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Second Harvest: Benefiting from telematics

Published on May 19, 2015

Illustration of Toronto skyline on a blue background

The challenge: Benefiting from telematics

Second Harvest is the largest food rescue program in Canada, helping feed hungry people since 1985. Perishable food that would otherwise go to waste is collected from the city’s restaurants and small grocery stores, then delivered to shelters and social service agencies in Toronto. With a fleet of seven refrigerated trucks and one van, they rescued and delivered more than 7.4 million pounds of food last year.

The solution

When Second Harvest wanted to increase the productivity of its fleet back in 2009, the organization turned to Geotab, an industry-leading telematics company that develops both the GPS vehicle tracking devices and fleet management software. Helping Second Harvest track its success and locate further areas for improvement, Geotab has donated devices, installation, and airtime for the Second Harvest trucks.

The results

In Second Harvest’s first year of using GPS and consulting services, it achieved the following results:

  • Reduced idle time by 30.8% per vehicle per day
  • Reduced the maximum speed their trucks travel by 7%
  • Increased average total stops by 7.6%
  • Increased distance driven per day by 4.5%

As Thanksgiving approached, averaged almost 13 stops per truck per day. Trucks collectively recovered and delivered a record-breaking 600,000 pounds of food in the month of September and the first week of October.

With accurate GPS fleet management, Second Harvest can provide its sponsors with solid data illustrating its fleet’s efficiency, showing that it is making the most of every donation dollar.

In addition to the productivity enhancements achieved, Second Harvest also experienced operating cost savings and enhanced vehicle safety. When food donors call the office with an immediate need for pick-up, the software enables them to locate the truck in the closest proximity, reducing driver and dispatch time as well as fuel costs. Monitoring driver idling time and other truck activity allows Second Harvest to analyze and adjust factors that contribute to fuel consumptions and unsafe driving practices. Tania Krauser, Director of Operations, noted that a reward system for drivers would soon be implemented, encouraging safe and economical driving as further benefits of the Geotab technology.


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From the fleet manager

“ We are very satisfied with Geotab’s technology and would highly recommend it to any player in the transportation industry.” 

- Tania Krauser, Director of Operations

Client profile

Second Harvest logo

Client name:

Second Harvest


Food rescue

Types of vehicles:

Refrigerated trucks and a van

Fleet size:


Fleet focus:

Fleet OptimizationProductivity

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