2016 was a great year for our container and ports solutions business, which started on the heels of our exciting acquisition of WAM, a specialist in advanced Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for refrigerated containers and other intermodal assets.
Another important OEM relationship is with CIMC of China, the world’s largest manufacturer of shipping containers, which is using ORBCOMM’s OG2 satellite service and modem technology to develop a dual-mode telematics solution for dry containers. R&D work has progressed during 2016 and we have supplied both OGi and OG2 modem chipsets as CIMC builds out its connected container offering.
Cargo theft cost the global supply chain an estimated $22.6 billion in 2015, while illicit trade in drugs, people, wildlife, contraband and counterfeit goods by criminal and terrorist groups is said to be costing the world economy trillions of dollars a year. IoT and M2M technology have a big role to play in combatting cargo crime worldwide, both for detection and prevention.
As such, last year we also launched our CargoWatch® Secure application, providing end-to-end cargo shipment security and condition monitoring. Coupled with our trip-based cargo security devices, the CWS platform allows multiple parties – from shippers, logistics companies and freight forwarders, to port and DC operators, fleet owners, customs/tax and other government agencies – to detect, manage and correct supply chain breaches. (Read ORBCOMM’s full 2016 Year in Review here)
The New CargoWatch® Secure Cargo Security Solution
We’re picking up 2017 right where we left off Read more ›
If you’re in the business of producing, distributing or transporting perishable foods in the United States, you won’t want to miss our live webinar hosted by ORBCOMM and TMW on February 16. Learn how the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will affect your business, get some valuable insight from industry experts about getting ready for FSMA and see how ORBCOMM-TMW cold chain telematics can help you comply.
This session will be presented by Christoph Kalinski, VP Food Safety and Pharmaceutical Solutions at ORBCOMM, Chris Corlee, Pre-Sales Engineer and TMS Integration Specialist at ORBCOMM and Brian Larwig, VP & GM Appian and Business Intelligence at TMW Systems.
Thursday, February 16, 2017, 2 PM EST
Chris Kalinski Vice President,
Food Safety and Pharmaceutical Solutions ORBCOMM
Chris Corlee Pre-Sales Engineer,
TMS Integration Specialist ORBCOMM
Brian Larwig Vice President and General Manager
Appian and Business Intelligence TMW
TMW Systems’ integration with ORBCOMM’s asset tracking solutions provides carriers a centralized view of the location of their assets as well as the ability to monitor critical cargo temperatures and sensor readings, receive alarm events and prevent spoilage claims. To learn more, visit www.orbcomm.com/tmw.
2016 was another big year in the rapid development of the Internet of Things, and it was another year of great innovation and growth here at ORBCOMM. Building on our roots as a pioneering M2M connectivity company, we continue to transform our company into a leading end-to-end IoT solution provider. With our expanding portfolio of devices, applications and connectivity, we’re changing the way enterprises track, monitor, protect and control assets around the world in multiple industries.
This year, we made significant strides in the delivery of innovative sector-specific products and services across our business units. We’ve engaged in new platform developments with industry partners. And we’ve made it easier for enterprises, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), solution providers and value-added resellers (VARs) to deliver IoT solutions. Here are some highlights from our key business areas.
Advanced trailer and reefer telematics helps customers improve utilization, reduce fuel costs and capex, protect cargo and more.
Tougher rules to safeguard food and pharmaceutical supply chains are a global phenomenon, and this year we also launched upgraded temperature compliance solutions for our refrigerated transport customers in the US and Europe. Our European temperature recorders are the first in the industry to receive GAMP5 certification for compliance to temperature monitoring regulations along the supply chain for pharmaceutical products.
ORBCOMM’s temperature recorders provide proof of an uninterrupted cold chain
The year also saw the latest release of our application for cargo security and condition monitoring. Coupled with our security devices, the application allows shippers, logistics companies, freight forwarders, port and distribution centre operators, fleet owners, customs/tax and other government agencies to detect and correct supply chain breaches.
In the container and ports solutions business, another important OEM relationship we announced is with CIMC of China, the world’s largest manufacturer of shipping containers, which is using ORBCOMM’s satellite service and modem technology to develop a dual-mode “smart container” solution for the intermodal industry.
Throughout 2016, we’ve expanded our presence in the global container supply chain as well. We’re proud to be part of Maersk Line’s ground-breaking Remote Container Management solution for its global reefer container fleet.
