What is a Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Score?

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Road safety and driver accountability is a major concern for road users, fleet owners, and traffic authorities like the FMCSA. To ensure that drivers and fleet owners are held accountable for their driving conduct, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established the CSA safety compliance and enforcement program. This program is meant to ensure drivers play a significant role in road safety. 

Within this program, the FMCSA groups carriers with others who have a similar amount of safety events, then assigns each carrier a percentile rank, which is the technical term for a CSA score. Drivers don’t have their own CSA scores; however, if a driver has violations, those are assigned to the carrier. 

How the CSA Score is calculated 

Any company that owns a large fleet of vehicles should beware that CSA score affects its reputation. 

Traffic authorities will collect a company's safety data from crash reports, registration details, roadside inspection, and investigation results. The FMCSA publishes results on its SMS website, which they update every month. 

All road violations are kept on the Safety Management System (SMS) website for two years. The most recent violations are given a higher weight. For instance, if a driver was involved in a road accident this month, he is likely to have a higher CSA score than someone involved in a crash a year before.

Also, vehicle crashes are given different weights depending on the severity. For example, a crash that required a tow has a lower score weight than one involving injury or fatality.

CSA score data is broken into seven categories called Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). Here is what goes into your CSA score:

  • Unsafe Driving: Characterized by dangerous commercial vehicle driving habits, such as overspeeding, changing your lanes improperly, and not wearing your seatbelt when driving.
  • Crash Indicator: A history of involvement in state-based crashes. The public does not have access to state-reported crash data. 
  • Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance: If a driver operates a commercial vehicle when fatigued or sick and fails to keep an updated record of duty for at least six months, CSA scores in this category are impacted. 
  • Vehicle Maintenance: A commercial vehicle has mechanical defects, and the owner fails to make the required repairs on time and conduct proper load securing.
  • Controlled substances/ Alcohol: Operating or driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol and other illegal drugs. 
  • Hazardous Materials Compliance: Loading, storing, or handling hazardous materials in an unsafe manner. For instance, transporting dangerous chemicals and failing to label it for road safety.
  • Driver Fitness: Hiring an unfit driver to operate a commercial vehicle. The driver lacks a valid CDL, and the fleet management fails to record driver qualification. 

The SMS website keeps an updated record of carriers based on these seven categories. It ranks each carrier and assigns them a percentile score from 0-100. The highest percentile is the worst score; carriers with such a score may be prohibited from operating.

Drivers need to observe the highest standard of safety while on the road because it can help improve their CSA score.

To improve their CSA score, the carrier must wait for the next round of inspection and record violation-free results. Although the public does not have access to the Hazardous Materials Compliance and Crash Indicator BASICs, the CSA score is made publicly available for drivers and fleet managers. 

Tips to Improve Your CSA Score 

If you run a large fleet in your company, you must give fleet safety a top priority to boost your carrier CSA score. Here is what you should do to improve your carrier CSA score.

1. Vet drivers before hiring 

The only way to keep a good CSA score is by hiring the right drivers. Recent research shows that you can lower your crash rate by 8% and driver-out-of-service rates by 17% when you use PSP records to hire a driver to join your team.

2. Invest in a training program

You can invest in a training program for your team if you want to improve your CSA score. If you want to guarantee your staff and team's overall safety, everyone assigned a company vehicle should be held accountable for safety and trained on basic road safety protocols.

It is also important that you have a clear safety program and policy in your company that every driver is required to observe. Use Azuga fleet tracking systems to monitor your driver's behavior and correct bad driving habits.

3. Set for scheduled vehicle maintenance 

Substandard road vehicles are a risk to your company and staff. As a company, you should have a dedicated fleet management system that ensures all your vehicles are in good condition.

At least 11% of road violations are connected to tires, and 30% to lights. You can avoid some violations that harm your CSA score by following regular vehicle maintenance schedules.

Final Thoughts 

CSA score is an important indicator and your fleet’s ability to operate can depend on the behavior of your drivers. Azuga offers you a quality GPS fleet tracking application you can install on your vehicles to ensure your drivers are using company vehicles appropriately. This way, you can limit violations that hurt your CSA score.

