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Reefer Telematics: How Decker is Reducing Costly Dwell Time and Engine Hours

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Decker Truck LineWhen evaluating the return on investment of a reefer management solution, reduced fuel consumption and improved trailer utilization are two of the selling points that resonate most when we’re speaking with fleet owners.
 
But it’s always nice to hear real-world examples directly from carriers who are already realizing the cost-saving benefits of trailer telematics technology. According to Bradley Baade, Treasurer of Decker Truck Line, the carrier has seen some dramatic cost savings, due primarily to two key capabilities of their reefer management solution:
 
1. Running reefer units in start/stop mode instead of continuous run.
2. Reducing reefer trailer to truck ratio by monitoring dwell times.
 
“ORBCOMM gave us the ability to do this with the real time information that is supplied to us,” says Baade.  “We are also monitoring trailer idle reports along with reefer units running on our customer facilities. This information has also helped us bill some of our customers for trailer usage.”
 
Unless you’re carrying pharmaceuticals or temperature sensitive produce, carriers can achieve greater fuel savings by running in start/stop mode rather than continuous cooling mode. In fact, for Decker, switching to start/stop mode resulted in a 45% decrease in reefer run hours.
 
A good reefer management solution allows dispatchers to switch between modes by sending a command directly to the vehicle or messaging the driver to change mode. Similarly, the ability to track and locate idle reefer trailers not only increases profits, but also enables fleet owners to do more with their existing fleet of refrigerated vehicles.

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

Telematics Keeps Fuel Tanks Full at Los Pelambres Copper

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The Los Pelambres copper operation, 60% owned by Antofagasta Minerals, is one of the world’s largest copper mines. It sits at an elevation of more than 3,000 m (9,800 ft) in the Andes range, 240 km northeast of Santiago.

Los Pelambres
After encountering unanticipated problems from a newly implemented fast-refill fuel system for its haul trucks, the mine resolved those issues and gained additional benefits by installing a monitoring system that accurately reports and records truck fuel-tank status.

Los Pelambres’ 55 Komatsu haul trucks are a critical element of mine production. As part of an effort to maximize asset utilization, the mine adopted a fast refueling system for the trucks that would reduce refueling time from 25 to approximately 5 minutes. However, this initiative produced an unexpected series of issues that offset the intended goal—specifically, the mine was seeing frequent rupture of factory-installed fuel sensors due to high pressure from the refueling system. Without a working fuel sensor, drivers had to guess when it was the right time to refuel and could only estimate how much fuel would be needed to top off the truck’s tank.

Not surprisingly, guessing rarely paid off. Drivers sometimes waited too long to refuel and the tank went empty, causing air to leak in. Purging the air added five additional hours to the refueling process. Overall, tanks were filled to maximum capacity only 0.6% of the time, which ended up significantly increasing the number of refueling stops. Because no one could optimize the refueling schedule, drivers often reported to the same refueling center at the same time, which caused long lines and delays.

These issues and the ensuing consequences not only undercut the intended benefits of adopting the new refueling method; they actually increased downtime and negatively impacted revenue at the mining site. To address the problems created by the fast refueling system, Los Pelambres invited a group of companies to submit a proposal for a solution that would:

  • Equip the trucks with a ruggedized fuel sensor that would withstand the pressure from the fast refueling system.
  • Relay fuel level and truck location data back to a centralized application over cellular or satellite depending on network availability to ensure uninterrupted connectivity.
  • Include an application with a user-friendly graphical interface that would display the position of trucks as well as tank levels in real-time. The application would also allow the control center to monitor alarms based on user-defined thresholds.
IDP 782

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Posted in 2. Heavy Equipment, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , ,

Trailer Tracking on the Go, and a Look Ahead to the TCA Refrigerated Division Meeting

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It’s hard to believe we’re half-way through 2016, which has already seen so much news and innovation on the trucking, reefer and trailer telematics fronts. Already this year, ORBCOMM has made great strides to further improve our product and service offerings for our reefer tracking and trailer telematics customers. Our web applications now feature even better reporting, improved usability, a modern look and feel, and a now a mobile app component.

In announcing the TCA’s 2016 “Best Fleets to Drive For”, the organizers referenced flexibility, communication, and technology (including mobile app use) as common traits among top fleets. Recognizing this trend, ORBCOMM announced last year that we were taking our transportation solutions to the next level with the launch of ORBCOMMmobile, a robust mobile app for both iOS and Android allowing users to monitor and control refrigerated assets in real-time via our ReeferTrak® cold chain monitoring solution.

