Birmingham-based Trakm8 offers a suite of services to fleet users including fleet management, route optimisation and planning, vehicle cameras and telematics. The company claims that its industry-leading diagnostics give the customer greater data-driven insights into a range of key areas from route optimisation and fuel expenditure to vehicle health and driver behaviour. The company has seen efficiency improvements from a wide range of customers, including Autoglass, Iceland Foods, Altrad Services, The AA, Scottish Power and Euro Car Parts. 

Trakm8 captures the innovation award in recognition of how its Optimisation Algorithm has improved the efficiency of a major UK retailer delivery operation by a claimed 10–15%. 

With over 1,400 stores making it the second largest supermarket chain in the UK, the retailer has a large fleet of chilled and frozen delivery vans operated by both full and part-time drivers who deliver goods to homes – 99% of homes nationally are covered by the service. With same-day delivery being offered for online orders, the challenges to achieving a smooth and efficient logistics operation are immense. In order to improve efficiency in its operation and provide more flexibility in the delivery slots offered to customers, therefore increasing their level of satisfaction, the retailer chose Trakm8’s Optimisation Algorithm
due to its superior performance.

The key benefits of the algorithm when applied to the the retailer operation include reduced last-mile delivery failures; dynamic optimisation, including the ability to add and remove deliveries; vehicles and drivers; flexible slot booking that is simple for the customer to use; and reducing costs and harmful environmental emissions from the delivery vehicles. 

The algorithm allows for regional optimisation whereby several stores can collaborate, sharing delivery resources. There is a comprehensive constraint model for vehicles, drivers’ depots and tasks that ensures that not only business needs are met, such as overtime and shift patterns, but also drivers’ hours and HSE rules are complied, together with vehicle restrictions, including width and height, being taken into account. Deliveries can be grouped, calculating individual driver walking distance with their speed to increase efficiency. The algorithm also supports ‘multiple parallel objectives’ such as fastest, shortest distance and lowest cost. 

Other features include support for ‘shift stuffing’ – which builds full delivery schedules that, while increasing revenue may incur a slight reduction in efficiency – and ‘shift locking’, allowing for partial vehicle loading before a cut-off time, ideal for very fast dispatch in same-day slot scenarios. 

The results speak for themselves. Using the algorithm supplied by Trakm8 saw the retailer initial optimisation performance expectations exceeded, providing nearly double the originally anticipated level. Trakm8 achieved a 10% ‘miles-per-drop’ efficiency improvement that resulted in substantial savings in Co2 emissions, fuel and ultimately costs. The eagerly-awaited Christmas delivery slots were made available for customers to book five weeks earlier than previously, and delivery slot windows have been extended from the previous two weeks in advance to four. But perhaps the most impressive statistic is that across the fleet, the vans are driving between 170,000 and 200,000 fewer miles per week.

Highly Commended: Allstar

One of the frustrations for businesses operating electric vehicles has been how they pay for the electricity required, be it at the driver’s home or public charge points. After an acquisition of Mina by Allstar’s parent company, Allstar now offers the Chargepass, the UK’s only solution that allows EVs to be charged at home or on the road. Now, there is no requirement for separate cards and suppliers, the customer receiving a single invoice for all charges. 

The key to this is that drivers never have to pay upfront to charge their vehicle, be it at a public charge point or at home. Instead, EV charging costs consumed at home are paid accurately and directly to each employee’s energy supplier through Allstar Homecharge. When charging on the road, employees have access to one of the UK’s largest EV charging networks dedicated to businesses with Allstar One Electric. There are already 17 partners to this scheme including Gridserve and InstaVolt.