Wincanton took to the stage at Road Transport Expo earlier this month to demonstrate how a data-led approach can boost both logistical efficiency and sustainability.

Helen Flanagan, product director for EyeQ at Wincanton, explained that to reduce its environmental impact, Wincanton has introduced a control tower solution to manage fleet operations.

She said: “EyeQ is an end-to-end solution. It takes orders from our customers, builds efficient loads, optimises the schedules, and selects whether it goes on one of our Wincanton vehicles or is subcontracted.

“It interfaces with our end-customers as to when the vehicle is going to arrive and manages proof of delivery.”

Flanagan added: “Importantly, we have a data platform within this tech stack, which collates all the data and drives intelligent insights. Whatever we do this week, we can do it better next week, we can do it better next month.”

Fleet managers are able to see these data insights on a desktop platform and drivers are kept up to date with a driver app.

The idea is to create a joined-up system across several depots and parts of the business to maximise all possible space in every load and to minimise empty running.

“We are increasing load fill by 7% and by planning across more sites, we can reduce empty running for individual customers by about 8%,” said Flanagan. “These might be small numbers, but when you layer them all up across a large fleet, they will start to have an impact.”

A key success factor in this approach for Wincanton has been active collaboration with its customers and embracing a data-driven strategy.

 She added: “If you can’t see it and you can’t measure it, you can’t make it any better. Therefore, the data that we harvest from this system is probably the most valuable part of it because we can analyse it and say, ‘let’s do this differently’, because the data is showing us the answer.”

Over the coming months and years, EyeQ will evolve to incorporate more artificial intelligence and machine-learning programmes to better understand fleet data, which Wincanton said will become even more important as fleets transition to electric vehicle