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New in Fleet Safety: Using Anticipation to Improve Driver Behavior, One Brake Press at a Time

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Driver and fleet safety is a top priority for trucking companies today. We hear it every day from our customers, which is why driver safety features prominently in our solution portfolio. One such example is the new driver anticipation data and analysis available through our Blue Tree FleetManager.com telematics platform.

What is Driver Anticipation?

Anticipation measures the time taken before the brake is pressed after a driver lifts their foot off the accelerator. Each of these events is banded together and analyzed. The data is then compiled to deliver an Anticipation score. 

This Anticipation score contributes to the measurement of safer truck driving. Large numbers of events of a short duration, (e.g. less than one second) shows that the driver has to react too rapidly to events instead of the opposite; a controlled braking event. A lower Anticipation score is better as it suggests that the truck driver is anticipating the road ahead.

Anticipation can be used to measure truck drivers on a short-term or long-term basis. They can be reviewed over any time period (for example, over one week as well as over longer periods of time such as months or years). 

Anticipation is a strong fleet safety indicator. It contributes to data which can indicate which drivers are more likely to have an accident. A high Anticipation score indicates that the driver is not anticipating that they may need to stop in a few seconds, instead of reacting too late to an event. Lower Anticipation scores over time can help fleet managers address problems before they crop up.  

Anticipation For Drivers  

Truck drivers already have a tough enough job with plenty of demands put on them daily. Anticipation is a way to assist drivers in identifying the habits that could be risky so they can work on changing them.   

Anticipation data is available as a performance metric or a safety metric and is available to the driver on in-cab devices.  

fleet safety through driver anticipation

  • It is one of the scores which contributes to overall the Safety score in the Driver Performance scores section  
  • The Safety score is consistently updated and is available to the driver at the end of their trip
  • The score compares drivers to their peers

Increasing Safety with Anticipation

Built as a way to identify and correct poor driving habits, Anticipation is as important for fleet managers as it is for driversIt is a coaching tool to identify individual and long-term instances of this behavior. Fleet managers can leverage Anticipation data to feed into fleet safety and driver training programs.

safe driving habits

This driver is demonstrating excellent anticipation skills. They are managing their braking activity well in respect of the road ahead.

Actions from Anticipation  

The data available to fleet managers is extensive. Anticipation is one way to leverage this data in a comprehensive and easy-to-digest way. Anticipation offers many benefits:   

  1. Improve driver behavior: Anticipation is a strong fleet safety indicator. It highlights drivers who may be more likely to have an accident so fleet managers can address problems before they arise. A poor Anticipation score indicates that the driver is not expecting that they may need to stop in a few seconds, instead of reacting too late to an event.  
  2. Reduce wear and tear on brakes: Anticipation can be used to monitor the inappropriate use of braking. Learning which drivers are doing this frequently can help to address the issue and alter behavior to reduce wear and tear.  
  3. Increase fuel efficiency: A good Anticipation score suggests a more fuel-efficient driving style. By easing off on the accelerator, the vehicle can come to a natural stop. The distance traveled in this state are known as “free miles”.  
unsafe driver behavior

This driver is demonstrating poor anticipation behavior. The low Anticipation score suggests the driver spends a lot of time moving quickly between brake and accelerator and is reacting to the road ahead.

Anticipation data is compiled in various reports in FleetManager.com. It feeds into driver scoring, where each driver is compared and scored against each other. . 

To learn more about what FleetManager.com has to offer, visit the Blue Tree website or email us at sales@orbcomm.com.

In October 2017, ORBCOMM acquired BlueTree Systems, a global leader in enterprise fleet management software for the trucking and transportation industries. To learn more, visit www.bluetreesystems.com

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

Heavy Equipment Fleet Analytics and ‘Deep Learning’ Take Predictive Maintenance to the Next Level

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construction telematics appRecent headlines from the Wall Street Journal (The Big-Data Future Has Arrived) and Washington Post (Analytics puts midmarket companies in the big leagues) have illustrated that big data and analytics are in the mainstream.  This is all pretty heady stuff, but what does it mean for the heavy equipment OEM, fleet owner, rental company or line manager.

Today, it’s a given that heavy equipment is equipped with telematics devices that provide detailed machine data. This data includes engine oil, transmission and brake temperature, engine RPM, speed, tire pressure, fuel consumption, emission levels among others. Depending on the manufacturer and telematics provider, more or less data is available.

Predictive Analytics is the practice of extracting valuable information from this data to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends. Predictive analytics does not predict the future but forecasts what might happen with an acceptable level of certainty. This technology learns from experience to predict the future behavior of assets to drive better decisions.

