Blog

Choosing a Canada-Certified ELD Before Enforcement

Time is ticking for Canadian and American cross-border fleets that have not transitioned to a certified ELD solution per the latest Canadian mandate. Although the enforcement deadline for Canadian ELD certification has been re-extended to January 2023, it’s important to choose your certified ELD now and prepare your fleet for the transition before enforcement kicks in. 

Turning your Canadian ELD into a Productivity Hub 

Choosing the right certified ELD for your fleet can provide far more value than just compliance. Our ELD solution can improve driver retention by empowering them with streamlined roadside inspections, Record of Duty Status (RODS) and trip status monitoring all built into an intuitive Android-based platform.  

ELD device

Part of a Comprehensive Solution 

The ORBCOMM ELD solution features a simple and intuitive interface that drivers can master in minutes along with third-party app integrations, signature capturing capabilities, driver performance scoring, workflow messaging and so much more. Plus, it makes staying compliant easier than ever by automating HOS calculations and advising on ways to maximize time utilization for increased productivity. 

For more information about Canadian ELD, contact us at eld@orbcomm.com

Posted in 1. Transportation

Smart Containers Are Revolutionizing Reefers

When port delays occur, refrigerated containers—carrying temperature-sensitive cargo susceptible to spoilage—are hit the hardest. An unexpected influx of containers can result in fleets losing track of their assets’ locations or can interfere with cargo integrity, as some may not receive the power they require to maintain appropriate temperatures. To solve these problems, we’ve designed the CT 3500: a new addition to our suite of smart containers solutions that provides powerful capabilities that stretch far beyond simple container tracking. 

Reducing Product Spoilage 

Arriving at your destination with compromised cargo can mean ruined business relationships, load rejections, spoilage claims and more. However, it can be difficult to ensure proper temperature control on each asset —especially with the added complexity of external events such as port delays. With the CT 3500, carriers can receive alerts when container temperatures deviate from acceptable parameters using unique integrations with all major reefer container OEM models. Temperatures can be remotely adjusted on the fly so that loads can be preserved. 

Strengthening Customer Service 

Accurate ETAs are no longer a nicety in the Amazon era. With containers travelling by sea, sometimes stopping at multiple ports before arriving at their destination, it can be particularly nerve-wracking to guess when shipments will arrive. Accurate delivery estimates can be particularly useful for carriers with temperature-sensitive cargo, as they can help streamline pickup if the shipment is meant to be placed onto a chassis for the last leg. Driven by powerful cellular-satellite connectivity, the CT 3500 can deliver location data on demand so carriers can see where their containers are at any time and keep their customers informed. As a result, carriers can improve the customer journey, which can translate to winning more business. Plus, this intelligence can help optimize delivery schedules, speed up the distribution process at arrival and streamline handoffs, leading to a more efficient operation overall. The CT 3500 can also improve efficiency when vessels are in the yard as well by enabling remote data log downloads at any time regardless of reefer power status. This eliminates the need for someone to physically go into the yard, power each vessel on and download the data. 

Enhancing Guest Reefers with Telematics 

While the benefits of telematics data are well known, installing a permanent device on a guest reefer would be costly—even if you were allowed. As a result, any containers that aren’t in the carriers’ possession don’t have the functionality of the assets they own, leading to inconsistencies in container management. With a simplified temporary installation method, the CT 3500 can help empower guest reefers on single trips with the intelligent capabilities of smart containers. 

Improving Connectivity 

When you’re tracking assets on the sea, network coverage is an obstacle as there are no cell towers in range. While satellite connectivity can connect devices, it often requires line of sight which isn’t suitable for ships with stacked containers that require strong network penetration. Without reliable connectivity, devices won’t be able to transmit data, leaving carriers in the dark on where their containers are and what their status is.  This is why we created VesselConnect: a cloud-based solution that creates a local cellular network on the ship, allowing crews to leverage sensors and other devices to monitor temperature, humidity, location and more without having to perform manual checks, which can be dangerous in harsh weather. We built the CT 3500 to work seamlessly with VesselConnect by having it support a suite of wireless sensors that utilize LoRa technology, overcoming the historical challenge of other wireless technologies such as Bluetooth that aren’t robust enough to penetrate the insulation of a refrigerated container. 

