Responding to the challenges brought by Covid-19, Northampton-based Linkline Transport is expanding into the home delivery sector, while using Mandata’s cloud Transport Management System to improve customer visibility and control.
“Time was” reflects General Manager Tom Ball, “when vehicle tracking, proof of delivery, pallet monitoring and ETAs were cobbled together with a mixture of paperwork and chase-up phone calls. That’s history. Now we use an accurate online system which saves time and keeps us, and our customers fully informed at every stage of the supply chain.”
With a mixed fleet of artics, rigids and vans, supported by their own warehousing facilities and the Fortec pallet network, Linkline’s family business has grown steadily since its formation in 1994 to include ADR, trunking, air & sea and specialist contracts. All of which says Tom Ball, are streamlined using Mandata’s TMS and integrated software.
“Coronavirus has triggered a surge in home deliveries” he explains “and our recent move into the home delivery market is well timed. We drew the logical conclusion that Mandata’s real-time vehicle tracking and electronic proof of delivery would be equally as effective to keep tabs on individual parcels as it is for pallets and general consignments.”
Accordingly, Linkline are now combining general loads with individual parcels and all drivers can react to ongoing route changes and new jobs via their PDAs.
“It really is quite simple,” says Tom “the traffic office can see it all in their traffic pads – from the location of each vehicle through each step of the consignment journey, including the electronic signature upon delivery – captured by Mandata’s Manifest ePOD app. And at that point” he adds, “the invoice is already on its way to the customer.”
Furthermore, Mandata’s TMS integrates with the FORTEC pallet network and Linkline’s own warehousing system to enable real-time monitoring of each vehicle’s available load space, thereby improving return loads and vehicle utilisation.
Also, each of Linkline’s hgvs have recently been fitted with remote tachograph downloading, which allows managers to monitor drivers’ hours and individual vehicle information.
“This is invaluable.” Says Tom. “Remote downloading gives us all the vehicle and driver performance data we need to provide accurate information regarding mpg, rest periods and vehicle availability for the next potential job. Plus, we always maintain tight compliance control according to DVSA regulations.”
In line with Linkline Transport’s growth programme, the company is soon to open a purpose-built 140,000 sq ft warehouse which will consolidate their existing facilities into one state-of-the-art hub to accommodate virtually all types of consignment handling requirement.
“As we continue our growth journey, soon to include the provision of multi-modal services into Europe,” adds Tom “Mandata’s transport management solutions will continue to play a key role both for us and our customers in turn.”