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Fleet Dispatching

If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business. 

What Is Fleet Dispatching?

Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.

What Is a Fleet Dispatcher?

A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team. 

A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.

Fleet Dispatch Software from Azuga

Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums

Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field. 

Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!

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Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, such as a residence or a retail store. This step must be as quick and efficient as possible to ensure that customers are satisfied, and products move as much as possible. What is last mile delivery, and how can businesses perfect it? 

Steps of Last Mile Delivery

There are five steps to last mile delivery to go through to ensure it is accurate and efficient. 

  1. Enter orders into a centralized system
    You've been tracking the order all along. At this point, the customer is most likely also tracking it through a tracking number. It’s essential that you track the order to know precisely where it is if they have any questions along the way. 
  1. Orders arrive at the transportation hub. 
    Last mile delivery begins at this step. From here, the business must ensure that the order gets to the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
  1. Designate delivery personnel. 
    Designate delivery personnel to deliver the parcel using a last-mile logistics solution. 
  1. Load orders onto delivery vehicles. 
    Scan each item before loading them onto the delivery vehicles. This is an important part of tracking as it updates the sender and the recipient as to the order's status. You don’t want anything to get lost along the way. 
  1. The order reaches the recipient. 
    Once the order reaches the customer, the last mile delivery process is complete. Be sure to update the tracking information to indicate the item has been delivered. 

Last Mile Delivery Challenges

Big-name companies like Amazon and Walmart are replacing last mile delivery with middle mile delivery. With middle mile delivery, the company owns the fulfillment, so the delivery process goes from the port to the fulfillment center. The problem with last mile delivery is that it is expensive: it can account for 53% of a shipment’s total costs. Supply chain inefficiencies are increasing as need grows, and so costs are only going up. It’s vital to optimize last mile delivery if you want to use it for your business. 

How to Optimize Last Mile Delivery

Technology is the answer to optimizing last mile delivery. Route planning software, for example, can minimize delivery costs and cut the time that it takes to deliver. Auto dispatching also helps to cut down on mistakes and time. Finally, gathering data and getting detailed reports can help identify problems in your operations and tell you how to improve upon your weaknesses. Fleet management software like Azuga offers all of these features and more to help optimize your last mile delivery options. 

Conclusion

Last mile delivery is still the standard way smaller businesses do their deliveries, and Azuga makes it possible to keep last mile delivery, even while competing with big retailers. Find out more about Azuga by reading our blog or visiting our website.

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Last Mile Carrier

Last mile carriers are the shipping companies that carry out last mile deliveries. Examples of last mile carriers include UPS, FedEx, USPS, and regional carriers. Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, which may be a residence or a retail store. Last mile carriers offer many benefits, which we will outline below. 

Tracking

Many last mile carriers allow customers to track their package on a map or see how many stops away it is. Other providers give customers a very specific estimated arrival time. Previously, it could only be estimated within windows of several hours, so this is an impressive and essential feat for customer service. 

Ability to Communicate with the Driver

If anything is needed when delivery drivers are on the road, it used to be impossible to get in touch with them. Now, apps allow customers to communicate directly with their drivers to update them on any changes that come up during the delivery window. 

SMS Updates

One benefit of tracking drivers is sending SMS updates if a package is ever delayed, and even update customers on when it arrives so they can plan their day accordingly. They no longer need to worry about expensive packages being lost or stolen, since they can pick them up right away. It’s ideal for keeping customers updated and satisfied. 

Delivery Ratings

Customers can rate how their deliveries went and leave feedback that delivery companies can use to improve their methods and improve customer service even further. Customers appreciate their voices being heard, and companies need to hear how their employees are doing. 

Conclusion

Last mile carriers are an integral part of the last mile delivery system. Last mile fleets must have the technology to track delivery drivers and update customers with necessary information. Azuga offers this technology and more to help streamline operations and keep everything running smoothly with the entire last mile delivery process. Find out more on our website.

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