Consider traditional ways that vehicles are maintained.  Fleets are put on a time-based preventative maintenance program where the oil is changed and parts are replaced based on elapsed time or mileage/hours used. This works well for normal wear and tear but does not help with random failures.

construction equipment big data

Read more ›

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Posted in 2. Heavy Equipment Tagged with: , , , ,

Intermodal and IoT: 5 Reasons They are a Match Made in Heaven

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remote container managementAs we prepare for the annual Intermodal Europe conference taking place this year in Amsterdam from 28-30 November, our thoughts turn to the current and future role of digitalisation and the Internet of Things (IoT) in fostering modal shift.

According to the EU, road freight transport in Europe is projected to increase by around 40% by 2030 and over 80% by 2050. Not surprisingly, taking freight traffic off the roads is therefore a key policy priority for the European Union (EU) to help alleviate pollution, congestion, noise, accidents and climate change, ensure the free flow of goods and help Europe to remain competitive with other parts of the world. Meanwhile, long-haul intermodal rail is a central pillar of the Chinese government’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative to create a new Eurasian transport network.

Whether you call it multimodal, intermodal or combined transport, the goal of moving more of Europe’s goods by modes other than road is a long-cherished one. Unfortunately, progress over the years has been negligible. Latest EU figures indicate that the split of traffic between road, rail and inland waterway is virtually unchanged in the last decade. In 2015, road made up 75.8 percent of all freight transport, versus 76.3 percent in 2006. Inland waterway has crept up from 5.7 to 6.3 percent over the same period, while rail has in fact declined slightly, from 18 to 17.9 percent.

So, how can digitalisation and the IoT make a difference to intermodal? It’s a big topic that we will be discussing during Intermodal Europe in the Smart Shipping Focus panel, but here are 5 reasons intermodal and IoT and a match made in heaven: Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 3. Maritime / AIS, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , , , ,

ELD News: FMSCA Says ELD Violations Will Not Impact CSA Scores Until April 2018

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eld complianceIn a new development late yesterday, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) officials announced a further relaxation to the full introduction to ELDs by stating that ELD violations will not count towards CSA scores until April 1, 2018.

This will be implemented by citations at the roadside being regarded as “no points citations”, which will not affect the Safety Management System (SMS) that feeds into CSA scores. The SMS is the FMCSA’s workload prioritization tool. It is used to identify carriers with potential safety problems for interventions as part of the Agency’s safety compliance and enforcement program called Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA).

FMCSA officials also suggested that local officials might not actually use citations during the ELD introduction, but this could vary by state and jurisdiction.

Why the Change?

The reasons for this change are likely to be related to observations made on both sides of citation transactions: carriers and roadside enforcement. It is highly unlikely that some carriers will be 100% ELD compliant before December 18, 2017 and the FMCSA is scheduled only to begin testing of its eRODS software at the end of November. The eRODS software is key for the data transfer from ELDs by the driver to the roadside official so that the records can be further evaluated.

CSA-Logo

The result is that the time between December 18, 2017 through April 1, 2018 is increasingly seen as a transitionary period for both carriers and roadside enforcement. Space and time, for training and learning to use new technology, will be required on both sides given the significant increase of ELD technology systems which will be on the road.

Previously, the FMCSA and the CVSA had decided to delay the implementation of putting drivers out of service for ELD violations before April 1, 2018. Yesterday’s announcement went further than this, adding CSA scores to the mix.

Fines are one area where the FMCSA has not relented and which will continue to impact drivers and carriers from December 18, 2017. While citations may not affect CSA scores, accompanying ELD violation fines will still need to be paid.

Customers using ORBCOMM’s Blue Tree technology are already ahead of the curve on roadside inspections. As an AOBRD provider for many years, we have the experience and expertise of electronic logs to be able to get drivers, dispatchers, safety and compliance officers trained and familiar with our ELD in a short space of time. Supporting in-cab documentation is available and can contribute to favorable interactions and outcomes at the roadside.

In October 2017, ORBCOMM acquired BlueTree Systems, a world-class transportation management solution provider with the most advanced and user friendly ELD/HOS solution on the market for medium to large sized fleets. Learn More about our ELD here  or email us at eld@orbcomm.com .

 

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

New in Satellite Tracking Technology: Introducing the Programmable ST 6100

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satellite tracking device kitThe ST 6100 is the first in a series of new programmable satellite terminals by ORBCOMM that builds on the technical foundation of the award-winning IsatData Pro terminals, to bring customers IDP functionality along with some great new enhancements.

The ST 6100 features a built-in accelerometer, expanded memory capacity, and support for additional navigation systems, in addition to all the great features available in the IDP-680 and IDP-690. A newly designed built-in antenna makes it suitable for both land and maritime deployments, which means you can now use the same device for marine applications.

satellite tracking terminal: ST 6100

The ST 6100 supports a wide range of industrial asset tracking applications across the transportation, energy, heavy equipment, mining and maritime sectors, where conditions are tough and connectivity is scarce. The environmentally-sealed ST 6100 delivers global connectivity over the IsatData Pro satellite network and can be installed on mobile assets operating under extreme conditions such as vehicles, railcars and marine vessels. ORBCOMM’s ST 6100 can also be used in SCADA applications across the oil and gas and utilities sectors to remotely monitor and control equipment, including reclosers, pipelines, flow meters, generators and tanks.

