Simacan on the road

Our ride-along experience

Wed | 20 Jul 2022 | Working at Simacan
Simacan on the road:

Ride-along experience

Simacanners know everything about the data side of transport. We receive planning and tracking data from shippers and carriers and transform this data into overviews on a map. Combined with real-time traffic data we are helping planners with their transport operation optimisation. But what really happens in the field, or in our case, on the road? Ten Simacanners got the chance to experience this as they joined a truck driver for a grocery replenishment trip.

With the help of Optimizers - the creators of App2Track - and Redder Transport, we were able to organise 'mini-internships' for Simacanners. Ten Simacanners went on a grocery replenishment trip that started at the distribution centre of one of the largest Dutch retailers, Jumbo Supermarkets. The trips we joined were always the second trip of a truck, so the departure time for this second trip was interdependent on the end time of the first trip. Calculating this dependency between subsequent trips is a new feature on our platform for transporters called Asset View. We did not consider beforehand that this feature could also be important for shippers. Our first learning moment!

We started with helping load the trucks at a Jumbo distribution centre. There is a lot of uncertainty in this process, because there is no consideration for quantity, type of goods and weight of the freight, but an average duration of the process is assumed! This can be quite stressful for drivers if there is a lot of freight. Our second learning moment!

Text continues below the photos.

A day in the life of a trucker - Loading at DC

A day in the life of a trucker - Loading the truck

Adapted routes and last miles

All the drivers who took us along were friendly and proud of their beautiful trucks, all experienced drivers and who have adapted to a fast way of working. This resulted in smooth trips in which they hardly used any navigation while driving.
Road constructions, road diversions - due to events for example - or preferred routes are communicated with a printed list (!) pinned on a communication board. Apparently working with paper documents gives the drivers a sense of security. Nevertheless, as IT professionals we hope that digital communication such as that of App2Track will win over paper communication in the future. Digital notifications for last mile guidance for example, can be adjusted and communicated at the last minute, which of course, is not possible with a printed list.

Read also 'Local authorities, retailers, carriers and software vendors join forces to improve the safety, sustainability and efficiency of the last mile' >

Waiting time at unloading locations

Jumbo Supermarkets has implemented the Simacan arrival displays, so the shop employees at most locations know when and what goods will arrive, because they can see this on these displays. However, at some locations this was not (yet) the case, which caused a lot of frustration and waiting time for the drivers. We noticed that the waiting time is often caused by two trucks at one location with only one unloading dock. Sometimes this is because multiple logistical operations from different retailers have to use the same unloading dock. This was also the case at one of the unloading locations in our drive alongs, where 3 different retailers (Ahold, Jumbo and ASWatson) have to use the same unloading dock. At Simacan we are working on a feature to detect this (undesirable) situation in advance, so the planner using our platform can prevent this from happening.

Planned vs realised miles

A lot of miles are covered at distribution centres that are not included in the planned miles of a trip. This results in a difference - discrepancy - between the planned and realised miles. Again, something we learned while on these internships. We are currently busy with thinking of ways to remove this discrepancy. To be continued.


All in all, we now have a much better idea of the value we add as a platform to transport operations. We will therefore continue to organise these kinds of mini-internships.
We shared our experiences with App2Track and together we are looking at possibilities to improve our products even more. Curious about the advantages and opportunities of the cooperation between App2Track and Simacan? Then keep an eye out for our next blog in which we take a more in depth look at the conclusions drawn after these experiences.

Are you a carrier and willing to take a Simacanner along? Then we would definitely like to hear from you! Please mail us at

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