Succeed at Sea with ORBCOMM Smart Containers 

Want to learn more about our innovative CT 3500 – the newest addition to our robust smart container offering? Reach out to us today for a tailored quote

Posted in 6. IoT Trends

Improve Accident Reconstruction with Impact Detection Reports

This is article #1 of our ORBCOMM Platform Quick Tips Series where we highlight useful features within the ORBCOMM platform that customers can use to generate value from their data. 

Did you know that the average American trucking industry lawsuit was nearly $22.3 million in 2018? In fact, just last year, one trucking company faced a record-breaking $1 billion-dollar nuclear verdict due to an accident. While accidents can’t always be avoided, being able to piece together what happened can help prevent future crashes and provide evidence that you need to clear your name. 

On the ORBCOMM platform, you can view triggered impact detection events for each asset in your fleet, including which type of impact was detected, the asset type, the speed and the city it’s in. With our IC 500 camera solution, users can watch video evidence of the triggered event as it transpired to get a full picture of what had happened. This can help fleet managers visualize the event rather than relying on data points and map locations. You can also click multiple events and then view the map to see where each event took place. 

With impact detection reports, fleet managers can use data to answer the multitude of questions that arise when accidents occur, including what went wrong, who was at fault and whether it could have been prevented. Plus, by using the information collected, carriers can take proactive steps to address driver behavior to reduce the risk of crashes, improving driver safety and limiting equipment downtime due to accidents. 

Thanks for reading! To learn more about nuclear verdicts and how ORBCOMM solutions can help keep your fleet safe, check out our blog article here

Posted in 1. Transportation, 6. IoT Trends

4 Ways to Improve Fuel Economy with Fleet Technology

white and blue truck on road during daytime

Anything that takes up 30% of your fleet operating costs deserves serious attention. With fuel prices continuing to soar –especially amidst the current conflict in Ukraine – finding ways to improve fuel economy can provide significant savings for your fleet – especially if it’s done systematically across every vehicle in your arsenal. 

For many, technology is the solution. Through data collection and analysis, fleet managers can pinpoint areas in their operations where they can boost fuel economy, reducing costs and improving productivity. 

Here are 4 simple ways that fleets can cut fuel costs and improve their bottom line using innovative technology. 

Driver Performance 

The person behind the wheel can greatly impact the amount of fuel being used for each trip. If the majority of drivers tend to waste fuel based on their driving behavior, it can quickly eat away at profit margins. 

Live in-cab automated driver coaching can help ensure that poor driving behavior associated with higher fuel costs (excessive idling, harsh braking and driving without cruise control, to name a few) can be caught and fixed with voice feedback and suggestions. Having visibility into each vehicle as it’s in motion can help fleet managers ensure that assets are being used in a fuel-conscious way. 

Drivers can also be tracked by the fuel they use each trip regardless of the truck that they drive. This can help provide a clearer picture of which drivers are using the most fuel, as certain vehicle older models may be less efficient than others and can skew numbers. With this information, fleet managers can also track progress and history to determine if corrective actions are having an impact on overall fuel economy. 

Preventive Maintenance 

Vehicles that are regularly maintained and serviced can be far more fuel-efficient than those that are neglected. By leveraging advanced vehicle diagnostics, fleets can stay attuned with the component-by-component performance of their assets, ensuring vehicles are being taken to the shop when they require repairs before they need to be replaced. 

With the current market posing issues for fleets looking to purchase new vehicles, ensuring existing assets are optimized for performance can go a long way in increasing productivity, reducing roadside repairs and boosting fuel economy. 

Data-Driven Procurement 

aerial photography of freight truck lot

Acquiring new and used vehicles is a natural part of fleet management as business expands. By analyzing fuel data from every vehicle model and type within your fleet, you can benefit from an unbiased account of which models are most fuel efficient. Considering a little less than a third of operational expenses stem from fuel costs, this can wind up saving fleets a significant amount of money. 

Fuel Theft Protection 

Mitigating cargo theft and vehicle theft is often a focus for fleet managers; however, fuel is also a commodity worth monitoring. Fleet managers can compare the actual fuel that is burned to the amount that was purchased at the start and end of any given trip. Since it’s often employees who are the culprits for siphoning fuel from fleet vehicles, having visibility into the data can help catch theft that would otherwise go unnoticed. And with a fuel sensor, fleet managers can be immediately alerted to rapid fuel losses which could be triggered by active theft or a vehicle issue. 

