CHICAGO — Most laundry and linen service providers need to transport goods via truck or van, off-site, and those companies are trying to be as efficient as possible within their standard transportation operations.
That’s what respondents indicated in a recent American Laundry News Your Views survey.
Almost 90% of respondents indicate that their laundry and linen service transports to and from their plant via a truck or delivery van. The remainder do not transport soiled or processed goods.
When asked if the nature of their operations requires transport of all goods processed off-site, or just a portion of them, 65.5% say they transport all goods off-site. Just 20% of respondents transport a portion of their processed goods, and 14.6% of those who took the survey say they don’t transport any goods off-site.
What types of delivery vehicles are respondents using? They include step vans, box trucks, semis, trailers and some SUVs.
When it comes to efficiency, those who responded to the survey aren’t looking at alternative-fuel or hybrid vehicles. Just 7.4% of laundry and linen services professionals indicate that their companies use alternative-fuel or hybrid vehicles in their fleets.
Survey results also indicate that most respondents aren’t even considering the use of alternative-fuel of hybrid delivery vehicles.
Less than one-quarter (20.4%) indicate their companies would “possibly” consider buying or leasing, while the majority (79.6%) of respondents aren’t even considering the option. No one who took the survey says their company is actively considering buying or leasing those types of vehicles.
So, how have respondents’ laundry and linen services improved transportation efficiency? Some are using technology in the form of route software.
“The change to SPOT POS allows us to have the tablets in each van with route tracking and scanner, which help us be more efficient and accurate,” writes a respondent.
Another writes, “We’re using an in-cab monitoring/coaching/logging device [Inthinc] in all vehicles to record speed and driving habits.”
Other respondents say their companies are making equipment changes.
“To cut down on trips back, we added the trailer to extend time before buying a larger one,” writes one respondent.
“Wheeled carts, and flat floor trucks,” writes another. “And lift gates.”
Other companies indicate they have altered routes and load types to maximize efficiency, such as a consolidation of routes for one respondent.
Another writes, “We changed drivers’ runs to balance workday hours. And we have GPS on our fleet vehicles.”
“We deliver some medical supplies to hospitals, and we sometimes obviously try to have full trucks going out and returning to our site,” adds a respondent from a healthcare laundry and linen service.
While the Your Views survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.
Subscribers to American Laundry News e-mails are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each quarter. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and identify industry trends.