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Trondheim’s TRV Gruppen puts employees first with route optimization software.

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Limerick, May 19 - The TRV Group is implementing AMCS route optimization tools to enable planning efficiency that evens out the complexity and length of their various waste collection routes.

The TRV Group (TRV Gruppen AS) provides waste management services for the Norwegian municipality of Trondheim through two subsidiaries, all of which are 100% owned by the city. The Trondheim Cleaning Works (Trondheim Renholdsverk AS) takes care of the collection and management of household waste, while Retura (Retura TRV AS) supplies waste solutions and container hire for the business sector. In total, the TRV Group employs approximately 200 people in their waste management operations and has an annual income of around 500 million Norwegian Krone. After a procurement round in late 2020, the TRV Group chose AMCS Route Optimisation to better streamline their waste collection activities in this city of 220.000 inhabitants.

Of utmost importance to the TRV Group is that its business activities are always in line with the most stringent quality and environmental regulations in Norway, as well as international standards. The AMCS Route Optimisation system will help TRV meet these standards while at the same time maximizing the efficiency of their collection routes. The TRV group of companies currently operate around 70 trucks on their municipal and business routes, collecting waste from various types of containers. Most of the planning has been done manually until now.

Automating route efficiency to even out the complexities

Like most regions of Norway, the municipality of Trondheim is a combination of areas that are densely populated and areas where collection locations are much more spread out. According to Lars Skrøvseth, CEO of the TRV Group, these variations in population density, zoning, ease of access, and types of waste containers mean that some routes are longer or more complex than other routes. “These differences in the routes can easily create the impression that some drivers have to work harder than others, and with a manual planning system, that may be true in certain cases,” Skrøvseth explains. “Automating the planning and the driving routes to the optimal efficiency and other criteria will help us to even out the complexity and length of routes so that the workload is better distributed among all our drivers.”

Happy planners, happy drivers

Addressing the challenge of more efficiency – and equity – in the planning process and route distribution with AMCS Route Optimisation has given both the planners and the drivers a new perspective on how they will be able to perform their jobs once the system implementation is complete. “Seeing the system demonstrated has brought more enthusiasm and a lot of positive expectations among our employees,” says Skrøvseth.

“We were already using an automated order system from which four to five planners would create the capacity planning manually,” he continues. “Now we will be able to plan the work better among our drivers, and our employees can see that everyone has basically the same workload.”

Sustainability improvements as an added benefit

Sustainability is an important topic in the Nordics and how that applies to the waste management and recycling industry is only becoming more critical as residents want to understand the impact and know what their city is doing to reduce it.

During the procurement process, TRV needed to make a choice between four or five different tendered route optimization solutions. Some of these were specifically for waste management and some were not. In the end, it came down to a question of price and efficiency within a solution that could meet the specific challenges of the TRV Group’s waste collection operations. The ability to use that efficiency to improve the sustainability of their operations was an added bonus.

“At a basic level, AMCS Route Optimisation will allow us to decrease the number of kilometers driven,” says Skrøvseth. “This is not only the result of shortening the routes but also because we can plan more of our routes by capacity forecasts rather than a fixed collection schedule. That way we have fewer empty kilometers driven, which means better capacity utilization in addition to lower CO2 emissions.”

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