Driving Fuel Efficiency with Data 

white Orcan fuel station

Technology continues to play a vital role in fleet management, unlocking new levels of productivity and output at a fraction of the resource cost. Through addressing inefficiencies from different angles using innovative technology, fleet managers can devise a comprehensive plan of attack that can help them drastically reduce unnecessary fuel usage, improving their profit margins and reducing their carbon footprint. 

To learn more about how to reduce fuel cost, check out our free ebook here. 

Posted in 1. Transportation

Fleets Can Win More Business with Customer Service

person holding black smartphone

It’s natural for fleets to tie generating more revenue with growing their trailer pool or expanding service to new regions. This can certainly push the needle, but it requires additional resources that may be unavailable due to external factors such as component shortages. 

One way to win new deals and keep current customers happy is by improving their experience with innovative technology. 

Accurate Delivery Estimations 

brown cardboard boxes on black plastic crate

Knowing the time and day that a parcel is arriving at your doorstep has been expected of delivery services for years. For carriers, providing this capability to customers should be no different. Not only can this help customers prepare their staff to unload the goods from the truck upon arrival, it can also provide a heads-up if a shipment is delayed, which they can pass along to prospects to improve their own customer service. 

Remote Cargo Visibility 

truck with six wheels

Viewing the inside of a trailer from the office can provide tremendous value when the containers are stationary but even more so when they’re on the move. With this capability, fleets can inform their customers that their product is well protected and loaded properly while also giving ad-hoc updates on temperature levels and other parameters.  

Intelligent Routing 

person holding red round medication pill

Cargo arriving earlier than anticipated is typically a sign of prompt action and good customer service. Using trailer tracking technology to determine the closest driver to each trip—rather than simply choosing one from the roster—can help ensure speedy delivery while also limiting unnecessary deadhead miles and other operational inefficiencies. 

Proactive Maintenance 

A fleet of trucks that are constantly in the shop for repairs can be a nightmare for customers, as they’ll be constantly second-guessing if their goods will arrive. With remote vehicle diagnostics, maintenance crews can always stay attuned with vehicle health, resulting in less delayed trips and less customer worry. Plus, having improved vehicle uptime can enable fleets to accept and execute on more trips week in and week out, strengthening productivity through maintenance optimization. 

Catering to your Customer Base 

In a market where there’s dozens of carriers bidding for new business, providing reassurance and reliability can go a long way in securing new deals and strengthening current relationships. To learn more about how fleets can build a stronger service for their customers with new technology, check out our smart truck brochure

Posted in 1. Transportation

A New Era of Satellite-Powered Maritime Communications

When it comes to satellite connectivity, two-way, real-time and reliable is the gold standard. In areas where there is little to no terrestrial coverage – for instance, in the middle of the ocean – there is no shortage of satellite IoT use cases. For 25 years, satellite IoT connectivity has defined ORBCOMM’s corporate heritage and remains a fundamental area of expertise for our organization. We were an early pioneer of two-way satellite data communications as well as the satellite detection of maritime vessel movements using Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals.  

With this history, it was a natural next step in our IoT connectivity evolution to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with AAC Clyde Space AB and Saab to develop the next generation of global maritime communication services based on VDES (VHF Data Exchange System). We are proud to have launched the AOS (AAC Clyde Space, ORBCOMM, Saab) VDES Consortium in late 2021 with this esteemed group of leaders in the space and maritime technology industries.  

Unlike AIS, VDES features two-way communication and encryption capabilities while also having wider range and up to 32 times the bandwidth of AIS. Plus, VDES turns what used to be a mostly coastal system into a truly global service that can act as a platform for seafarers around the world. 

ORBCOMM’s mission has always been to help our customers make informed, data-driven decisions. Through the AOS VDES initiative, we will create a global maritime communication network that will facilitate information sharing from ship to shore anywhere in the globe – powered in part by ubiquitous satellite connectivity.  

And the use cases for VDES are many. With decarbonization on the horizon for the shipping industry, VDES will be key in reducing carbon emissions, as it can be integrated with e-navigation systems to improve fuel efficiency by up to 25%. Reducing carbon footprint through asset efficiency is an important cause for us and we are excited to see how our VDES-powered maritime communications systems can play a role in saving the planet.

