Company: Paragon Software Systems Inc.

Technology Snapshot: With a predicted growth in freight vehicles that use more sustainable fuels, Paragon Software Systems Inc. has enhanced its routing and scheduling software to address the potential challenges of planning routes for sustainable vehicles. An increasing number of logistics operations are now committed to low-emission, fuel-efficient technology, which often comes at the cost of limited range. This latest expansion of Paragon software’s capabilities will enable transport planners to better plan around these limitations.

“Green fleets are firmly on the radar of many logistics operations as they look to minimize environmental impact by moving away from vehicles powered by petroleum and diesel, while also contending with emissions-based restrictions in many urban areas,” explains William Salter, CEO of Paragon Software Systems. “With this in mind, we have added functionality to our software solution to simplify the planning process for fleets that combine both sustainable and conventional vehicles.”

Transport planners will now be able to define the actual range of a sustainable truck or van, ensuring that the Paragon routing and scheduling software restricts the distance of any trip to the vehicle’s maximum range. If any subsequent manual adjustments result in extra mileage beyond the range of a vehicle, a warning will alert the planner to the potential issue.

The update seeks to make it easier for US fleet managers to adapt to the clearly identifiable trend towards electric, natural-gas and hybrid-powered delivery vehicles. Although adoption is currently more dramatic in Europe, multiple major manufacturers serving the US market, including Tesla, Chanje, Daimler and Volkswagen, have announced electric trucks for the US market will be widely available in the next two years. Further, leading transportation operators Golden State Foods and Ryder have ordered trucks. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 1,200 pounds of nitrogen oxides and more than 100 pounds of particulate matter per truck per year could be reduced by replacing an old diesel drayage truck with a zero emission vehicle.

“We initially developed this functionality to meet specific customer demand,” says Phil Ingham, support director of Paragon Software Systems. “But we believe it will become increasingly relevant for many types of logistics operations as they introduce greener vehicles over the coming years. With a growing number of low-emission zones in towns and cities, companies that handle urban deliveries will in particular face added sustainability challenges. We are committed to continually improving our routing and scheduling software to ensure it is best placed to meet these changing demands,” he concludes.