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Transportation management systems

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The implementation of a transportation management system has been evolving into a core business practice in the oil and gas industry. This management approach is assisting in the coordinating the efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives using resources already available in an effective and efficient way.[1]


Management’s purpose is to coordinate the efforts of people so they can accomplish goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. A management system comprises of planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization to accomplish set goals. Management sizes can range from one person in a small business to thousands of managers in international organizations. In larger organizations, the board of directors defines the policy which is then carried out by the chief executive officer.


The transportation management system is a set of strategies aimed at improving the overall performance of the transportation network without resorting to large-scale, expensive capital improvements. The system integrates methods to increase safety, efficiency, and capacity for all modes in transportation. Resourcing incorporates the deployment and management of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.[1]

Implementing basics

Heavy moving organizations are the energy that keeps everything moving and functional in the oil and gas industry. There are several different types of transports that must be carried out in daily drilling tasks which require various types of trucks to complete the job properly. Implementing a management system for the transportation side of the industry can be a benefit to ensure completing tasks efficiently and effectively.

The transportation management system should possess:

  • The organization’s operational requirements
  • Transport needs and statuses.
  • Customer requirements and expectations.

The transportation management system should plan for:

  • Available and budgeted resources.
  • Policies and/or procedures of the organization.
  • Management and organization structures.

The transportation management system should have the ability to:

  • Measure performance
  • Analyze actions
  • Communicate results
  • Ensure improvement
  • Stimulate development


Transportation management system planning is a cooperative process designed to involve all users of the system, such as the oil-field community, community groups, environmental organizations, the traveling public, freight operators, and the general public. [1]

A successful plan will incorporate the following:

  • Forecast future projects and sites.
  • Identifying current and projected future transportation.
  • Develop long-range plans and short-range programs.
  • Estimate the impact of recommended future improvements.
  • Develop a financial plan.
  • Integrate with security.

Journey management plan

Although the execution tools can vary the most significant means of executing the transportation management system are the journey management plan (JMP) and dispatching. The journey management process requires all product and/or service line supervisors, including contractors, to issue a shipping record through a logistic transportation system. 

Journey Management Plan - Courtesy of Shell Global

A few factors that can be considered when assigning a journey plan include:

  • Distance of the trip –Is it beyond a city, municipality, town or metropolitan area where emergency services are readily available?
  • Trip routes – Does it move through known hostile or other high risk areas?
  • Weather conditions – Is the trip routed through adverse weather and/or road conditions?
  • Destination – Is the destination in a remote area?


When dispatching, the transportation contractor or coordinator should issue a journey management plan and assign it to the driver and anyone else related to the active trip process. Dispatching should initiate whenever there is trip requiring a loading or un-loading of equipment. It is important to insure the vehicle or equipment is appropriate for the intended purpose and will transport the load safely thus it should include the selection of proper vehicles and equipment for each trip. Dispatching should involve the inspection of the load including weight and the need for external offload equipment including cranes. Lastly, dispatching should also verify required paperwork including vehicle readiness, load requirements, and the driver’s available service hours.

Exemption to the journey plan

When vehicle trips are not categorized as a qualified journey, drivers should follow safety and security procedures at the beginning, all stops, change of driver or load status, and completion of every trip.

At the beginning of every trip the driver should:

  • Verify the vehicle’s registration, insurance and other vehicle and/or cargo documents are in the vehicle and accessible to the driver.
  • Investigate and secure all loose items.
  • Verify and comply with weight limitations.

During the journey the driver should:

  • Insure that all vehicle occupants wear seatbelts while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Observe and adhere to safe vehicle speed based on road conditions and other hazards.
  • Follow required in trip inspections to visually verify securement of loads.

At the destination the driver should:

  • Follow the destination’s mode of safety and security procedures. (e.g. proper facility entrance procedures and sign in requirements)
  • Submit inspection forms.

Assistive technology

In-Vehicle Management System (IVMS) works well in insuring a successful journey plan. The IVMS utilizes an installed electronic device in each vehicle which transmits trip data back to an operational base using computer software and satellites. These types of systems can collect data such as but not limited to trip route, speed, and driver’s hours of service.

Analyze and measurement

Some organizations have or need to have a logistics key performance indicator (KPI) reporting function for transport. However, other organizations measure the performance of the transportation system through:[1]

  • Goals, objectives, long-term targets.
  • Total hours transported vs the number of incidents.
  • Total distance driven vs the number of incidents.
  • Lost Time Injuries (LTI)
  • Lost Time Frequency (LTF)
  • Total Recordable Frequency (TRF)
  • Total Recordable Incidents (TR)
  • Vehicle Incidents (VI)

Noteworthy papers in OnePetro

Corrigan, M., & Regnault, P. 1998. Applying Journey Management in the Service Sector. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Pratt, R., Retzer, K., & Tate, D. 2014. Reducing Road Risk Using Journey Management. American Society of Safety Engineers.

Velazquez, B. A., Rincon, A. M., & Kanhan, B. J. 2010. Online Journey Management System. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Noteworthy books

Daganzo, C. 1997. Fundamentals of transportation and traffic operations. Amsterdam: Pergamon. 


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tawfik, M. 2015. Effective Implementation of a Transportation Management System (HSE Integrated Approach). Society of Petroleum Engineers.

See also

Example of a journey management form