For updates about the development of our VDES maritime communications platform, stay tuned to our blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Posted in 3. Maritime / AIS

5 Fleet Tech Hacks to Win More Business

Production, Facility, Logistic, Distribution Center

For fleet managers, accommodating new business can be difficult in the best of times – let alone today’s current climate of dragging trailer backorders and component shortages. Many have been forced to look inwards as they await their new assets, using technology to improve productivity, cut costs and boost operational intelligence so they can win more future business with the resources they have today.  

We’re going to look at five solutions that can help fleet managers drive revenue while they await new resources. 

  1. Trailer Telematics 
Truck, Freight, Cargo, Delivery, Container, 18 Wheeler

According to the US Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the Postal Service spent $7.1 million over a 14-month period on idle trailers in 2019. The inability to remotely locate a trailer at any given time can lead to operational oversights such as this, resulting in money wasted and productivity being hamstrung. Fleet managers can’t skip the line-up for new trailers; however, by using trailer telematics, they can ensure the assets they do have are on the road and not sitting in the yard collecting rust. 

From this, they can gather important insights that can enable them to reduce dwell times and improve turn times. Plus, they can use vehicle data to better understand fuel usage per customer and location to lower operational costs. 

  1. In-Cab Cameras 
Truck Driver, Eighteen, Startup, Business

While location data can be a powerful tool for fleet managers, having visibility via an in-cab camera can provide even more benefits. Not only can it reduce insurance premiums, but in-cab cameras can also protect fleets from having to close up shop due to nuclear verdicts – insurance claims that surpass $1m in damages – by providing video evidence and accident reconstruction that can help prove driver innocence.  

Plus, in-cab cameras can improve driver performance by providing coaching material in the form of live video. This enables fleet managers to have more control and visibility into cases of unsafe driving, enhances driving safety and ensures drivers are complying to regulations. Analyzing the camera data and monitoring driver behavior that is collected can also drive fuel economy and even help prevent accidents. 

  1. Remote Diagnostics 
The ORBCOMM remote diagnostics platform features vehicle performance and health parameters based on color severity.

Another key part of improving productivity while awaiting order backlogs is ensuring your assets stay in rotation for as long as possible. This is where our remote diagnostics integration with Noregon can help. Being able to troubleshoot vehicle issues before they arrive in the shop can enable repair crews to respond quicker to problems – and with more accuracy. Plus, color-coded severity levels for each vehicle in the shop can help inform triaging to ensure repairs are being conducted in an optimal order for maximum utilization.  

All of the data can be viewed in comprehensive dashboards and reports so maintenance leaders can view the component status of each asset on the fly and benefit from intelligent service recommendations to optimize longevity. 

  1. Fleet Automation and Digitization 

Streamlining operations through automation and digitization can minimize risk of human error while also helping to save time and money that can be better spent on winning more business. Often, this involves the transition to digital signatures and documentation for logging, driver vehicle inspection forms and other manual processes. Considering the current social distancing mandates, digitization is especially crucial as a means of enabling contactless interaction to keep drivers safe. 

Yard management is another area where automation plays a role in improving efficiency and reducing human error. With tractor ID sensors, dispatch can remotely verify tractor-trailer couplings to ensure cargo is going to the correct destination. Not only does this make drivers’ lives easier but it can also reduce deadhead miles incurred by incorrect trailers being driven out of the yard. 

  1. Cargo Visibility 
blue and black utility truck on gray concrete road during daytime

Winning new customers involves improving your productivity but it can also result from providing a better service. By deploying cargo camera sensors, fleets can gain remote visibility into their trailers at will. This improves operational awareness by showing if your trailers are full or empty, which can boost utilization and inform dispatch of which trailers can handle more load. Plus, having eyes within any given trailer can help in cargo recovery initiatives in the case of theft by providing visual evidence – especially with event-based triggers from door sensors. 

The market will eventually right itself but in the meantime, fleet managers can leverage technology to improve their output with the assets they have today. To learn more about ORBCOMM’s smart truck solutions, you can read our solutions brochure here

Posted in 6. IoT Trends

How Transportation Management Systems Simplify Fleet Management

If market size is any indication – projected to reach $11.4 USD by 2027 – transportation management systems (TMS) are becoming more of a necessity amongst fleet managers. In fact, almost 35% of businesses are using transportation management systems to monitor and control their network of assets. 

