda, which started using rail in 2001,is in partnership with the Malcolm Group providing a daily service connectingthe Asda National Distribution Centre at Magna Park to the Asda RDC inGrangemouth, a distance of 550 km. Asda uses Malcom’s services once a day,which currently runs six days a week and can take a minimum of 13 containerseach night including general merchandise, clothing and food to the Grangemouthfreight depot, which is only 500 yards from Asda’s depot.
(heraldscotland.com) The rail haulage for this flow is provided by DBSchenker Rail (UK) Limited as part of their operating contract with the MalcolmGroup. Magna Park is 15 km away from the Daventry International Rail FreightTerminal, and the Grangemouth RDC is about 2 km from the destination terminal.(www.freightonrail.org.
uk) 4.2 TESCO-Tesco was founded in 1919 by jack cohen from a market stall inLondon’s east end. Today it is one of the largest retailers in the world.Tesco’s core business is retailing in the UK, which provides 60% of all salesand profit. Tesco has the widest range of food of any retailer in the UK.
Priorto 2006, Tesco was heavily dependent on road transport for the movement ofgoods which made them prone to high carbon emissions and high costs. Tesco, after 2006 working in partnership, DRS and StobartRail combined their very best road and rail capabilities to create a tailor-made solutionto meet Tesco’s requirements. The end result of this was a service whichis providing highly efficient distribution across the UK from Tesco’sDaventry depot. Since, switching to an intermodal delivery solution it hassaved an estimated 26,000,000 lorry miles every year, with a correspondinglydramatic reduction in CO2, as the full range of intermodal services come online. On average, each rail journey takes 77 heavy goods vehicles off theUK’s already congested roads. This results in dramatic fuel savings and canreduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% depending on the route.
(www.stobartrail.com) Tescocurrently has four dedicated rail services, which it estimates saves around15,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year by removing the need for 14 millionmiles of road journeys. Tesco’slatest initiative is that it has partnered with local businesses to run a newrail freight service in Wales six days a week transporting ‘swap-body’containers, which are delivered to the rail freight depots by lorry and simplylifted between lorry and train. The trains travel between Magor and Daventry,where Tesco has its main rail-connected UK distribution centre. Thereturn trip also provides opportunities for South Wales businesses to transporttheir own freight by rail at a reduced rate, further driving down emissions andcongestion and making the route more cost effective.
(supplychaindigital.com) Thisinitiative is part of Tesco’s plan to become a “carbon neutral” organisation by 2050 and it comesdays after it was named the top UK retailerfor carbon reporting for the fourth year in a row by the Carbon DisclosureProject. The freightproject is the latest in a series of investments designed to curb carbonemissions and operating costs. For example, last month, Tesco opened a storealmost entirely lit by LED lights saving an estimated 30 per cent on its energybills compared to a standard supermarket, and has also used electric vans forcustomer deliveries as well as barges to transport wine along theManchester Ship Canal from Liverpool to Manchester. (www.tescoplc.com) 5.MAIN DRIVERS BEHIND THE CHANGE AND HOW SUCESSFUL THEY WERE- 5.
1 COST EFECTIVE- Moving goods by rail is increasingly becoming themost-effective way of transporting freight. Rail haulage is more fuel efficientthan the road haulage. Less fuel is needed to transport a tonne of goods byrail than by road, saving both money and greenhouse emissions. For example-The super markets were able to cut its costs down as theyreckon that they have saved many million road miles each year which has broughtdown their costs of fuel, manpower and training of drivers drastically.Asda was able to successfully save 5 million road miles eachyear which has led reduce the cost of transportation whereas Tesco have been ableto save 14 million road miles every year, thus reducing the cost oftransportation drastically. (www.
networkrail.co.uk) 5.2 THE ENVIRONMENT- Rail freight has a vital role to play intackling climate change and helpingthe government meet that commitment. Over the years pollution has become one of the major problems in the UKand the main drivers are usually the modes of transports which emits hugeamount of carbon emission in the environment. Thus, in order to reduce thepollution supermarkets has successfully opted railways for their respectivefreight movement. Forexample- Tesco has a train which travels between Magor and Daventry, whereTesco has its main rail-connected UK distribution centre, each journey isestimated to take up to 40 lorries off the road, thereby reducing congestionand cutting emissions by an estimated 60 percent.
HGVs typically produce 63g ofCO2 for every tonne of freight transported per kilometre, which drops to justover 26g CO2 for rail freight. Aiming to become ‘Carbon Neutral’ by 2050, Tescoalso has four dedicated rail services through which they save 15,000 tonnes peryear of CO² equivalent per year whereas asda was also able to reduce its carbonemissions and congestions on road significantly through the use of railways 5.3 RELIABILITY-The ability to rely on goods and materials being delivered ontime is critical to businesses. Road freight is frequently deployed bycongestion. Every year thousands of hours are lost due to congestion onBritain’s roads and over a quarter of all road freight journeys are delayed.
Analysis by the department for transport fount that congestion was the biggestexternal cost imposed by road freight. (www.gov.uk) Rail provides a disciplinednetwork in terms of planning and management with sophisticated timetabling andsignalling systems designed to optimise reliability. Thus, the more thecongestion is reduced by shifting freight from road to rail, the better interms of reliability for businesses.For example-The Stobart trains punctuality for Tesco has been phenomenal asmore than eight out of every train completes their journey on time which givesan average of more than 97% whereas per the manager of transport developmentmanager of Asda, Malcolm’s train service arrives within 30 minutes of theirscheduled arrival cases, a much higher rate than moving loads by road.
(www.scotland hearld.com)5.4 ROAD CONGESTION- Rail freight plays an important role in reducing the number oflorries and congestion on the nation’s roads. Due to the greater capability ofrail, each freight train can typically replace around 50 Heavy good vehicles(HGVs). For example- Both Tesco and Asda were able to reduce roadcongestion by a large amount by shifting the freight movement from road torail, thus they reduced the number of lorries by thousands to avoid roadcongestions on major routes. 5.
5 Efficiency in business-Railways improves the efficiency of freight transport movementsignificantly. On time deliveries of goods and services, reduced costs and easein distribution networks are the key reasons which increases the efficiency ofany business.for example- Tesco as well as Asdareduced their costs by taking of the lorries from road along with an efficientdistribution network where freight movement of goods and services happens ontime. CONCLUSION- The debate on which is a better mode of transportation is neverending. It’s clear that in transportation, there is no right answer, just themost efficient one. In the above evaluation, both the supermarkets found railtransport as the most efficient one as compared to road transport. Railtransport due to its balanced advantages and disadvantages is a preferredchoice over road transport.
The transport and logistics sector thrives toimprove its quality and services on time, the road transport clearly is a majorobstacle for the companies as the road congestion along with the carbonemissions is a major concern for everybody these days. Growth in this sector depends on the abilityof a company to adapt to the changing dynamics of this industry. Thus,supermarket retailers adapted to the change and preferred railways overroadways.