We’re excited to now offer CargoWatch® for mobile, making it possible to manage dry and mixed fleets on the go. Track the location of assets in real-time, view reefer alarms and maintenance reports, monitor and control asset temperature and more, all from the palm of your hand.

Also in the first half of 2016, the FDA published its long awaited final rule for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), establishing new requirements for vehicles and transportation equipment, transportation operations, training and record keeping. Be sure to visit ORBCOMM’s FSMA-Ready.com to find out what you need to know, including a Simplified Guide and handy checklists for carriers and shippers.

I’m looking forward to discussing these developments next week at the Truckload Carriers Association 2016 Refrigerated Division Meeting—the premier forum for those operating temperature-controlled equipment.

What: TCA 2016 Refrigerated Division Meeting
When: July 20 – 22, 2016
Where: Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, WA

Trailer Telematics applicationGoing to be there? We’d love to meet with you. Schedule a Meeting with us to learn how our leading telematics devices and powerful applications combine to help you remotely locate, manage and control your fleets and refrigerated cargo while ensuring compliance with FSMA and other regulations. We’ll also have some exciting news to share on our hardware and applications portfolio.

For those we won’t see there, please feel free to contact me anytime to discuss connected assets and fleet telematics.

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

Out-of-Band Management (OOBM): Up with Uptime, Down with Costs

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wireless failover solutionIf we examine what keeps the gears of an enterprise turning, we’d probably look to the people. From people come the innovative ideas, planning, strategies and the execution of business objectives. People are the face of the company to the customers. But just as an author cannot write without a pen, a modern business cannot operate while its network is down – no matter how good the people are.

In a recent article, I discussed the increasing demand for 100% network uptime through the use of a wireless Internet failover service. Whether you’re a retail or restaurant chain, a financial or insurance institution, or another business with branch offices, uninterrupted network uptime is the key to your business continuity.

But there is another side to this story that brings us to the old adage that time equals money.

We all face the perennial business imperative to cut costs. One way to do this is by having an out-of-band management (OOBM) system in place as an accompaniment to Internet failover. Out-of-band management makes your IT department more efficient while saving your business money and ensuring a higher degree of network uptime. So what is OOBM?

Simply put, out-of-band management:

  • Provides IT departments a secure way to manage remote network devices without going through the primary network, or through a costly separate telephone (POTS) line
  • Reduces costly truck rolls (having technicians drive to remote sites to diagnose and fix equipment)
  • Allows for remote troubleshooting, configuration, and rebooting of firewalls, routers, bridges, switches and servers

As a result, out-of-band management helps to: Read more ›

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Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: , , ,

Discover the ROI of 4G LTE Failover at Cisco Live 2016

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wireless failover solutionIn a world where 100% network uptime is not only expected, but critical for businesses, having a safeguard to your primary connection in place is more important than ever before. Network outages can lead to potential loss of revenue, damage to your brand and customer satisfaction, increased risks associated with security and fraud, halting of business operations, and inaccessibility to your network and data.

The good news is that you can bring peace of mind to network downtime with ORBCOMM Enterprise Connect. Join us at Cisco Live 2016 in Las Vegas for a live wireless failover demo and learn how to keep your business and revenue rolling, while mitigating risks to your security and customer satisfaction, when the network fails.

Cisco Live US 2016
Exhibit: July 11-13, 2016
Mandalay Bay Convention Resort
Las Vegas, Nevada
ORBCOMM Booth #951 (Schedule Meeting)
Not registered yet?
Register Now with Discount Code “WoSDiscount”

We’ll be showcasing the world’s only end-to-end Cisco-Verizon 4G LTE failover solution featuring:

  • Automatic 4G LTE failover for business continuity
  • Out-of-band management
  • Secure IoT provisioning and management
  • Rapid off-the-shelf deployment

Come meet with our wireless experts at Booth #951 to discover how to avoid loss of revenue and mitigate risk in the event of a network outage.

 

Cisco Live 2016To learn more about wireless failover, business continuity and more, join ORBCOMM at Cisco Live, July 10-14, 2016 in Las Vegas. We’ll be at booth 951 demonstrating ORBCOMM Enterprise Connect—the only commercially available, off-the-shelf cloud device management tool for Cisco 4G/LTE ISR routers. For more information, including a Discount Code for Cisco Live, visit http://www2.orbcomm.com/cisco 

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Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: , ,

Wireless Failover: 3 Reasons to Choose for Business Continuity

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wireless failover solutionIt is often said that nothing is certain, except death and taxes. But in the age of connectivity, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t agree with adding network outages to that list.