While technology has given fleet managers far more control over their mobile assets, scanning multiple dashboards spread out across different platforms – sometimes communicating using unique data protocols and often focusing on separate areas of the business – can be a lot to handle. With the growing complexity of the transportation industry and the current supply chain struggles, fleets are actively searching for answers in technology to help them continue to win business and thrive. 

The business of fleet management isn’t just dots on a map. The entire billing, payroll, fuel tax reporting, load planning and dispatch are some of the business requirements managed within a TMS – the backbone of any fleet operation. 

To continue providing strong data-driven products to our customers, we have integrated our smart truck and trailer solutions with Systems Support Inc (SSI).

“SSI is excited to integrate with ORBCOMM’s in-cab communication and ELD platform, along with their trailer tracking solution, said Kirby Eddie, President at SSI. “It’s important for us to provide our customers with solutions from the leading technology and regulatory partners in the industry.”   

The integration of our smart truck and trailer solutions with SSI’s PowerPRO transportation management system (TMS) allows fleet managers and dispatch to take advantage of the enhanced operational efficiencies that together, the two solutions provide.  Real-time location, geofencing status updates, current driver HOS data and driver-dispatch near-instant communications provide the ability to quickly respond and react to shifting situations in the job that could affect timing of the delivery.  

“We’re always looking for ways to make our customers’ lives easier and more profitable. Integrating with SSI demonstrates that we will continue offering integrated partnerships with world-class solutions for our customers,” said Eric Witty, VP Product Management at ORBCOMM. 

Through this integration, SSI users can access ORBCOMM compliance, location and workflow data directly in the PowerPRO platform including: 

  • Driver compliance (HOS) status 
  • Trailer/tractor position information including location and geofencing 
  • Sensor data such as temperature, door position, and tire pressure 
  • Workflow integration including load status, job status/instruction/updates and standard forms integration 
  • Instant communication between dispatch and drivers 

SSI has been an established name in the transportation software sphere for over 40 years, supporting a diverse fleet customer base throughout the United States. Known for managing complex transport business operations, SSI prides themselves on developing and nurturing personalized business relationships with their customers. 

ORBCOMM’s smart trailer and smart truck solutions provide fleets with the ability to optimize trailer utilization, reduce costs and leverage complete remote visibility into compliance information and documentation – all contributing to the timely delivery of freight and goods. 

To learn more, contact your account manager to set up a discussion with our Integration team. 

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

How Harrier Express is Keeping Cool with Cold Chain Telematics

While trailer telematics offers plenty of benefits fleets of any kind – precise delivery estimates, decreased dwell time and improved asset utilisation to name a few – it can be particularly useful for reefer fleets.  

After all, transporting cargo without the ability to monitor and manage cargo temperature can result in unforeseen product spoilage if something goes wrong within the refrigerated trailer. Arriving with spoiled cargo is a disaster for fleets as it impacts customer relations and incurs temperature-related load rejections and costly spoilage claims. 

Harrier Express – a UK–based fleet with over four decades of experience in the refrigerated haulage business – came to a similar conclusion. After Brexit resulted in increased demand for trailer freight, Harrier Express doubled their trailer pool count and needed to find a way to maintain control and visibility over their expanded fleet as it travelled across the English Channel. To solve this pain point, they worked with Longhurst Refrigeration – one of ORBCOMM’s UK distributors – to equip 60 of their refrigerated trailers with ORBCOMM’s advanced cold chain telematics solution, which provides remote reefer management, maintenance scheduling, temperature compliance data and real-time alerts.  

Simon Wilkinson, owner of Harrier Express, says the solution had an immediate impact.  

“Working with ORBCOMM has eliminated the risk of disruption to our business at multiple points of the supply chain. We’ve saved ourselves from many potential claims, reduced time spent tracking trailers manually, helped improve maintenance scheduling and added remote control of the refrigerated units which we didn’t have before.” 

Since Harrier Express’ refrigerated trailers often stop at several locations on the way to their destination, being able to keep an eye on each unit’s location is paramount. With in-cab temperature monitoring, Harrier Express’ drivers can take the guesswork out of cargo status and ensure that each product maintains its integrity while in transit. Plus, with reefer trailers often on the move and far from the shop, a data-driven maintenance scheduling program can help reduce the cost and resource strain of roadside repairs and unexpected breakdowns. 

