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Roehl Transport Drives Safety and Efficiency in the Last Mile

Roehl Transport

One of the reasons Roehl has thrived is because safety is the company’s “cornerstone” value.​ Roehl’s professional drivers stand out because they treat safety as a value, and drive to protect others, as well as themselves.

Providing drivers with the safest and most accurate navigation instructions for commercial trucks to enter and exit a location creates the best possible outcome. Current industry mapping and navigation software works well in most city-to-city scenarios — except when it comes down to the last mile. Roehl partnered with Trimble MAPS to help drivers overcome the last mile challenges they faced, enabling the fleet to deliver more safely, efficiently and timely.

About Roehl Transport 

Roehl Transport started in 1962 with a single truck. Today, it’s one of the 100 largest trucking companies in the U.S. with over 2,000 tractors and 5,500 trailers, earning $500 million in annual revenue in 2019. Roehl works with some of the most prestigious brand names in America and is known for the high quality and reliability of its service. 



The Challenge

Across the trucking industry, last-mile routing — or the final leg of a journey from a transportation hub to the destination — remains a major hurdle because of the gap between navigation systems which focus on major roadways and the multiple options to enter final destination locations. It is common for a driver to attempt to deliver a load and navigate local streets, only to find that a local ordinance restricts certain types of truck through-travel or street corners with obstacles that prevent safe turns. Roehl found that many of its customers would offer directions that differed from the route navigation systems generated.

Furthermore, customer-provided directions had historically been entered into Roehl’s internally developed TMS system but only provided to the driver in a text-based format. Drivers then found ways to keep these critical details easily visible. At some point, drivers had to move away from navigation and attempt to reach their destination using those directions as safely as possible. They would be at the tail end of a trip, faced with tighter roads, heavier traffic congestion, and more things to be aware of such as stopped or turning vehicles, pedestrians, bikes and motorcycles—when their full attention on the road was most critical.

Drivers needed a better way to manage these variables and gain the resilience to get back on track, particularly new drivers, and Roehl was onboarding around 45 new drivers a week. Roehl’s challenge was to find a way to incorporate more precise location data for the last mile and deliver that information directly through their navigation system to improve communication, efficiency, consistency, and driver satisfaction.

The Solution

With Content Tools, Roehl customized 7,000 locations with: a boundary polygon geofencing the location, designated truck entrance and exit gates, and prescriptive paths that outline the customer’s recommended routes for drivers to enter and exit a location. Every new Roehl customer location gets built as a custom site.

Content Tools then sends the site details and last-mile information into CoPilot, the in-cab truck navigation solution from Trimble MAPS, so the turn by turn navigation system is updated with precise location information.

With CoPilot, Roehl is also able to provide drivers with short guidance messages, like if overnight parking is available at the location, giving drivers even more information in a safe and seamless way. Drivers know that if they look at CoPilot and see a different colored road segment at the end of the route, that represents the precise lastmile details they previously received in text-based directions. As a result, drivers are now confident and able to focus on one trusted navigation source, keeping their attention on safety as they approach their final destination.

The Result

The response from Roehl’s drivers has been uniformly and universally positive. They were able to quickly and easily accept the technology and found an immediate improvement to their driving experience. Drivers now expect that the last-mile functionality will be provided through CoPilot to support them as they arrive at and depart from customer locations. The response has been so positive that often drivers will request last mile route integration before leaving if it is a site that has not yet been updated.

The industry is incredibly competitive. At Roehl Transport we are consistently challenging historical limitations and working with our key technology partners and internal technology teams to create breakthrough solutions. Creating the best possible experience in the cab for our drivers is important to us. Working with Trimble MAPS has kept our drivers, and the people around them, safer, providing the peace of mind and confidence that is so key to our mission
— John Paape, Vice President of Technology/CIO, Roehl

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