Established in 2001, Refrigafreighters is one of New Zealand’s top temperature-controlled transport, storage, and distribution companies. The company, which has depots in seven cities across the country, distributes chilled and frozen product nationwide, from a single parcel within the city, to full B-Train units.
The company currently has around 130 fleet assets using a range of EROAD products including Logbook, Inspect, and Power BI. In the five years since Refrigafreighters started using the technology, cost and time savings have been significant.
As a tech-savvy company, Refrigafreighters understands the benefits of automation and telematics. “The business is around 80 percent automated,” says National Operations Manager, Paul Farnan.
EROAD has been an integral part of that move. “Going paperless has been a big focus for Refrigafreighters. With tools like EROAD Inspect, we can carry out inspections quickly and easily, and it’s digital and fully automated. That’s a huge benefit in itself.”
Refrigafreighters also use EROAD Automated Off-road Claims which removes paper and administration from the RUC claims process and allows them to ‘set and forget’. “The telematics behind EROAD is massive, and as a business, we wouldn’t be able to do that without them.”
Before using EROAD, the business was using time-consuming, manual processes to extract data that was unreliable and frustrating. “You’d have to go in manually, pull out an Excel file, strip it down, and sort it by driver.”
That’s all changed with EROAD Power BI. “We now have instant information at the click of a button,” says Paul.
With Power BI, the business can identify, at a granular level, how much a certain route is earning. “The information we’re able to extract is just awesome,” says Paul. “For example, we’re able to look at the weights of consignments and how many kilometres the truck has travelled and calculate the income per linehaul and the average income per kilometre.”
Paul explains that the data they can retrieve from EROAD enables Refrigafreighters to make better business decisions. “It gives us the knowledge to look at a route and decide whether it’s viable, if it needs to be changed, or if we should be charging a customer more for it.
“By pulling that data through Power BI we can really break it down, and if you’re not breaking it down then you can be very quickly running at a loss.”
Refrigafreighters prides itself in being advanced with early adoption of technology – using paperless, up-to-the-minute systems that supports the company’s focus on zero harm, health and safety, and sustainability while also removing unnecessary administration and allowing them to work smarter, not harder.
Reducing emissions is a key focus for most businesses running a fleet. But for those with heavy diesel longhaul trucks, like Refrigafreighters, the cost implications of moving to electric or hydrogen vehicles mean that option is simply not viable.
Paul explains that Refrigafreighters is still very focused on doing their part in reducing emissions. “We’re currently doing a big fleet upgrade through our lease company, TR Group, to the DAF CF85 units which have Euro 6 emission standards. That also means we’re getting a really good return on our investment through fuel economy.”
Euro 6 is just one part of the equation however. To maximise fuel economy and minimise emissions, efficient fleet utilisation is vital.
“We do a lot of work and management around optimising loads – from our class one metro fleets around Auckland to our B-Train longhaul units. With the data we’re able to extract through EROAD, we can ensure we’re running at maximum utilisation and that truck loads are as optimal as possible.
“Not only that, but the quality data we’re able to access means we can better plan for the future. We know what the fixed costs and variables are for each vehicle, so we are able to plan not just for today but for the next seven years.”
Monitoring and effectively managing driver speed is crucial for safety and fuel efficiency in any fleet, and telematics is by far the most superior way to do that. EROAD’s Drive Buddy provides in-cab, easy-to-understand feedback in real time, and the results for Refrigafreighters speak for themselves.
“We are very big on using EROAD to monitor and manage driver speed. If you have a driver travelling at 10km faster than the posted speed limit – which is easily done – they’re going to be using more fuel, and risking safety.
“We have a speed meeting at 8am every morning to review data, and we’re very happy with how we’re tracking. Our UBI ranking is currently at the lowest it’s ever been. Our goal is to be within the top 10 percent of companies using EROAD.
“EROAD are leaders in regulatory telematics and that space is all about helping us meet compliance. So essentially, EROAD allows us to do what we do best, by being professionals at what they do.”
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