“Harrier Express is a great example of how ORBCOMM solves fleets’ pressing business problems,” said Kelley Duarte, ORBCOMM’s SVP EMEA. “Our comprehensive cold chain solutions deliver strong ROI to Harrier Express by reducing the risk of produce spoilage, facilitating better trailer utilisation and enhancing maintenance scheduling”. 

To learn more about ORBCOMM’s cold chain telematics solutions, visit https://www.orbcomm.com/eu/industries/transportation-and-distribution/cold-chain-monitoring.  

Posted in 1. Transportation

Avoiding Nuclear Verdicts with Fleet Management Technology

brown wooden chess piece on brown book

Managing a fleet is stressful enough without having to worry about a single accident closing your business for good. Nuclear verdicts—insurance jury awards that exceed $10 million—are growing at an alarming rate to the detriment of fleets. In fact, between 2010 and 2018, the average US trucking industry verdict increased 967% from $2.3 million to a whopping $22.3 million. This can spell ruin for many fleets, or at the very least it’s capital that would be better spent on procurement, hiring or maintenance

With accidents happening on the road every day, how can fleet managers dodge nuclear verdicts from impacting their bottom line? Technology such as in-cab cameras and fleet telematics can help to prevent some accidents from occurring in the first place, act as a tool to ensure accident reconstruction accuracy and aid in building a strong reputation for driver safety and performance that can attract new business. Plus, it can have an impact on CSA scores, which can lead to reduced insurance premiums, fewer DoT audits, fewer roadside inspections and more. 

Cutting Back on Accidents—and Premiums—with Proactive Data

One of the first steps fleet managers should take to avoid nuclear verdicts is to ensure they’re doing everything in their power to minimize the likelihood of an accident. This proactive approach includes using fleet maintenance solutions that can optimize truck health and performance before things go south.  

white truck on road during daytime

Driver performance data can also be harnessed to proactively identify drivers that are at risk of accidents so appropriate actions can be taken before an incident occurs. With this, fleet managers can conduct driver scoring to get a better grasp of the strengths and weaknesses of their roster, informing future coaching requirements. Plus, this data can be used to quickly diagnose problems with the vehicle itself through fault code analysis. 

Voice coaching can quickly alert drivers when they’re speeding, driving without a seat belt and more, acting as a second pair of eyes for fleet managers to ensure their vehicles are being used in a responsible way that doesn’t jeopardize safety.  

In-Cab Cameras Paint a Picture for Insurance Verdicts 

Preventing accidents is top of mind for fleet managers, but it’s important to be protected when these situations do occur. Using in-cab cameras in combination with fleet telematics for accident reconstruction can show how the incident developed, helping with insurance claim accuracy and protecting drivers as well as fleet reputation.  

Plus, the data collected at accident sites can also help inform fleet managers of risky driver behavior that can be addressed through in-cab coaching. This works to help prevent future accidents while also improving driver performance and safety, leading to a stronger roster overall. 

Staying Clear of Nuclear Verdicts 

aerial photography of concrete roads

Nuclear verdicts can be scary, but there are steps that can be taken to minimize risk. By using fleet telematics in tandem with in-cab cameras, fleet managers can take a two-pronged approach to fleet safety: ensuring proper fleet maintenance and driver performance with truck data to prevent accidents, while also securing video footage that can inform driver coaching, reduce insurance claims and protect fleets from nuclear verdicts. 

Is your fleet leveraging technology to stay safe on the road? Learn how Queen Transportation used ORBCOMM fleet safety and management solutions to help them reduce insurance claims and improve driver performance. 

Posted in 6. IoT Trends

How Fleets Can Win Business with Trailer Telematics

vehicles on road under blue calm sky

When it comes to gaining market share, the best offense is a good defense. For fleet owners in midsize fleets, this boils down to maximizing the value of everything within their organization however this is easier said than done, as fleet owners typically have a hand in every aspect of their business: procurement, analytics, risk, market strategy, etc. One way to ease this burden and start boosting results is by finding solutions that provide  immediate value to fleets, like trailer telematics. The data generated from trailer telematics can have a profound impact on how fleets operate, driving productivity, cutting costs, reducing risk and so much more. From leveraging insightful data to winning business, here’s how midsize fleet owners can benefit from investing in trailer telematics. 

