McKinnon, Alan C. and Yongli Ge

Use of a synchronised vehicle audit to determine opportunities for improving transport efficiency in a supply chain

International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, 7 (3): 238-219, (2004).

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1080/13675560412331298473

Abstract: The benchmarking of freight transport efficiency is a key element in the UK government's sustainable distribution strategy. In recent years, the government has sponsored several road transport benchmarking exercises. This paper summarises the results of the second major key performance indicator (KPI) survey of road transport in the food supply chain carried out in 2002. This survey took the form of a synchronised audit of the efficiency of 53 vehicle fleets over a 48-hour period. Five sets of KPIs were monitored relating to vehicle fill, empty running, fuel efficiency, vehicle time utilisation and deviations from schedule. A composite index of energy intensity was calculated to assess the combined effect of vehicle utilisation and fuel efficiency on operating costs and CO2 emissions. Analysis of the KPI data revealed wide variation both within and between industry sub-sectors. Some of this variation was attributable to differences in the nature of the distribution operation. There was also evidence that some companies could achieve significant improvements in transport efficiency by emulating current best practice within their particular sub-sector. The paper concludes with a review of the limitations of this research and recommendations for future surveys of this type.

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