what is a traffic manager?

The Traffic Manager (or Traffic Director) plays a very important role in fleet management. It is thanks to this professional that the management of the service in the supply chain is materialised. This is achieved by their managing of human and material resources, coordinating different departments, and developing relations with the different external agents in order to optimise the performance of the activity, thereby maximising the return on investment.

Traffic Managers are responsible not only for planning and coordinating all activities in the development of transport, but also for ensuring the state of the fleet as well as its compliance with the rules and legislation in force, both nationally and internationally.

The collection and analysis of data and information on the development of the activity is key for these professionals who use advanced fleet management solutions to obtain both real-time information on the state of the fleet and its activity, which supports decisions in situ, and historical information for the evaluation of possible improvements to be implemented into the business to achieve greater profit.

The Role of the Traffic Manager

While the functions of a Traffic Manager are numerous and can vary from company to company, depending on multiple factors such as business model, commodity types and vehicle fleet mix, it is possible to group the functions of a Traffic Manager into three main categories. These functions fall into three basic groups:

  1. The planning of activities and allocation of resources and tasks.
  2. Monitoring, management, and control of the fleet and goods during the course of the journey.
  3. Collection, storage, and analysis of data for the implementation of improvements.

We will now develop each of these areas of activity in order to detail the different activities which are generally included.

1. Activity planning and resource allocation

The Traffic Manager is responsible for organising the distribution of tasks as well as the allocation of drivers and vehicles for deliveries to the different customers who are to be served during each working day. Logically, this involves not only proactive planning, but also the adaptation of this planning to day-to-day challenges or possible incidents that make it necessary to reallocate tasks and resources.

This planning of activities requires prior analysis of the multiple characteristics of each of the routes to be served. Such characteristics include: the type of cargo and the requirements derived from it in terms of conservation of the goods, date and place of both departure and delivery, expected conditions on the route and characteristics of the assigned route, and lastly, the assigned delivery time and correct adaptation to the legal transport regulations applicable to each of the territories involved in the transport.

2. Monitoring, management, and control of the fleet and goods during the route

Within this category of activities, the Traffic Manager is responsible for controlling and approving the departure of vehicles, monitoring the state of the fleet and the development of each of the journey plans. This is in order to be able to detect deviations, control breaks, drivers' permits and the proper use of vehicles, and of course, manage alarms and incidents that affect the service, such as: changes in weather conditions or accidents that make it impossible to use a particular route, breakages in the cold chain, theft or damage to vehicles or goods, etc.

3. Collection, storage, and analysis of data for the implementation of improvements

The collection and processing of all accounting and operational information obtained after the provision of the service is another one of the fundamental tasks of the Traffic Manager. This data collection and analysis is essential both for the preparation of performance reports, and for the design of improvement proposals. Some of the improvements that can be obtained thanks to this analysis are:

  • Reducing operating costs associated with fuel.
  • Studies on potential new routes.
  • Design of specific training plans for safer and more efficient driving.
  • Planning resources according to seasonality, for example, preventing both peaks and troughs in demand and adapting production capacity accordingly.

Professional Profile of the Traffic Manager

This position requires a set of skills and knowledge specific to the position of responsibility held. It is necessary to have knowledge of national and international transport legislation alongside negotiation, leadership, and multidisciplinary team management skills as well as data analysis skills to make operational decisions aimed both at the short-term, and strategic decisions regarding the medium and long term.

As for the average salary, this position, which is considered a position of great responsibility, involves an annual salary of between £24,000 and £38,000 gross per year, depending on experience, the type of company, and the volume of operations to be managed.

Training: what you need to study to become a Traffic Manager

To obtain the necessary qualification to be accredited as a Traffic Manager, a bachelor's degree in Logistics or a related field, as well as at least three years of related experience is required.

MICHELIN Connected Fleet solutions enable Traffic Managers to obtain all the information necessary for successful decision-making. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, or even try our solutions for free, please do not hesitate to contact us.