Four Reasons to Choose ST Series Satellite Terminals for Asset Tracking:

satellite for IoTEasy integration: With a broad set of integration tools, we make it easier for partners to bring their solutions to market. Our Starter Kit provides tools for the complete solution development cycle—development, testing and production, and includes a terminal, a simulation environment, an interface development board and more.

Versatile: The ST series terminals can be programmed to support a wide range of applications and customer requirements. A device can be used with ORBCOMM configurable applications for more basic deployments, or loaded with custom scripts for more complex installations.

Uninterrupted connectivity: The ST series supports global satellite connectivity over the IsatData Pro network, giving you peace of mind that assets won’t go ‘dark’ even if they operate in some of the world’s most isolated locations.

Comprehensive: Our next-generation terminals leverage the latest in IoT technology to future proof your solution and provide you with a comprehensive feature set at great value. ORBCOMM’s new ST 6100 features a built-in antenna suitable for both land and marine applications, an accelerometer, expanded memory capacity and enhanced support for navigation systems: GPS, Glonass and Beidou.

Download the datasheet

Want to get started? Order a Starter Kit today or email us at sales@orbcomm.com

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

UNIT45 Pioneers Smart Containers for the New Silk Road

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container fleet tracking webinarIntermodal innovator UNIT45 is helping big name shippers like HP and Friesland Campina to take advantage of the New Silk Road linking China and Europe with a new breed of 45ft temperature-controlled containers optimised for long-distance rail operations. And it has turned to ORBCOMM’s CargoWatch® IoT telematics and cloud platform for essential remote monitoring and control of cargo and containers.

Headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, UNIT45 is a pioneer and industry leader in the design, construction, financing and delivery of 45ft containers for European intermodal transport operations across road, rail, short sea and inland waterways. Today, it offers the industry’s widest range of 45ft container equipment, from ‘standard’ dry freight units, to curtain-sided and refrigerated containers, to a host of specialist designs optimised for specific applications, including bulk, automotive and garment transport.

The Opportunity

With its entire focus on European intermodal innovation, UNIT45 naturally keeps a very close eye on trends in containerised railfreight. And arguably the most important of these is the New Silk Road. Also known as One Belt One Road (OBOR) and Belt and Road (B&R), this is China’s trillion-dollar initiative to revive ancient trading routes and relationships through the creation of a new Eurasian sea and land transport infrastructure, spanning Central Asia, West Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

container terminal operations

UNIT45 is a pioneer and industry leader in the design, construction, financing and delivery of 45ft containers for European intermodal transport operations.

OBOR, which covers both maritime ‘road’ and rail ‘belt’, was launched in public by Chinese premier Xi Jingping in late 2013. However, the introduction of long-distance container railfreight services between China and Europe dates back some while earlier. And for UNIT45, the journey started around six years’ ago, when company Managing Director Jan Koolen met Ronald Kleijwegt of electronics giant HP at a New Silk Road business event.

In 2010, HP had begun producing desktop and notebook computer in Chongqing, central China, at the western end of the Yangtse River. Dubbed the ‘land of the laptops’, Chongqing is home to leading global electronic brands and contract manufacturers and is reported to be the largest single PC production centre in the world. When a new rail option opened in 2011, HP began testing the viability of shipping finished goods overland 11,000km west to Germany, rather than sending them 1,700km east to the Chinese coast for long-dstance export by sea into Europe. Kleijwegt and his EMEA logistics team at HP wanted to use the rail route all year round to secure the faster overland transit time of 16-18 days versus 40-45 days for seafreight, and have a more streamlined transport chain, loading straight out of Chongqing all the way through to the giant inland hub port of Duisburg in Germany. But there was a problem.

A notebook can’t fall below a temperature of -20°C without potentially damaging its performance and invalidating its guarantee. However, ambient temperatures on parts of the long rail route snaking across China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and into Germany can drop to -40°C in the wintertime. What HP needed was a way to maintain the temperate of its containerised notebooks above -20°C in severe winter conditions. And UNIT45 set out to provide the solution, using reefer container technology not to cool the cargo, but to provide ‘conditioned’ transport to maintain the desired temperature.