Let’s face it, we live in a connected world with expectations of 100% uptime, not only from business owners and employees, but customers as well. We’ve long crossed the threshold where any length of network downtime is acceptable.

For distributed enterprises with branch offices, a network outage could lead to potential loss of revenue, damage to your brand and customer satisfaction, increased risks associated with security and fraud, halting of business operations, and inaccessibility to your network and data.

The answer to mitigating these risks is simpler than you think…

We’ve established that wires do fail. It’s more a matter of when than if. Sometimes the problem is more serious, such as a damaged line, that could put your organization’s service – and revenue – out for days on end.

That’s why having a safeguard to your primary connection in place, such as a 4G LTE wireless failover solution, helps you take preventative measures. Think of it as a form of cost-effective insurance that protects you as soon as the network goes down by keeping your business processes running and revenue streams flowing.

Here are three simple reasons a wireless failover solution is becoming the solution of choice for business continuity:
Cisco 4G LTE ISR routers

  • It’s preventative
    The trouble with most forms of insurance is the claim needs to be made after calamity strikes. Wouldn’t it be great if insurance would help us prevent bad things from happening?That’s essentially what an automatic 4G LTE failover will do for your business. Network outages happen instantaneously and unexpectedly. A wireless failover solution will immediately detect a break in the network and take over to keep your business and revenue rolling, while mitigating risks to your security and customer satisfaction.
  • It’s cost-effective and easy to manage
    There are other alternatives to a wireless failover – costly technology upgrades can improve, but not guarantee, network uptime. For instance, a T1 or T3 line can increase Internet availability, but is expensive. A wired redundancy is also an option, but can suffer physical damage at the same time as the primary wired connection.Wireless failover offers an always-on, cost-effective way to ensure continuity of business in the event of a network outage. It also promises ease of management for organizations with limited IT resources by offering scalability across distributed locations, fast time to deployment and remote management and monitoring, further saving money by limiting the number of personnel needed for on-site technical maintenance.
  • It’s secure
    A good wireless network failover will have the ability to integrate seamlessly with an organization’s existing security structure. With all the sensitive information traveling to and from distributed enterprises, a backup network needs to have strict measures in place such as PCI compliance for credit card security.

In a competitive world where everyone is looking for that extra edge, 4G LTE wireless failover is a simple, preventative, cost-effective and secure way to make sure your business remains business as usual.

Cisco Live 2016To learn more about wireless failover, business continuity and more, join ORBCOMM at Cisco Live, July 10-14, 2016 in Las Vegas. We’ll be at booth 951 demonstrating ORBCOMM Enterprise Connect—the only commercially available, off-the-shelf cloud device management tool for Cisco 4G/LTE ISR routers. For more information, including a Discount Code for Cisco Live, visit http://www2.orbcomm.com/cisco 

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Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: , , , ,

Trailer Telematics: To Track or Not to Track

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Trailer Telematics applicationWhen it comes to trailer telematics, fleet owners and operators often wonder if the ROI is significant enough to justify the investment. Trailer telematics have come a long way in the past few years. Trailer tracking devices have become more powerful and affordable, while increased competition has driven airtime costs to an all time low. Telematics providers are now able to incorporate cellular and satellite connectivity based on individual messaging needs for one low monthly fee.

Whether you manage a fleet of 50 or 5000 trailers, a telematics solution can help you streamline your trailer operations and achieve significant cost savings.

Here are some of the benefits and ROI drivers you can expect from a trailer telematics solution:

Reduce dwell and detention times: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), detention costs the trucking industry more than $3 billion in lost time and productivity. A trailer tracking solution can help you track trailer status and identify assets that have been at a yard or a customer’s location for an extended time to ensure quick corrective measures are taken.

Facilitate detention billing: Compensate for lost revenue by tracking detention time and enabling billing. A trailer tracking solution can flag assets that have exceed grace periods and provide the necessary data for carriers to bill for extra time.

Optimize trailer utilization and turn-time: Trailer telematics can help you improve tractor-to-trailer ratios by up to 15%, so you can deliver the same number of loads with fewer trailers. This is a huge savings to your business considering the average cost of a new trailer in the US is $50,000. Real-time arrival and departure alerts as well as inventory management capabilities also help streamline dispatch operations and ensure that drivers always go to the right location and find trailers quickly.