Heavy Equipment OEM We entered into a new agreement with Terex Materials Processing, part of the global equipment giant Terex Corp, to deliver a customized end-to-end telematics solution to track and monitor their mobile crushing, screening and recycling machines.
We also rolled out our new solution for the heavy equipment sector that gives OEMs, dealers and end-users in construction, mining, rail and utilities complete visibility of equipment fleets, enabling improved maintenance and management. This business continues to grow and expand as we evolve our solution portfolio to address new market requirements and demands.
Wireless IoT Services ORBCOMM is unique in its depth and breadth of IoT connectivity offerings. Our suite of solutions for wireless Internet failover and connectivity for IoT deployments such as ATMs, vehicles and digital signage is a fast-growing segment of our business and shows no signs of slowing down next year.
ORBCOMM business continuity solutions keep machines and processes connected, branches linked and transactions flowing.
Growth through Acquisition Furthering our strategy of expanding our geographic reach, technical capabilities and distribution into incremental vertical markets through acquisition, this year we increased our footprint in Africa, one of the fastest-growing IoT markets. In May, we completed the acquisition of Skygistics, a long-time distribution partner. Now called ORBCOMM Africa, the division brings an established sales base and distribution network of over 250 customers across 22 African nations.
OG2 Satellites December marked the anniversary of the launch of ORBCOMM’s final 11 OG2 satellites. It was a milestone event for ORBCOMM, capping a 10-year journey from initial financing to the spectacular launch. The last of the new satellites entered commercial service in March, completing the full OG2 constellation deployment.
One year later, the OG2 satellite fleet is processing over 65% of our network’s Machine-to-Machine (M2M) traffic. In June the ORBCOMM network processed a record 1.3 million messages in a single day. Our customers around the world are pleased with the improved performance and availability of our enhanced satellite constellation, which will continue to improve as we add additional new services.
Satellite AIS The new OG2 satellites have continued to improve our Automatic Identification System (AIS) service, our vessel identification and collision avoidance system. We’re now able to process over 18 million messages per day, a 35% increase from last year, and are tracking over 180,000 vessels per day, up 33%. Customers are receiving up to 10 times more satellite passes and up to 14 times more views per day, which is well ahead of our competitors. With several recent wins in both the government and commercial sectors, ORBCOMM has reaffirmed its position as the industry’s preferred provider of satellite AIS data.
Looking Ahead to 2017 Looking forward, there is virtually no part of industry that IoT won’t touch, opening up endless possibilities for ORBCOMM’s IoT solution portfolio. In 2017, ORBCOMM will continue to be at the forefront of IoT solution delivery, enabling real-time visibility, remote control and rich data analytics to solve complex logistics, manufacturing, services, transportation and supply chain challenges across the globe. With nearly 100 engineering and design projects in development , we end the year as we began – making a strong impact on the global IoT industry through continued innovation and growth.
See how a regional contract carrier of dry goods, Swing Transport, adopted ORBCOMM’s trailer tracking solution for improved fleet visibility, better operational efficiency and reduced theft…
Swing Transport is a full-service provider of transportation and logistics services based in Salisbury, North Carolina. The company operates a fleet of approximately 1200 dry trailers across the southeastern states, and specializes in service-intensive, time-sensitive freight with 80% of loads requiring on-time pick-up and delivery services. For Swing, maintaining outstanding customer service and improving operational efficiency are two of its main priorities.
The carrier needed a comprehensive trailer tracking system that would deliver 24/7 visibility of assets in order to minimize unauthorized trailer use, improve service delivery and reduce theft. “This was our first foray into this type of system,” recalled Gamewell, Director of Operations at Swing Transport. “We had seen the value of a tracking system on some of our leased trucks, so we chose to work with ORBCOMM to help us implement a solution that would provide the same level of value for the rest of our fleet.”
It’s hard to believe, but it’s already been almost a year since the historic SpaceX launch (and landing) that carried the second set of satellites into orbit for ORBCOMM’s next generation OG2 constellation.
On December 21, 2015, the world watched with bated breath as SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket, achieved a historic landing of its first stage back to earth, and successfully placed ORBCOMM’s 11 additional OG2 satellites into orbit. There were a few anxiety-filled moments, but it wasn’t long before all of our satellites checked in as healthy and the in-orbit testing began to start providing much improved service for M2M, IoT and AIS applications.