“At that time, we had a European version of our 45ft dieselelectric intermodal reefer unit with a fuel tank of 250 litres,” recalls Koolen. Unlike marine refrigerated containers, UNIT45’s design has an integral diesel generator set to provide power where no electricity is available, making it ideal for long-haul rail. “But moving goods by rail from the centre of China to Europe takes around 16 days door-to-door. So, we needed to provide a higher volume of diesel, because refuelling in a temperature of -40°C is not a nice thing, especially if you have 40 or more containers on the same train that all need attention”.

smart container innovation

“We wanted to be able to remotely control the unit, such as adjusting the temperature, stopping and starting the reefer and so on. And we needed to have all this information, including alerts and alarms, directly on our computer screens in the office. All of that is given in the system we have right now with ORBCOMM” – Jan Koolen, Managing Director, UNIT45

The Solution

UNIT45 Technical Manager Jan Nouwen was therefore tasked with creating a ‘New Silk Road’ 45ft reefer unit with a fuel tank of 800 litres – enough to last 20-24 days – and the ability to load 33 europallets side by side inside the container for maximum capacity and cargo stability.

“The technical part was critical of course, but we also had to take care of operational realities,” explains Koolen. “In Europe, most goods are still transported by road accompanied, so there is a driver on hand to take care of everything. But this isn’t the case on the New Silk Road routes. What we needed was an advanced track and trace system where we could see the location of our units – including geo-fencing – and monitor what was happening with them, including the container temperature, the diesel volume and the machine performance. We wanted to be able to remotely control the unit, such as adjusting the temperature, stopping and starting the reefer and so on. And we needed to have all this information, including alerts and alarms, directly on our computer screens in the office. All of that is given in the system we have right now with ORBCOMM.”

Under the agreement, ORBCOMM provides UNIT45 with a complete telematics package including hardware, installation, support, connectivity, device management and access to the CargoWatch® web platform. Due to the remote nature of the rail route, the devices fitted to the containers are dual-mode, automatically switching to satellite when there is no GSM coverage, to ensure uninterrupted service. The CargoWatch® platform is the ‘control tower’ where UNIT45 can keep an eye on the status of its containers and give its logistics customers and shipper end users access to do the same. Clients can then see the monitoring data on their own screens, on the web platform or via the ORBCOMM mobile phone app. Additionally, customers can get a download and can also interface with their internal enterprise systems via XML or API.

This level of visibility and control is vital for customer confidence, stresses Koolen. The New Silk Road routes are tough on equipment, both in terms of the harsh climate and the shock and vibration of rail transport. Trains pass through some very remote and underpopulated parts of the world where there is no access to service if something goes wrong. Telematics enables remedial action to be taken where possible – such as remotely adjusting the container temperature – or, where maintenance or repair is needed, allows advance arrangements to be made for a qualified technician and the right parts to be waiting at the earliest available point.

“If you talk about this type of transportation, telematics is one of the most important requirements to convince clients,” says Koolen. “Then they are completely informed and if something goes wrong they get an SMS or email advising them what is happening. That could be things like a diesel problem or a coolant problem. We can recognise things like the engine is not working because there is ice in the fuel or it’s like a milkshake because the diesel is dirty. This work is only possible to do with a control tower which is always overseeing what is happening, so if there is a failure, there is an alert and a responsive action is initiated.” He adds: “The amount of information that these systems provide on the container itself is also important both for maintenance planning and future improvements to design and manufacturing.”

Since its first work with HP, UNIT45 has continued to expand its involvement in the New Silk Road with climate-controlled container solutions for a growing range of users. One such is Dutch dairy cooperative Friesland Campina, which is now using UNIT45’s reefer equipment to ship milk powder from Europe to China. “If you are operating in this tough environment many products need conditioned transport, like milk powder, wine, soft drinks and pharmaceuticals,” confirms Koolen. “If we don’t have a system like ORBCOMM then for us it is impossible to sell units like this and so it is vital we have this in place.”

As well as being a key sales tool, telematics also provides a new business stream for UNIT45. Along with selling and leasing the container equipment itself, the company now generates revenue from clients who pay for data access on a Subscription-as-a-Service (SaaS) basis. This is a model that is expected to gain ground in coming years as new technology continues to reshape traditional approaches to container supply chain operations.

container monitoring solutions

“If you talk about this type of transportation, telematics is one of the most important requirements to convince clients” Jan Koolen, Managing Director, UNIT45

The Future

Over the next few years, growth possibilities on the New Silk Road are “simply immense,” says Koolen, “especially for high quality goods that need to be in time.” Especially, he identifies pharmaceuticals as a “very important market for the future,” both on New Silk Road and other European intermodal rail routes. “Pharmaceutical companies want complete product stability and if you are talking about that branch of the industry the value of the cargo can be immense,” he says. “Temperature, humidity and g-force are all important and with our ORBCOMM system we are able to provide data on all these aspects.”

temperature recordersOver the past few years, UNIT45 has been working to get its diesel-electric reefer containers tested and certified for pharmaceutical transport in line with EU Good Distribution Practice (GDP) regulations and shippers’ own standards. The over-the-road transport market is already actively engaged in GDP compliance, and ORBCOMM has considerable experience here as a major supplier of GAMP5 certified temperature monitoring and recording systems. GAMP 5 certification is requested by major pharmaceutical companies to verify that data from monitoring systems is clean and tamper-proof. Now, “we want to be the first giving this information into the intermodal business,” says Koolen.

