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Trimble’s productivity strategy increases fleet sustainability

Aug. 16, 2022
The transportation technology company’s fleet productivity solutions are helping carriers reduce emissions while optimizing operations, according to executives who spoke at Trimble’s first in-person conference since 2019.

Digital solutions that blend data and workflows continue to transform how fleets operate, according to Trimble president and CEO Rob Painter, who touted his company’s work to make carriers, shippers, and brokers work better together.

That work together, Painter noted on the first full day of Trimble’s Insight Tech Conference and Expo, is part of Trimble’s Connect and Scale 2025 strategy, which he launched in 2019. The data-focused strategy centers on building cloud platforms to streamline the industry lifecycle of transportation—from procurement to planning to execution.

“Trimble historically—and past, present, future—arrives at the intersection of productivity and sustainability,” Painter told FleetOwner. “By virtue of doing that work better and faster, you’re doing it in a more sustainable manner.”

See also: Leveraging technology in challenging times

He added that Trimble's productivity is making transportation more collaborative, productive, and sustainable—for its customers, the planet, and the supply chain. For example, Painter explained, if a trucking fleet of 1,000 vehicles increases its resource utilization by 1%, it could save them a million miles of driving, leading to $2 million in gross margin savings on the company's bottom line. That could also take three million pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Utilization can be one of the biggest keys to sustainability with today’s trucking equipment, according to James Langley, SVP of Trimble Transportation. That utilization includes keeping trucks on optimal routes with loaded trailers. With more fleet visibility comes more efficiency, he added.

“The easy one to measure is fuel,” Langley said. “We have fuel-route optimization. It directs to the fuel that they need at the lowest possible cost.”

Trimble’s solutions include equipment-specific data that optimizes fuel efficiency based on how a fleet specs its vehicles and engines. “I know that the average fleet is still probably getting around 6.5 to seven miles per gallon—but some are getting over 10 MPG now based on the spec of that truck and the intelligence they’re using to optimize that. That may not sound like much—but it’s huge when you’re talking about so many gallons saved.”

Future benefits are arriving

After holding virtual conferences in 2020 and 2021, Trimble’s in-person event kicked off on Aug. 14 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando. 

 “Since we last gathered together in person three years ago, the world has changed—but this change has reinforced the crucial role of technology in reducing inefficiencies and maximizing utilization throughout the industry,” said Ron Bisio, SVP of Trimble Transportation. 

Added Painter: “There are profound benefits utilizing the technology. There are profound benefits by optimizing the routes as well as reducing the empty miles by bringing together data.”

Painter said more and more markets Trimble serves, along with more than half of the large capital investors in the public company, are focused on ESG: environmental, social, and governance. “Our investor community is quite behind what we’re doing,” he added.

“It’s increasingly becoming part of the top agenda of our customers,” Painter said of the ESG movement. “It also correlates to where I am having this conversation. We’re a global business. With our customers in Europe, it’s No. 1 or No. 2 on the agenda. I have a feeling in Canada, it might be higher on the agenda than in the U.S. I think it’s already come to some parts of the world. I think it’s coming more to the U.S, from my perspective.”

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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