One year later, the OG2 satellite fleet is now processing over 60% of the network’s M2M traffic. The performance and availability of our enhanced satellite constellation has exceeded expectations, as echoed by the positive feedback from our customers around the world, who are experiencing significantly improved service and faster message delivery.
ORBCOMM’s OG2 satellites are far more advanced than OG1 satellites, which not only translates into a higher level of service and reliability for our customers, but also more opportunities through our expanded global coverage, increased market reach and the new applications that we can support through improvements such as:
Faster message delivery
Larger message capacity
Lower power consumption
Broader global coverage at higher latitudes
Increased network capacity and performance
OG2 is improving service for customers across a variety of industries, including:
Satellite AIS / Maritime The OG2 satellites are equipped with an AIS payload to receive and report transmissions from AIS-equipped vessels for ship tracking and other maritime navigational and safety efforts. With the launch of 11 more powerful AIS-enabled satellites, ORBCOMM now operates the largest space-based AIS network, with 18 AIS-enabled satellites.
Combined with our existing network of 16 ground earth stations around the world, average AIS data latency as short as one minute can be achieved, which enables near real-time monitoring of vessels and increased analytics capabilities. The high number of satellite passes (up to 142) and coverage overhead up to 90% of the time, translates into data refresh rates measured in minutes.
ORBCOMM is now collecting over 18 million AIS messages from approximately 180,000 unique vessels per day, surpassing all other AIS networks in service quality.
Heavy Equipment For heavy equipment customers with machinery working in deep quarries or urban canyons, connectivity using improved, faster and lower power OG2 satellite technology is highly effective.
Shortly after the OG2 launch, ORBCOMM took another step in simplifying the hardware decision-making process for OEMs and creating a truly standardized M2M platform by launching the completely interchangeable OG2 and OGi satellite modems. The modems provide customers with plug-n-play satellite connectivity using the ORBCOMM VHF network and/or the Inmarsat L-band network without the need to redesign their M2M solutions or stock and support two devices. The versatile modems are nearly 50% smaller than a credit card and feature an identical footprint, connectors, power input, programming environment, communication interface and protocols.
Transportation One of the key benefits of having satellite is knowing where your assets are at all times. ORBCOMM’s OG2 network brings peace of mind to our customers by allowing them to remain in contact with their valuable cargo (including refrigerated produce and pharmaceuticals) through remote areas and cellular network disruptions due to natural disaster or capacity outages.
Even though access to timely, actionable data can help improve profitability of trailer operations, the cost associated with rolling out new trailer tracking technology has traditionally held some trucking companies from moving forward. Fortunately, communication networks and devices have become both more reliable and affordable over the past few years, making it more technically feasible and financially viable for trucking companies to capture and transmit data in real-time in order to make their assets smarter, more visible and connected.
Here are 5 reasons why carriers should consider investing in trailer telematics:
1. Keep Trailers Moving
A trailer parked or idle can cost fleet owners an average of $448 to $760 a day. Without real-time reports disclosing where trailers are and what they are doing, operators are at a disadvantage and at a loss. There simply isn’t enough information to assess fleet performance to make quick decisions about fleet optimization.
A trailer tracking solution delivers the right data at the right time to help carriers improve productivity in the short and over the long-term. Status reports show fleet managers where trailers are, whether they are out of operation, on the road or unloading at a customer’s dock, enabling dispatch to make informed decisions on how to properly assign drivers to trailers. In addition, automatic alerts can be set up to notify dispatch of status changes such as when a trailer has been loaded or unloaded to help companies streamline load/unload cycles, optimize dispatch operation and improve turn times.
Over time, asset data collected via telematics provides the opportunity to develop better business practices and improve productivity and capacity per truck. As the efficiency of each trailer goes up so do the carrier’s profit margins.
2. Right Size Your Fleet
As a capital-intensive business, it is essential for carriers to use assets to their full capacity. If a trailer pool is too large, there is a higher chance of trailers sitting at yards instead of being on the road making money. Each idle minute reduces the return on investment of the asset. On the other hand, if a trailer pool is too small, carriers may experience a shortage of trailers in order to efficiently meet customer demand.
Utilization reports provide detailed information about trailer performance and utilization at each customer site. This information enables carriers to allocate their fleet more efficiently and potentially transfer unused trailers to a customer with higher demand and volumes in order to increase revenues.