Telematics are also integral to UNIT45’s new environmentally-friendly reefer unit, featuring Carrier NaturaLine CO2 refrigeration machine, waterborne paint and Honeywell’s low global warming potential (LGWP) liquid blowing agent for the insulation foam. “This unit is absolutely the greenest unit in the world today and because we are intermodal innovators, again we wanted to be first on the market,” says Koolen.

Finally, UNIT45 is working with ORBCOMM on a simple, low-cost telematics solution for its dry boxes. Explains Koolen: “We have a big rental fleet and we want to know the precise location of our units in case of a client default, to help us with recovery.” In this case, a basic device fitted to the container will broadcast its location once a day. Like an insurance policy, Koolen says this type of information will offer the company important protection for its business. UNIT45 will be able to manage both its refrigerated and dry containers via the CargoWatch® platform, which is also important for business efficiency.

“Telematics really is becoming the most important thing in this type of business,” concludes Koolen. “If you don’t have telematics, don’t do it.”

Discuss the future of smart containers with ORBCOMM at Intermodal Europe… Intermodal Europe is the world’s leading exhibition and conference for the intermodal and container industries and covers all areas of container, transport and logistics across road, rail and sea. The 2017 edition is being held Amsterdam from November 28 – 30. Going to be there? We’d love to meet with you! Schedule a meeting with us.

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

AIS Service Providers: 3 Key Questions to Ask

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ais data advantagesWhether you’re using AIS data to track commodity shipments around the world, help the environment by detecting illegal fishing or bilge dumping, or to improve security and surveillance, all these diverse solutions require a complete picture of global maritime vessel activity.

But with several different AIS service providers out there, how do you decide which one to select?

Be sure to ask these three questions of any prospective AIS service provider:

1. Is Your AIS Data Comprehensive?

Most service providers would give a knee-jerk ‘yes’ to this question, but what really constitutes comprehensive AIS data? Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Does the AIS service provider use satellite AIS data or do they use terrestrial AIS data. Satellite AIS is best for the open ocean out of reach of shore based terrestrial receivers; terrestrial AIS is best for congested waterways like harbours that are near to shore. The most comprehensive AIS data comes from providers who offer a combination of satellite and terrestrial AIS data. Only with these two sources can you have the most comprehensive AIS data possible.
  • What’s the latency in their consolidated AIS data? How many unique AIS transponders are they collecting data from?
  • How reliable is the service provider’s satellite AIS data? Do they have a long track record of providing this data or are they a startup with big plans but little track record to prove their reliability? How long their satellite network has been operating? How many ground stations do they have?
  • Do they provide terrestrial AIS data from a single provider or do they have partnerships with leading terrestrial AIS providers to ensure the best and most accurate global coverage? How many terrestrial partners do they have?
  • Does the provider consolidate AIS data from these multiple sources into a single, simple, standards based stream, for you to use as input into your application? This is important because it allows you to focus on what you’re good at—developing applications—and leave the data consolidation to someone else.
ais data coverage

ORBCOMM AIS combines multiple data sources for maximum coverage.

2. Are You a Partner or a Competitor?

Your AIS data provider should be committed to one thing—helping you deliver solutions that enable you to succeed. Your gut will tell you if you’re truly comfortable with answers to the following:

  • Does your provider really understand the AIS landscape and share their experience to help you be more successful?
  • Can you depend on them to provide all your AIS data needs?

3. Can I Count on You for the Long Haul?

ais device: HaliAIS service providers come and go, and you can’t afford to have a partner go quiet on you when your application needs reliable AIS data to succeed. Play it safe and trust in a proven partner. Ask these questions for starters:

  • Is the service provider established and financially stable?
  • Are they a growing business?
  • Do they have the engineers, technical staff, and customer support to innovate, grow, and support your business?
  • Have leading customers around the world trusted this supplier with their business?

By knowing the right questions to ask, selecting the right AIS service provider can be a breeze. Mission critical applications require data that can always be counted on.  With a few simple questions, you can quickly determine the right AIS service provider for you.

To see how ORBCOMM’s AIS data services can enhance the way you do business, visit www2.orbcomm.com/ais-data or email sales@orbcomm.com.

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

Trailer Tracking Improves Turn Times and Revs Up Revenue for Christenson Transportation

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trailer telematicsDiscover how high-value, time sensitive freight transporter Christenson implemented ORBCOMM’s trailer tracking solution to optimize tractor-to-trailer ratios, minimize unauthorized trailer use, improve customer visibility of shipments and drive up profitability…

Christenson Transportation is a mid-size, family-owned truckload carrier based in Springfield, Missouri. The business owns and operates 430 dry van trailers that haul high-value, time sensitive freight across the US, including tires, electronics, and baby formula.

