The recent case reported in Commercial Motor of three delivery drivers being prosecuted after they were found guilty of falsifying tachograph records reinforces the need for delivery operations to be optimised in a compliance first environment. The drivers appeared at Exeter Crown Court in December 2016 following an investigation by the DVSA on alleged breaches of drivers’ hours regulations by the company. One driver was found guilty of 15 offences of falsifying drivers’ hours records. He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs. The other drivers were ordered to pay fines and costs of £990 and £503. Andy Rice, Head of Counter Fraud and Investigations for the DVSA, commented: “DVSA’s enforcement work is vital in protecting the public from unsafe drivers and vehicles and will continue to be a core activity for us in the future.” How can operators avoid having to make the choice between missing a delivery or exceeding drivers’ hours in order to make the delivery? One way is to always have more delivery capacity available than demand. This approach is expensive and may make the operation uncompetitive. And how do you plan for the peaks and troughs in demand? Third party delivery agents can be used effectively to deal with peaks in demand. However, the end customer experience will be heavily influenced by the third party. Using the latest real-time route optimisation and compliance management software will enable operators to achieve more deliveries per mile with the same resources without stressing drivers’ hours regulations. The addition of an effective Transport Management solution will also enable them to take advantage of the best third party transport option to deal with peaks in demand that can’t accommodated with the in-house fleet. To find out how Descartes can optimise your delivery operation, safeguard your compliance and manage third party transport operations contact firstname.lastname@example.org.