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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: , , ,

Satellite IoT Comes Out of its Niche: Live Webinar

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Satellite IoT webinarIt’s becoming easier than ever to integrate higher-end satellite connectivity with cellular and other technologies, and in doing so, to instantly increase the footprint and reliability of your connectivity solution many fold.

At the same time, new service offerings not only allow for improved data analytics, but also bring service prices down. Some analysts predict that the number of satellite-based connections for IoT will increase by 80% between 2016 and 2023.

Join Sue Rutherford from ORBCOMM and Robin Duke-Woolley of Beecham Research for this live and interactive webinar which will use real-world examples to explore how satellite can help your business.

Live Webinar: Satellite IoT Comes Out of Its Niche
June 30, 2016, 11:00 AM EST
REGISTER NOW!

Robin Duke-WoolleyModerator: Robin Duke-Woolley, Founder & CEO, Beecham Research
Robin has over 35 years experience in the telecom/IT industry. Firstly in commercial roles covering Marketing Management, Sales Management and General Management in international technology vendor companies. Secondly in market analysis/consulting roles. He has been researching the M2M/IOT market for over a decade, since 2001, and is an internationally recognized thought leader in this area.

Speaker: Sue Rutherford, Vice President of Marketing, ORBCOMM
Sue RutherfordAs the Vice President of Marketing for ORBCOMM, Ms. Rutherford is responsible for advancing the strategic direction of ORBCOMM marketing and its leading M2M/IoT solutions. Ms. Rutherford has more than two decades of global technology marketing and business development expertise in the telecommunications, software, semiconductor, SaaS and industrial automation industries and has led a number of multifunctional teams, working to increase constituency awareness and build market presence, customer footprint and strategic business value.

About the IMC
The IMC is the largest and fastest-growing trade organisation in the IoT/M2M sector, with over 15,000 OEMs, enterprise users, and apps developers as members, and an average of 300 new members joining weekly. Learn more at: http://www.iotm2mcouncil.org/ 

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 2. Heavy Equipment, 3. Maritime / AIS, 4. Oil & Gas / Utilities, 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: , ,

From Farm to Fork: Extending the M2M & IoT Value Chain

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Field Connect

John Deere’s Field Connect Soil Moisture Monitoring Application. Photo: John Deere

We’ve been writing a lot about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and cold chain compliance in the wake of the FDA’s final rule around food transportation. What a lot of people may not realize, however, is that M2M and IoT technology’s value starts long before the refrigerated trailer monitoring, extending from farm to fork.

For example, Mark Lewellen, manager of spectrum Advocacy at John Deere recently talked to the Mobile Satellite Users Association about the use of satellite for farming applications. One of these applications is Field Connect. The system uses sensors to monitor moisture levels and feeds data to a web-based interface to help farmers make timely irrigation decisions. ORBCOMM provides the satellite connectivity in areas where there is no cellular coverage.

Whether in the office or in the field, data is instantly available to view the soil’s moisture level and make the best business decisions about any measures that need to be taken. Studies indicate that 80 per cent of food producers overwater. Oversaturating soil can reduce growth and yield. It can also increase the chance of soil fungal disease, according to Lewellen. Connecting the data in the field to the producer provides the information needed to eliminate this issue. Conversely, the transmitted data can also show when there is not enough moisture to maximize crop growth.

FSMA guide for food transportersThe potential opportunities for M2M and IoT between the field and the office are practically unlimited. Today, data is used to optimize fertilizer and pesticide applications and reduce water pollution from leaching. It can even monitor livestock and feed levels.

The value of M2M and IoT is just as important in the fields as it is for trailer telematics. It’s all about complete visibility.  With the right combination of devices, connectivity and applications, the right data can be collected, analyzed and acted upon.

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , , , , ,

Mining Vehicle Telematics with Fuel Level Monitoring Delivering Big ROI

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Mining telematics ROI case studyLos Pelambres mine, located in Salamanca, Chile, is the seventh largest producer of copper in the world and sits at an elevation of over 3,000 meters above sea level in the Andes Mountains. More than 365,000 tons of copper is transported every year through 50 square kilometers of uneven terrain.

At Los Pelambres, 55 Komatsu mining trucks play a critical role in the mining of copper and other minerals. These super-large dump trucks are used to move the copper along the different processing centers. In an effort to maximize asset utilization, the mine adopted a fast refueling system that would reduce refueling time from 25 to approximately 5 minutes.

This initiative to improve operations came with an unexpected series of issues that offset the intended goal. Specifically, the rupture of the factory-installed fuel sensors due to pressure. Without a working fuel sensor, drivers had to guess when it was the right time to refuel and could only estimate how much fuel actually needed to be added back into the tank.

As it turns out, guessing rarely paid off. Drivers sometimes waited too long to refuel and the tank went empty causing air to leak in. This repair added five additional hours to the refueling process as air would need to first be removed. Most often, however, 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 travelled to the same refueling center at the same time, which caused long lines and delays.

These issues and the ensuing consequences not only negated the intended benefits of adopting the new refueling method; they actually increased downtime and negatively impacted revenue.

Vehicle telematics device: IDP-782The solution selected at Los Pelambres was developed by Tarco LTDA, a Chilean integrator that specializes in developing custom tracking and monitoring solutions for the mining industry. Tarco’s PCR 1000 constantly monitors tank levels and transmits tank-level data as well as other vehicle telematics data back to a centralized application in real-time using ORBCOMM’s dual-mode IDP-782 device. Since mining trucks operate in remote areas, satellite connectivity is a must to ensure the timely and consistent delivery of data.