A three-time winner of the Truckload Carriers Association Safety Award, the company prides itself on its commitment to safety, innovation and outstanding customer service. The carrier sees great value in adopting new technology to increase revenues, drive greater efficiencies and deliver a better customer experience.

The Challenge

Christenson’s fleet grew from 180 to 430 dry van trailers in the last ten years, making it difficult for the carrier to keep track of its trailers’ whereabouts. And, with added pressure to see a return on investment on the new fleet, the company knew it needed to find a solution that would help it move more loads.

Christenson set out to grow revenues, improve turn times and achieve a tractor-to-trailer ratio of 3-to-1 as the goal. According to Don Christenson, President and CEO of the company, “we knew we needed to improve utilization, specifically our turn times. We weren’t doing ourselves or our customers any good if we continued to make assumptions. We needed hard data to assess operations and make smart business decisions.”

tracking trailers for Christenson

Christenson set out to grow revenues, improve turn times and achieve a tractor-to-trailer ratio of 3-to-1 as the goal. “We needed hard data to assess operations and make smart business decisions.” Don Christenson, President and CEO

Long detention periods and unauthorized use of trailers was also draining profits. “For example, we realized that some of our assets were missing and unaccounted for,” Christenson said. “We believed that some trailers were being hauled by other carriers and used occasionally by customers as additional warehouse space. This had a significant impact on our bottom line, so we had to figure out a way to know what was happening with trailers once they were out of our yards.”

With a goal to increase capacity without further expanding its trailer fleet, optimize trailer visibility and deter unauthorized use, Christenson set out to find a solution that would deliver:

  • Real-time visibility of trailer location to help monitor trailers and high-value freight
  • Geofence-based departure and arrival notifications as well as movement alerts
  • Dwelling reports to easily identify unused trailers
  • Integration with existing LoadMaster dispatch software platform to minimize disruption to operations
  • An autonomous, self-powered solution to enable continuous reporting even when trailers were idle at a yard for extended periods
  • Permission-based portal access to customers for realtime shipment visibility

By covering each of these, Christenson was certain the company could achieve its 3-to-1 utilization business goal.

The Solution

After extensive research and evaluation of multiple providers, Christenson determined that ORBCOMM’s solar powered, GT 1100 trailer tracking solution would help meet its business goals. The GT 1100 communicates over the cellular network, reports trailer location, movement and status, and delivers automatic event-based alerts. Multilevel geofences enable users to delineate an area inside a geofence to see when trailers move within the yard, for instance, between loading and unloading docks.

GT 1100 Trailer tracking

The GT 1100 reports trailer location, movement and status, delivers automatic event-based alerts, enables geofences and more.

“The install was easy and intuitive,” said Christenson. “It’s the only solution we found that didn’t need to be wired into an ABS system.” ORBCOMM’s system fully integrates with McLeod’s LoadMaster platform, which further simplified the deployment. In a short time, dispatchers were able to access actionable, real-time trailer data and reports right from the familiar LoadMaster interface, without having to learn a new application. “We determined that we saved 75 percent on installation costs compared to the other solutions we considered,” said Christenson. The company successfully deployed the solution in all 430 trailers in less than 90 days.

Having worked with other telematics providers in the past, Christenson also highlighted ORBCOMM’s unparalleled support during the sales and installation cycles. “Our ORBCOMM liaison helped us in a timely manner because he understood our business’ urgency. We were personally introduced to our dedicated customer service team, who worked around the clock to get us up and running quickly. They really brought their A game by making over-the-air changes and tweaks whenever we requested it to meet our specifications.”

The Results

tracking trailers in the yardShortly after deploying the solution, Christenson identified the location of a trailer that had been missing for a full year. Having a trailer out of rotation that long meant a revenue loss of more than $84,000. Equipped with smart tracking devices, Christenson’s trailers were now visible to fleet managers, which made it possible to quickly spot missing assets and unexpected movement. In addition to that trailer, the shipper for lost revenues.

The system has also helped the company reduce losses due to detention. By tracking arrival times and trailer status, the carrier can now see when customers exceed the allowed time and either bill them or notify them. “With hard data in hand, the losses due to detention have been minimized. There is no he-said-she-said,” Christenson said. “We can show proof of use beyond the contract’s terms and bill customers and help them change the way the operate with us.” Christenson saw a significant decrease in unwanted behavior once customers learned trailers were being closely monitored.

Another benefit for Christenson has been the ability to offer customers shipment visibility from time of load to delivery. “We are able to give customers portal access so they can see shipment progress themselves and receive geofence alerts when the truck gets to the dock,” Christenson said. By accurately predicting arrival times, customers can now line up crews and schedule unloading into the day’s plan more efficiently.”

fleet telematics webinarJust as important, ORBCOMM’s trailer tracking solution allows Christenson to monitor high-value cargo to minimize theft. By closely tracking unscheduled stops and route deviations, the company is able to improve security, maintain a good standing with customers and attract new shippers. As a next step, the company is looking to incorporate door sensors to also monitor for unscheduled door openings.