Generate Analytics 

selective focus photography of mechanics tool lot

For small and midsize fleets, it’s often less about data-driven decisions and more about meeting day-to-day demand. However, this no longer needs to be the case. Trailer telematics can play a pivotal role in generating key analytics that can be viewed from dynamic dashboards and comprehensive reports to help fleet owners discover inefficiencies in maintenance, route planning, driver performance, trailer utilization and more. Idle reports can be leveraged to quickly locate trailers that are sitting unused or delayed in detention and get them back on the road. This improves asset utilization but can also help fleet owners find operational weaknesses—such as trailers that are being frequently underutilized or overutilized—which can lead to more revenue and less maintenance upkeep. 

Inform Procurement 

green and white vintage truck

With trailer backlogs and component shortages wreaking havoc in the industry, purchasing new and used trailers is a challenge right now for fleets of all sizes. Although nothing can be done on a macro level to change the market, improving efficiency through boosting fleet uptime is a surefire way to improve trailer output. With trailer telematics, fleet owners can make use of brake reports, tire pressure monitoring alerts and fault codes that can help them track the health of the assets they’ve invested in. Analyzing these trends could lead to discovering inefficiencies that can be addressed for improved longevity. Plus, in the long term, fleet owners can leverage this data to help them purchase trailers with components that are expected to last longer. 

Reduce Risk 

As is the case for any business owner, managing risk is of the utmost importance. From cargo theft to insurance claims to roadside safety infractions, there’s plenty to worry about. This is especially true for fleet owners, who employ drivers to carry valuable cargo across the country every day. Trailer telematics technology can mitigate some of the risk involved with owning a fleet by providing remote around-the-clock visibility into trailers—empty or loaded—through camera cargo sensors. This generates a visual record which can provide clarity to discussions involving product quality at delivery, improving customer relations. Camera cargo sensors can also be used to check that standard loading procedures are being followed on a trip-by-trip basis, ensuring employee safety. Lastly, while trailer telematics solutions can’t prevent cargo theft, fleet owners can keep an eye on the location of their trailers and can view when assets are being entered or used without authorization by using asset tracking along with camera and door sensors.

Driver Retention 

Highway, Guard Rails, Vehicles, Car, Asphalt, Roadway

According to an ATA report, large truckload carriers—over $30m annual revenue—had a 90% annual driver turnover rate, with smaller fleets  resting at 69%. While this looks promising for smaller fleets, the turnover gap is narrowing as enterprise carriers increase pay and benefits offerings to retain their drivers. Lacking the coffers of larger carriers, growing fleets can fight back against driver turnover by improving driver convenience, wellbeing, comfort and performance through technology like trailer telematics.  

One area where simplification can provide value is by incorporating trailer ID sensors within yard management. Drivers pulling the wrong trailers are  in a lose-lose situation: they aren’t earning money and fleets aren’t earning revenue. With trailer pairing confirmation, drivers can eliminate the costly mistake of hooking to the wrong trailer and leaving the yard through trailer coupling notifications that dispatch can monitor remotely. 

Win Business 

Being smaller has its perks. For growing fleets, using trailer telematics technology to provide a better experience for customers can be the ticket to winning business from bigger competitors. Plus, without any previous large-scale investment in now-obsolete technology, small fleets can quickly pivot and adopt the newest technology to get ahead.  

Just like in any other business environment, smaller companies can often provide more personalized service and attention to their customers versus an enterprise churning out production to meet demand. Real-time location tracking provides tremendous value through asset visibility that can lead to accurate ETAs, which are often expected from customers in this era of Amazon and Uber.  

Taking Market Share with Trailer Telematics 

Owning a midsize fleet can be a stepping stone for those that are interested in scaling operations and expanding business on the back of innovative technology. Using trailer telematics, fleet owners can maximize their productivity and efficiency to create a better service for customers, reduce unnecessary expenses, retain talented drivers and more. 

Want to see how trailer telematics can work for you? Check out our free smart trailer solutions brochure and discover the benefits of incorporating trailer telematics in your growing fleet. 

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

How Real-Time Remote Diagnostics Can Empower Fleet Maintenance 

A truck mechanic repairing a transport truck.

With procurement order backlogs continuing to wreak havoc on the industry, fleet maintenance has become even more crucial to ensuring trucks stay on the road — not stuck in the shop. For fleet managers, the key to improving fleet uptime through maintenance stems from getting the data you need when you need it — contextual, actionable and in near real time. That’s why we have partnered  with Noregon to enhance our existing smart truck solution with new remote advanced vehicle diagnostics capabilities. Existing customers can benefit from these exciting new features quickly without new hardware add-ons, ensuring business can continue uninterrupted. For those new to ORBCOMM’s smart truck solution, this new Noregon partnership strengthens our offering even further by providing a holistic remote view of fleet health, empowering you to build a smarter maintenance strategy that saves money and maximizes productivity.

