The road to increased productivity with HPMV navigation

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About Ixom

Ixom has a long and proud history of supplying chemicals for agriculture, mining, life sciences, building and construction.

With more than 1,000 employees globally, Ixom is the market leader in water treatment and chemical distribution in Australia and New Zealand, with a growing presence in North and South America, as well as Asia.

Whether it is the fresh and clean water you drink, the many household products you use, the foods you eat – Ixom is part of every New Zealand household in one way or another.

The Problem

• Knowing which roads can safely manage the dimensions of HPMV vehicles is critical when transporting chemical cargo
• HPMV permits can be suspended or canceled for vehicles driving on a non-permitted route

High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMV) including 50MAX, are trucks that are able to operate above the current 44 tonne weight limit under permit. Allowing bigger trucks on our roads reduces the number of truck trips needed to move the same amount of freight, leading to safety and economic benefits for producers, customers and our communities.

Each permitted HPMV vehicle operates under a route specific to the HPMV permit granted by the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) or issuing local authority. HPMV vehicles carrying loads must only be driven on the routes that are outlined on the permit and must follow any additional requirements or special conditions listed on the permit. Every HPMV permit is unique with its own idiosyncrasies and is simply a piece of paper with a list of roads and directions detailed on it (eg. it is issued in a non-electronic format).

A vehicle operating on an HPMV permit must carry the permit in the truck at all times and the permit must be shown to a police officer on request. Penalties can be incurred for infringements (eg. driving on a non-permitted route) and regular penalties could mean suspension or even cancellation of permits. Cancellations and suspensions can result in organisations having to reconfigure their fleet, or carry less freight on each journey, or even render their operations non-viable financially.

For any business involved in distribution and logistics, health and safety are vitally important, and when your cargo is chemical, then road safety and capacity is of particular importance. When it comes to capacity, it’s generally certain identified bridges and culverts that are not able to safely manage the dimensions of HPMV vehicles. HPMV routes are then specifically designed to avoid these features.

The Goal

Complete compliance with the directives and requirements of their HPMV permits is key to the continuation of the excellent safety outcomes and the great reputation Ixom enjoys. Full compliance also means the avoidance of unnecessary costs, or a reduction in productivity for the business.

Due to some close calls in terms of vehicle safety (that were largely related to the limitations and complexities of the paper-based issuing of the HPMV permits) Ixom knew that they needed to lead and innovate by finding a modern digital navigation solution.

The Challenge

• Paper based permits are tough to translate into real world operations
• The free road/route data available is not fit for purpose

In New Zealand, Ixom are essentially a chemical supplier with their own transport and distribution arm, with 12 HPMV permits nationally - 2 HPMV vehicles operating in the South Island and 10 in the North Island. Each HPMV permit is specific to a truck and each truck usually has 2 different drivers allocated.

Operating from Whangarei to Bluff, Ixom distribute approximately 250,000 tonnes per annum of “class 8” chemicals to over 100 customers, largely in the watercare, pulp paper, dairy and broader industrial sectors.

Due to the often volatile and potentially dangerous nature of the materials transported, the health and safety of their employees (and as a consequence all New Zealanders) is a mission critical part of their operations.

In the 5 years that Ixom have been operating HPMV vehicles, they have consistently found that the paper-based permits present a significant challenge when looking to effectively and efficiently translate these into “real world” operations.

Initially, Ixom tried translating their paper-based HPMV permits onto Google Earth, however, the data just wasn't accurate, up-to-date, or comprehensive enough to be reliable.

The Solution

• NationalMap are the local data experts, providing authoritative road & routing data for over 30 years
• Paper HPMV permits are now digitised using the best available data

Ixom had been searching for a better solution for 18 plus months when a chance conversation with Fonterra referred them to NationalMap.

As New Zealand’s premier source of authoritative and comprehensive road, address, and location data, NationalMap have been working with clients like Fonterra for many years, helping them to design and maintain their truck routes.

Once Fonterra had recommended NationalMap, Ixom wasted no time in getting in touch. In fact, it took just over 3 months from that first contact by Ixom to an initial proof of concept and testing of a viable HPMV navigation product – with a lot of analysis work being done while the country was still in lockdown.

Working with Ixom, NationalMap developed a process to convert their paper-based HPMV permits into digital routes that can be presented visually on a map (both in a desktop and mobile environment). By combining the power of NationalMap data with the versatility and reliability of Esri’s ArcGIS Navigator (a professional mobile navigation app) Ixom can now provide their drivers with “turn-by-turn” navigation to keep them on their permitted routes and eliminate the risk of fines and the potential removal of HPMV status.

The Result

• Ixom drivers now have turn by turn navigation for all their HPMV routes
• Risk associated to non-compliance is removed & significant operational efficiencies created

Now, all the complexity associated with understanding and complying with paper-based HPMV permits has been removed for their drivers so that they can concentrate on the road ahead – not on paper-based directions or instructions.

Drivers simply need to select their prime mover / trailer combination, and the destination they’re travelling to. The NationalMap HMPV Routing Solution then determines instantly which HPMV permits are accessible to the chosen combination, and routes the driver to their destination giving voice assisted, turn-by-turn navigation on their mobile devices for the entire journey (whether they are within mobile network coverage or not).

The NationalMap HPMV solution not only ensures that all Ixom’s loaded "heavy runs" comply with permit conditions, but also enables drivers to route their return via non-HPMV routes, if their return weight allows, taking into account the 50MAX network to ensure their drivers don't miss any weight restrictions that might get them into trouble.

“Given the nature of our chemical loads, safety and compliance are absolutely essential for Ixom. However, the old paper based HPMV permits simply created too many risks for our operations. NationalMap have taken us on a smart routing and navigation journey that's transformed how our drivers work, removing risk and creating significant cost efficiencies.”

Willy Hogan, Bulk Liquid Transport – NZ Operations Manager, Ixom

The company we keep

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