Christenson is well on its way to achieving its goal to reduce tractor to trailer ratios to 3-to-1. With quicker turnaround times, more efficient utilization, and constant supervision of the trailers, the company envisions adding 120 additional trucks without increasing the size of the trailer fleet. ORBCOMM has helped Christenson get on its way to increasing revenues by 67 percent.

Download the full Case Study here

 

 

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: ,

ELD Mandate: 8 Keys to Success

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eld mandate complianceThe ELD mandate is fast approaching. On December 18, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will require most fleets that are currently required to maintain records of duty status (RODS) to record Hours of Service (HOS) using electronic logging devices (ELDs). Fleets with existing Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs) will have until December 2019 to upgrade to ELDs. There are plenty of ELD benefits beyond compliance, while the consequences of non-compliance range from heavy fines to expensive time spent off the road for drivers.

There is still time to get compliant, but with so many vendors to choose from, where do you start? Many providers will offer you the bare minimum to get compliant, but far fewer offer a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that includes features that are designed to actually save you money over the long term with your ELD investment.

Luckily there are a collection of ELD solution features to look for that will help you quickly separate the leaders from the pretenders.

Here are 8 ELD mandate essentials to look for:

1. FMCSA Certification

The FMCSA requires device manufacturers to register and certify they are up-to-date with the technical specifications of the ELD ruling. Established players have already prepared, developed and tested their ELD solution, and should be a registered and self-certified with the FMCSA. (FMCSA ELD online registry)

FMCSA ELD registry

2. Affordability and Choice

The right ELD provider understands that different fleets have different needs. For fleets looking solely for compliance, looks for a product that meets the mandate requirements with features such as an intuitive driver interface, instant logbook Information, in-cab edits, truck-specific navigation and an Hours of Service (HOS) advisor. Safety and compliance managers will look for features like driver messaging, electronic DVIR, simple log editing – preferably built on Android so that you can bring your own tablet.

For customers looking for a greater ROI on their ELD investment, look for a full telematics solution includes all the ELD features covered above, plus driver performance scoring, jobs and workflow, and vehicle analytics.

ORBCOMM's Blue Tree system is the only ELD product with a built-in HOS Advisor for drivers to maximize hours based on their current working day/cycle.

ORBCOMM’s Blue Tree system is the only ELD product with a built-in HOS Advisor for drivers to maximize hours based on their current working day/cycle.

3. A Flexible AOBRD Transition Plan

Some fleets have already chosen to buy AOBRDs instead of ELDs before December 18, 2017. If carriers install these before the deadline, they will have an additional two years until December 2019 to comply with the ELD mandate when their AOBRDs must be replaced by ELDs.

Your provider should offer you the flexibility of charting the ELD compliance course that works for your business. Many fleet managers don’t know that you can transform your AOBRD into an ELD by the December 2019 update with over-the-air updates. With this approach, there is no need for new hardware or in-cab installation.

4. Fast Training and Setup

It’s no secret that some drivers are less than enthusiastic with the ELD mandate, so straightforward training and intuitive technology is a must to easy and seamless adoption. Drivers and office staff alike should be able to leverage user-friendly technology to get up to speed and onboarded using little more than a smartphone.

ORBCOMM's Blue Tree Systems FleetManager.com lets users get to the HOS data they need quickly and easily, through a simpler user interface, overall system speed.

FleetManager.com from ORBCOMM/Blue Tree lets users get to the HOS data they need quickly and easily, through a simpler user interface, overall system speed.

5. Easy Installation

Insist on a professional install time to avoid any undue delays in getting your ELD solution deployed quickly. ELD device installation per truck should be measured in minutes, not hours.

6. Proven Experience

Plenty of fly by night providers have jumped the ELD bandwagon, but far fewer have decades of experience in the trucking industry. Couple that with the engineering and customer support resources to meet your evolving fleet management needs over time.

7. Plays Well with Others

Make the most of your big data and get a centralized view into your fleet operations by choosing an ELD solution provider that integrates seamlessly with leading transport management systems (TMS) such as McLeod Software, TMW, ICC (Innovative), Ditat and others.

TMS system integration for ELDs

Integration with transport management systems like McLeod Software and TMW allow fleets to make better and faster use of the data collected.

8. A Comprehensive, One-Stop Provider

ELD compliance may be your most pressing need, but consider your long-term transportation solutions requirements when selecting an ELD solution provider. Imagine the costs and complexities you can avoid by choosing a provider with an integrated offering encompassing nearly all transportation assets— consolidated in-cab, dry and refrigerated transportation solutions— from one source.

In October 2017, ORBCOMM acquired BlueTree Systems, a world-class transportation management solution provider with the most advanced and user friendly ELD/HOS solution on the market for medium to large sized fleets. Learn More here  and watch the video below to learn why Navajo Express has chosen Blue Tree as their ELD vendor.

