The delivery information you receive from your logistics partners and their telematics systems are not enough. You want to know exactly when to expect a delivery. The solution: an ETA (estimated time of arrival) calculator. But which one fits best to your business? By using an advanced monitoring method for calculation and by combining historical with real-time traffic data, PTV Drive&Arrive delivers the most accurate and reliable ETA available on the market.
Not all ETAs are alike. Even small inaccuracies or errors in calculating the expected time of arrival can trigger Supply Chain Event Management notifications (known as SCEMs), which can lead to disruptions in the following logistics and warehousing process and concrete financial losses. An ETA provider should thus be chosen carefully.
Making vague coordinates precise
Transmitted coordinates indicating the position of a truck are by nature often imprecise or misleading. Is the vehicle on the lane from A to B or on the opposite lane from B to A? Or is it on the road next to the highway or on the bridge crossing it?
Regular ETA calculators work with the so called single request method, which only takes into account the most recently transmitted position of the truck. These coordinates are taken as they come and are used as the basis for their ETA calculation. If the coordinates incorrectly indicate that the truck is going in the wrong direction, the system assumes that the driver has to turn and take a detour. The recipient of the goods receives a notification with the new ETA and alters his processes accordingly. The orders coming behind are rescheduled, employees reassigned and resources replanned. However, when the next coordinates are transmitted, he receives another notification with a corrected ETA and all the changes have to be undone.
To prevent these unnecessary notifications, PTV Drive&Arrive uses a different method called monitoring. Initially, a reference route from start to destination is calculated, taking into account specific truck requirements such as weight restrictions, bridge clearances or hazardous goods restrictions. Because the system now knows the route on which the truck is traveling, it can make a vague coordinate precise by assigning it to that route. This way, errors are avoided and notifications are only sent if there really are delays or deviations from the route. The goods’ recipients can rely on our ETA.
Predicting congestions in real-time
Congestions or a high volume of traffic can significantly delay the time of arrival. Thus, when calculating an ETA, you need to take into account the traffic situation at hand.
Alternative ETA calculators often use historical traffic data and therefore know on which streets and at what times congestions usually occur. When they expect a trip to be affected by a congestion, they incorporate the assumed delay into their ETA calculation – regardless of whether there actually will be a congestion once the truck gets there. This leads to unnecessary and incorrect notifications.
PTV Drive&Arrive also uses historical traffic data, however, combines it with real-time and forecasting data from TomTom or, if applicable, from a regional PTV Optima installation. This means that we don’t just know when to expect a congestion, but also when it will be resolved. An ETA notification is only sent if the truck will actually get caught in a traffic jam.