Prevent cargo theft and unauthorized use: Cargo and commercial vehicle theft continues to be an issue for transportation and logistics companies around the world. Earlier this year, CargoNet reported $175 million of cargo stolen in 2015 in the US and Canada alone. Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , , ,

Genset Monitoring: Reducing Costs and Protecting Reefer Cargo with M2M Telematics

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Reefer genset monitoring white paperDiesel-powered generator sets – commonly known as gensets – represent a crucial, if often overlooked, element in international refrigerated cargo transport. Today, there are an estimated 40,000 gensets in active service worldwide, providing power to refrigerated marine and intermodal containers moving long distances by rail and road, and at other points along the transport chain where no other external power sources are available.

Historically, the main method to monitor gensets and capture data has been manual, and this is still common today. Shipping line employees, container terminal clerks and inspectors from third-party monitoring companies walk in front of the genset and manually check the fuel level and operating status. This is time-consuming and expensive. In some situations where the genset is on rail it may be virtually impossible to get to the equipment to retrieve the data.

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) telematics and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, along with more ubiquitous and affordable connectivity options, have made manual genset monitoring a thing of the past for forward-thinking shipping lines and container terminals.

There are many benefits of genset monitoring that deliver clear ROI, not least of which is the ability to improve fleet management and asset utilization. Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 3. Maritime / AIS Tagged with: , , , , ,

Fleet Tracking: Top 10 Things to Look For in a Dual-Mode Device

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Fleet tracking deviceWhile some fleet managers opt for tracking devices that communicate solely over cellular networks, many are choosing dual-mode satellite-cellular devices because they offer a service guarantee that is not attainable with cellular-only devices: the ability to communicate over both cellular and satellite networks for tracking and monitoring applications.

Satellite service is no longer only afforded by large companies and government agencies. Driven by competition, improvements in technology, and increased adoption, satellite-enabled devices and airtime costs have become very competitive. In some cases, a few extra dollars per month buy fleet owners a reliable secondary communication source for their asset tracking solution.

When selecting a dual-mode satellite-cellular product, consider the following 10 factors:

1. Alerts
Can customized alerts be created? Can those be sent via email and text messages to the people who can act on the information?

2. Geofences
How many geofences can be programmed into the device? Is it easy to add, remove and change them? Can the user tailor the behavior of the device within and outside geofences?

3. Reports
Does the user have access to reports by vehicles, customer and fleet? Are the reports customizable? Can those be sent via email and text message to the people who can act on the information?

4. Interfaces
What needs to be monitored for effective vehicle operation? Can the device be connected to any external sensors? Can it extract vehicle engine and diagnostic information?

5. Power
How is the tracking device powered? Can it be self-powered or connected to the vehicle power? Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 6. Networks Tagged with: , , , , ,

Podcast: Keeping it Cool with Smart Container Monitoring Technology

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Maersk Line smart containers

Photo: Maersk Media Library

Smart container technology has been in the spotlight of late, due in large part to Maersk Line going public with its decision to equip its fleet of over 260,000 refrigerated containers with machine-to-machine (M2M) technology that gives global real-time visibility into equipment location and status, and allows the carrier to remotely control temperature, humidity and other climate settings for perishable cargoes.

The Loadstar logistics news portal recently published a new podcast and an article entitled The Inside Story of How to Keep it Cool, which includes details of the project, how the technology works and how Maersk and its customers have already started to reap the benefits of remote container monitoring technology.

In the podcast, Mike Dempsey, ORBCOMM Vice President of Container and Port Solutions, outlines the five main areas of value for carriers using container monitoring technology, namely:

  • Asset visibility
  • Reefer status monitoring
  • Operational savings
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Competitive business advantage

For more details on how these benefits combine to provide real-world ROI, listen to the podcast here:

ORBCOMM is looking forward to discussing more digital supply chain benefits at the upcoming TOC Container Supply Chain conference in Hamburg, June 14-16. We’ll be joining a session on The Internet of Things & Big Data: Connectivity, Visibility & Analytics , taking place on Wed., June 15 as part of a full-day debate on Innovation & Technology in global container supply chains.

ORBCOMM is also exhibiting at Stand F74, so please drop round to find out more about our work in real-time container, intermodal and port equipment asset management. If you can’t be there, visit www2.orbcomm.com/intermodal  or contact sales@orbcomm.com.

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 3. Maritime / AIS Tagged with: , , ,

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.
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