To learn more about ORBCOMM’s ELD, trailer tracking and cold chain monitoring solutions, email us at sales@orbcomm.com.

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Cold Chain Visibility, Connectivity and Digitalisation Dominate the Agenda at Cool Logistics Global

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container fleet tracking webinarHow can the IoT, blockchain and other new digital technologies be used to re-engineer cold chain processes and reduce waste ‘from farm to fork’? This was the key focus of discussion at the 9th Cool Logistics Global conference, held last month in Algeciras, Spain. ORBCOMM exhibited and joined a lively panel on digitalisation during the pre-conference workshop, where delegates also heard from Maersk Line’s Global Head of Reefer Management, Anne-Sophie Karlsen, and Head of Equipment Excellence, Catja Hjorth, about the evolution of their Remote Container Management (RCM) programme, launched in 2015.

Maersk has taken a commanding lead in IoT connectivity and visibility in the container shipping industry, equipping all its 280,000+ refrigerated containers (around 20% of the world reefer box fleet) with ORBCOMM telematics devices, as well as outfitting its 400+ vessels with GSM capability to monitor reefer cargo and containers at sea, as well as on land. Maersk’s aspiration is to be a leading integrated container and cold chain logistics provider driven by IT, digitalisation and innovation and “RCM is an enabler for our digital strategy,” said the two Maersk executives at the conference.

Maersk remote container management

Maersk has equipped 280,000+ refrigerated containers with ORBCOMM telematics devices, as well as outfitting its 400+ vessels with GSM capability to monitor reefer cargo and containers.

Earlier this year, Maersk announced that it was making live data from its smart reefers available for free to its BCO clients. “Visibility is free of charge – if you have a contract with Maersk you have the data,” said Ms. Karlsen. The only time Maersk customers will need to pay is if they want to download and own the data. The next step, she said, is to “give everyone in the chain access to the data.”

The Maersk team told the audience at Cool Logistics that the carrier wants to deliver an end-to-end view of the cargo journey. “It’s super important that we have the transparency,” said Ms. Karlsen. “We need to explore how we can use the data to get better at our work and how we can continue to innovate to meet our customers’ digital needs.”

onionsOne of Maersk’s customers is Wiskerke Onions, a family-owned onion producer based in the Netherlands. While the Netherlands only has 2 per cent of global onion production, it is the world leader in onion exports, company CEO Cheyenne Wiskerke told the conference. Wiskerke itself exports around 3500 container loads a year to Africa, Asia and many other regions. Ms. Wiskerke told the audience that live shipment data from Maersk’s smart reefers could change the way the company does business. For instance, climate protocols laid down for shipping to different regions may be adjusted when the company can see real, hard data on key factors such as humidity and temperatures.

Maersk considers itself still to be right at the beginning of the digitalisation journey, said Ms. Karlsen and Ms. Hjorth. “We need to get all our customers to use RCM so we can fully explore and use the platform. And when we get so much data, we have to figure out how do we break it into chunks and use it to drive better cargo care.”

One of the ‘fear factors’ around sharing data and visibility with BCOs has always been around claims, and this issue came up again at this year’s conference. “Being able to provide data up front to some of the surveyors will enable better conversations,” said Ms. Karlsen. “We don’t want to hide things when cargo is in our care. We are hoping we will change the claims discussion to make it more transparent and data-based”.

Asked about the challenge of customers misinterpreting the data, Ms. Karlsen said that it was Maersk’s job to manage that. “Last year we trained our commercial colleagues based on our in-house learning so that they can go out and train the customer to understand the process.” Maersk runs a team in South India that has been thoroughly educated in RCM and provides 24/7 customer service, she added.

However, “a container is not a hospital” that can make produce better than when it was loaded. “The lack of data is a real problem in the claims process today. We want to get the customer involved and change the paradigm. Claims handling is a very slow process and we hope a data-based approach can help speed things up.”

remote container managementWhile Maersk sees a transformational future ahead for sharing data with BCOs, the primary ROI driver for its IoT investment today is operational, through cost savings and improved efficiencies. Catja Hjorth explained that data is giving the carrier an insight into how all its vendors are performing and “this is a big deal for us.”

Maersk is currently looking at how to use IoT monitoring to optimise in-transit cold treatment – a legal requirement in some countries that requires certain fruit to be kept at a low temperature for a specific period of time, and certified as such, to eradicate fruit flies. From a more commercial point of view, added Ms. Hjorth, the Maersk team has been focusing on using the data to identify and reduce set point discrepancies.

“We will become experts in data,” said the Maersk duo, and analytics plays a vital role here. The need to hire people with non-traditional skills for a shipping company, such as machine learning and applied mathematics, has been an important learning point and is key to reaping the full benefits of digitisation.

“Our dream is about taking RCM from visibility to something completely different – to real time control – and we are pushing for RCM 2.0,” concluded Ms. Karlsen.

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