Analysis of usage and inactivity over time helps define a carrier’s right fleet size and indicates how to reduce capital expenditures without compromising volume. Tracking also lays the groundwork for building incentives into negotiated fee structures (tariffs) to encourage more profitable trailer utilization. Read more ›
Discover how container services provider Balticon uses real-time IoT reefer monitoring to improve asset visibility, control and customer service to some of the world’s largest shipping lines…
Polish company Balticon S.A is a container services provider and trader serving an international and domestic client base. With its main offices in the Polish seaports of Gdansk and Gdynia, plus depots and branches across Poland and beyond, the private company has built its annual turnover to approximately €20 million. Refrigerated container services are a core competency and make up around 40% of the business today.
In the international arena, Balticon helps container shipping lines, leasing companies and forwarders with their container operations in Poland and the wider EU market, providing storage and M&R services from its depot network, plus road and rail transport to and from Poland’s ports and the hinterland. The company operates its own fleet of tractors, chassis and gensets for dry and refrigerated container transport, with clients including APL, COSCO/China Shipping, CMA-CGM, OOCL, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Maersk Line, Textainer, Touax and Yang Ming Line.
In the domestic market, Balticon sells, leases and modifies dry and refrigerated containers as storage units and for use within manufacturing operations, as well as for transport operations. It has supplied reefer containers under the “Eco Cold Store” brand for use in a wide variety of industry sectors, including bakery, chemical, dairy, fish processing, flower trade, fruit and vegetables, medical and tobacco, among others.
In 2013, Balticon made its first steps into Internet of Things (IoT) connected assets, acquiring a first batch of ReeferConnectMachine-to-Machine (M2M) telematics devices from ORBCOMM to test in its domestic rental operations. Using GPS and GSM technology, the IoT devices allow users to remotely locate and view the operating status of their refrigerated containers, with 2-way communications including remote temperature control, diagnostics and software updates, plus automated alarms.
Balticon’s rental clients receive 24/7 reefer container service and maintenance, including on-site technical inspections and call-outs, to ensure their containers are fully operational and functioning to the required level at all times. The company wanted to assess how the introduction of a telematics solution, including a cloud application for live monitoring, could add value both for Balticon’s clients in ensuring cargo safety and quality, and for Balticon itself in better control over its reefer assets, plus improved customer service.
The benefits were swiftly validated, says Balticon CEO Tomasz Szmid. Read more ›
The following Case Study is by Pacific Data Systems, a leader in smart monitoring and control systems and ORBCOMM solution provider based in Brisbane, Australia. Download the full Case Study here.
MineCo* is a global mining company that specializes in minerals used in building, manufacturing and primary industries. In Australasia, it has many mine sites and plants, some in very remote, hard to reach or fragile locations.
A tough environment
One particular mine in Australia is in the tropical North, and is subject to high temperatures, heavy rain and, in monsoon season, the occasional extreme weather. The site itself is also sandy and fragile, yet there is also dense forest with trees over 30 meters high and a steep escarpment to negotiate, which all make getting around quite a challenge.
Until recently, it was a requirement for MineCo staff to go to site to take groundwater measurements. According to Senior Hydrogeologist, Sean Finemore*: ‘It was a pretty simple and quick measurement once there, it was just getting there and back that was the problem’.
For this MineCo site, groundwater measurements are taken to show that, as a result of the mining operation, neither depletion nor augmentation of levels is taking place. MineCo is serious about workplace safety too and, although sending two people to the site at a time adhered to guidelines, Finemore was aware of the hazards and wanted a better solution: ‘It wasn’t just about terrain or cost, it was about safety. Our guys had come across plenty of snakes over the years, so we needed a better way to collect data without risking our people’.
4 ways that didn’t work
Finemore started to look for alternatives, including direct cabling, and various devices powered by battery or solar power and connected to 3G, 4G or satellite networks. The purpose was to collect and send groundwater data back to MineCo’s data repository, and key requirements for the solution were robustness, reliability and continuous operation with low need for maintenance.
As Finemore says: “Cabling was out of the question, and the devices weren’t tough enough, or couldn’t get 3G or 4G access because the scarp cut off the line of sight, or had batteries that needed changing all the time. This all meant site visits, the very thing we wanted to avoid. There was nothing available that could do the job.”
An opportunity to seize
Finemore already knew Pacific Data Systems, both as a supplier and developer of smart monitoring devices, so the opportunity to create a new device that could handle automated data transfer in tough remote locations was a practical solution for both.
