Speedy contact brings benefits
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ADVANTAGES to be derived by transport operators from the use of faster communications systems provided the theme for a talk last week by Mr. E. R. Walton, systems adviser of International Computers and Tabulators Ltd. Addressing the south-eastern group of the Institute of Transport, Mr. Walton said developments now pending would enable data transmission along the unused portion of a telephone line—a normal telephone conversation utilizes only 50 per cent of this capacity.
He contrasted the 2s. 8d. cost of a four-minute telephone conversation (for 50 miles) with a Telex message, conveying the same amount of information but costing only 4d. Data transmission systems were currently used in transport undertakings for air line seat reservations, wagon progress control, on-line enquiry systems at ports, airport ground control, and traffic control. And computers had been used to determine depot siting, optimum transport routing and to simulate the long term operating characteristics of a dock or transport yard.
Mr. Walton said he believed that any transport concern handling large volumes of data and needing to plan movements in advance, or ask question relating to the movement of vehicles or goods, should consider the use of faster communication methods.
A parcels carrier, for instance, with 20 or 30 widely spaced depots, could solve many problems using a computer which could list and total the weight of all consignments handled and provide a check against waybills and delivery sheets. Such a check would be of great help to security for the computer, by sorting data, could check at each of several stages that all the contents were present. Any discrepancies noted would be signalled immediately to the depot involved.
A parcels carrier could use a computer with or without data transmission. Without data transmission, charges could be raised, invoices and statements could be sent, the sales ledger up-dated, handling bonus calculations made and the claims department assisted—and all from the same input of information from the consignment notes.
It's still the LMCA
THE Lorry Mounted Crane Association
rejected at its annual general meeting last week a proposal to change its title and scope. Members decided the Association should continue to operate as a specialist organization catering for the needs of lorry-mounted crane owners.