The IDP-782 transmits data over the cellular network when available and automatically switches to a satellite data service when cellular is down for uninterrupted connectivity. The ruggedized fuel monitoring system is capable of withstanding extreme environmental conditions, including heat, cold, water, dust, altitude and vibration.

To solve the refueling issues, ORBCOMM’s IDP-782 continuously collects, processes and transmits data from the truck…

Read the Full Case Study

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 2. Heavy Equipment, 6. Networks Tagged with: , , , ,

AIS Augments Big Data for Enhanced Maritime Surveillance: Making Waves at GEOINT 2016

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ORBCOMM AIS at GEOINT2016GEOINT 2016 was a fantastic geospatial data focused three days hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF). With more than 260 exhibitors, the show paired the interests of government and commercial stakeholders, highlighting emerging geospatial technologies and solutions.

Whether it was through analytics applications, geospatial visualization, or information services, the show was heavily focused on the utility of big data.

ORBCOMM’s ability to augment other forms of surveillance data such as radar imagery with AIS is really what caught people’s eye. Through strong partnerships, being able to exhibit and analyze multiple streams of data is what provides the added value to our customers in identifying and monitoring vessels.

Attendees were excited about the value to financial and safety applications that this data provides. Merging multiple forms of data to enhance geospatial intelligence highlighted well with the overall theme of Big Data applications. Read more ›

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

IoT, RFID, Big Data and the Supply Chain Management Revolution

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ChainLink Research did a great wrap up of all the new technologies, applications and use cases on review at the recent RFID Journal LIVE! Conference. There was so much to see and learn about. RFID touches just about everything in today’s age of M2M and IoT.

We were there, right alongside all the others, showing off the ROI of our IoT platform. We received a great response to how ORBCOMM enables the rapid development of scalable applications to track and monitor assets, parts, products, or tools via RFID, GPS, barcodes, and sensors. While these types of applications for RFID and telemetry are already making a big impact on cold chain management, fleet management, and asset tracking, the future is filled with possibilities now that these technologies are being combined with Big Data analytics.

What we really wanted to get across at our booth is the impact these types of IoT solutions can have on customer satisfaction, loyalty and profitability. For state-of-the art supply chain management, these solutions provide a clear path for more granular, accurate and frequently available information, which enables supply chain optimization through operational convergence. Robust IoT solutions are also invaluable for new business models that merge data silos to create more powerful and agile supply chains.

IoT supply chain solutionsFor those of you who were unable to attend RFID Live!, we have a new webinar available entitled, IoT Gives Birth to the New Supply Chain Agenda Ashish Chona from ORBCOMM and Isabel Chapman from Machina Research paint an informative picture with case studies that illustrate the potential ROI and other KPIs available to supply chain management.

For more information on ORBCOMM’s IoT-driven tracking, monitoring and inventory solutions, call +1-408-352-0600, email sales@orbcomm.com or visit http://www2.orbcomm.com/IoTPlatform.

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , , ,

Smart Containers are Just the Start: How Connected Assets Will Drive the Digital Supply Chain Revolution

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Maersk container shipping

Photo: Maersk Media Library

Ships. Dry containers. Reefer boxes. Tank containers. Chassis. Gensets. Tractors. Port and rail cranes. Mobile loading and handling equipment. The global container supply chain is literally awash with assets. From a 20,000TEU mega-ship, to a lift truck moving containers round a terminal, to a reefer box carrying perishable produce half way round the world, each has a part to play in the daily dispatch and delivery of a vast array of containerized cargo across maritime, port and intermodal transport networks.

Today, the vast majority of these assets are dark, dumb and disconnected. They do their job (some of the time), but they can’t tell anyone how they are doing, what they are doing and where they are doing it. They can’t raise the alarm when something goes wrong. They deliver the goods (some of the time), but not the data.

Tomorrow, things will look very different.

In a recent LinkedIn post, Maersk Line CCO Vincent Clerc hails smart containers as a ‘game-changer’. Maersk has just gone public on 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.

cargo security solutionsMr. Clerc says that Maersk and its customers have already started to reap the benefits, seeing a significant reduction in cargo damage. Some 30% of the food produced by the world is lost each year, and smart reefers have a part to play in tackling this, improving cold chain stability and reliability in a globalizing food market.

Remote container management is also cutting down on the need for manual equipment inspections along the cold chain. This is helping to drive down costs – a critical consideration in today’s straitened shipping climate – as well as to reduce the risk of human error in data collection.

Currently, more than 59% of claims stem from “malfunctioning reefer units, poor supplier handling of off-power periods and wrong temperature set points”, says Mr. Clerc. All of these issues – most of which are outside the company’s direct control as its reefer boxes traverse the maritime transport system – can “either be partially avoided or mitigated proactively with live data.”

As part of the M2M technology community that worked on this landmark 5-year project (ORBCOMM subsidiary WAM Technologies supplied the telematics application and device management middleware), it’s really encouraging to see Maersk Line opening up the dialogue about smart containers and their role in shipping’s digital future. More details of the project, how the technology works and market reactions can be found in The Inside Story of How to Keep it Cool, recently published by The Loadstar  logistics news portal, together with this podcast just released.

Read more ›

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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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