With input from MineCo, the R&D team from Pacific Data Systems developed SatVue, a compact, rugged system that uses ORBCOMM’s satellite technology and the IsatData Pro satellite network to transmit data. The SatVue system is self-sustaining with a built-in solar panel. The satellite terminal is IP67 certified and designed to withstand harsh environments, extreme temperatures and high humidity. As designed, the installed equipment and corresponding services require minimal onsite maintenance and support.
Robust & reliable
SatVue has been in place at MineCo’s site for over six months and, according to Finemore, hasn’t missed a beat. Groundwater data has been regularly and continuously sent to the repository and, as a result, no one has been required to go to site to collect data.
While the savings are obvious based on just one device, according to Finemore the potential savings are far greater: ‘If we used SatVue for all of our remote measurements on this site, the savings would be substantial. If we extended it to other sites across Australia to measure groundwater and other parameters like stream chemistry, the return would be impressive’.
To learn more, download the “Remote Monitoring Best Practice Guide” by Pacific Data Systems, a leader in smart monitoring and control systems based in Brisbane, Australia. The company’s SatVue remote monitoring system combines a rugged, compact ORBCOMM device with smart monitoring technology and reliable satellite communications for environmental monitoring of remote sites. For more information, visit www.satvue.com.au.
*This client has asked for names to be changed for privacy reasons
Satellite AIS has created possibly the largest paradigm shift in the maritime world since the introduction of the steam engine and the screw propeller over 100 years ago. The first six satellites in ORBCOMM’s AIS-enabled constellation were launched for the US Coast Guard in 2008 for coastal and port visibility. Eight years and 18 satellites later, satellite AIS has become an ubiquitous tool for an ever-increasing array of maritime applications.
AIS is a primary tool for the protection of the maritime environment and its resources, especially fish and oil. It is also routinely paired with imaging space systems such as electro-optical satellites and, especially synthetic aperture radar satellites. With both of these imaging satellites there is a natural synergism as AIS enables the identification of many imaged ships. If they are not identifiable or attempt to hide their identity via spoofing, this can lead to further examination by other assets such as aircraft and military vessels.
GPS is the only other system that even comes close to the impact of satellite AIS on the maritime industry in last 150 plus years. But while GPS left the maritime world opaque, satellite AIS is quickly making it transparent. Like GPS, which was created to improve the accuracy of the US submarine launched ballistic missiles, satellite AIS is rapidly becoming ever more present in the marine world as more and more applications for its data are being discovered and developed. In its first eight years of existence, satellite AIS has already surpassed GPS in terms of its impact on the maritime world. Let’s look at just some of the evolving uses of satellite AIS: Read more ›
For those in industries that collect and analyse data, especially in hard to reach, extreme or fragile environments, remote monitoring can present a number of challenges, namely:
1. Diverse data and data sources
Collecting data from remote locations can be expensive, inconvenient, unreliable and inaccurate.
Yet, for many companies involved in mining, exploration, environmental protection or agriculture, collection & analysis of such data is critical to continuous operation.
The first challenge is the bewildering array of parameters to be monitored. These vary widely from industry to industry, but include parameters related to:
Mining, Oil & Gas
2. Cost and risk of manual monitoring
If sites to monitor are extremely remote, manual data collection for analysis back at base has some serious challenges:
High cost of travelling to remote areas
Time delays between sampling and results
Inability to monitor continuously
Inability to detect/alert on sudden changes
One-off samples may not be representative
Cost to comply with WH&S ‘two person policy’ for remote areas.
Many remote areas monitored by mining and exploration companies are in rugged or hostile terrain too, such as desert Saudi Arabia, offshore Alaska or in the Russian tundra, which makes the physical collection of samples dangerous.
In tropical areas like Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, or Venezuela, the wet season can turn swathes of the country into swamps making vehicular access difficult. Cyclones and floods add an extra degree of difficulty.
In the Australian outback, heat stress is the major issue for staff. In all these areas, extreme conditions make reliable, timely sampling by manual methods almost impossible. It also doubles the cost, if two people are required to go to site every time for safety reasons.
3. Complexity and cost of bespoke devices
Wireless technology and electronics have advanced rapidly in recent decades, including compact monitoring devices that collect and transmit data via wireless networks. These have made remote monitoring and data acquisition a reality, and represent more affordable, practical solutions for collecting data in remote areas. Read more ›
ORBCOMM is a single source provider of multi-network connectivity, leading edge devices and powerful applications for industries including transportation and distribution, heavy equipment, oil and gas, maritime and government.