Predictive Maintenance Can Help Crews Repair Rather than Replace  

Sometimes, trips to the maintenance shop are unavoidable. However, awareness of the problem and the time it takes to get the truck or trailer to the shop can make a significant difference on the repair bill and how long the asset will be out of action. One way to get ahead of this is with comprehensive reporting that filters out unnecessary data points and provides a remote snapshot of each individual asset with all of the real-time predictive data that you need to make informed decisions. If the shop is backed up, this actionable remote diagnostics data can also provide mileage estimates and time estimates before the issue is expected to escalate further, providing operational flexibility for any fleet maintenance strategy.   

Inform Maintenance Triaging with Vehicle Performance and Health Scoring  

The ORBCOMM remote diagnostics platform features vehicle performance and health parameters based on color severity.

Maintenance crews are blind to real-time individual component and performance health once a vehicle leaves the shop. This is sub-optimal, as it limits the control fleet maintenance teams have over the health of their fleets and can lead to inaccurate management of the vehicles themselves. With our new fleet maintenance solution, vehicle performance and health can be viewed live at any time to ensure standards are being met and to enable maintenance crews to resolve vehicle issues before they escalate further. Using color-coded aggregated scoring can make this even easier to manage, as it provides a snapshot of each individual vehicle so that maintenance crews can quickly get a handle on which vehicles they need to prioritize. Severity levels can also be customized to account for specific standards within any individual fleet maintenance strategy.  Plus, viewing the effect-on-vehicle description of each issue can help maintenance crews visualize the impact of each problem that goes unfixed, allowing for more informed triaging. 

Leveraging Data-Driven Action Plans to Boost Intelligence  

As busy maintenance crews know, long-term planning can be difficult when there’s a backlog of repairs that need to be completed. For many, just getting through the line-up of trucks in the shop can take up all of a maintenance team’s hours and budget. Our enhanced smart truck solution can help to alleviate some of that pressure by providing insightful repair recommendations based on trends in component data. These can be fully customized by input from ASE-certified technicians and can be shared with dispatchers to relay to drivers for issues that can be quickly resolved on the road. In turn, this timely information can be used to alleviate any additional damage to the vehicle unknowingly.   

Incorporating Real-Time Remote Diagnostics in your Fleet Maintenance Strategy 

Live data will always have a place in fleet maintenance. Being able to view the health and performance of each individual component in real time, combined with data-driven insights and predictive fault information, is invaluable to maintenance crews as it helps them manage vehicle repairs faster, improve triaging accuracy through clearly-defined severity levels and foster continuous improvement of their fleet maintenance strategy with data-driven insights.  

Visit here if you’d like to learn more about how ORBCOMM’s enhanced smart truck solution is helping repair crews save time and money while keeping trucks on the road longer. 

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

2021 Year in Review: Resilience and Dedication

It’s hard to imagine we’re less than two weeks away from 2022. With COVID-19 still looming alongside component supply issues and port backlogs, there’s been no shortage of difficulties over the past twelve months. However, we have seen tremendous change take place as companies adapt to these new conditions and continue to serve their communities – often backed by innovative technology. 

For us at ORBCOMM, it’s been no different. Despite various trials and tribulations, we have developed new and exciting products, received industry awards, built new partner relationships and helped various customers incorporate end-to-end telematics solutions that cut costs, drive efficiency and most importantly, bring a strong return on investment. 

Without further ado, here are a few of the highlights of 2021 for ORBCOMM. 

Building Solutions for Today’s Problems 

Our new tractor ID sensor solution

Necessity breeds innovation – this is especially true in the transportation industry. Facing challenges such as social distancing, trailer order backlogs and the revised Canadian ELD mandate, fleets have been looking for intelligent solutions that can help them continue operations and improve their bottom line. 

This year, we launched our tractor ID sensor solution to fix a common industry problem: incorrect trailer-tractor pairing. These human errors can be incredibly costly for fleets as cargo can be carried hundreds of miles away from its destination before dispatch or the driver is alerted to the mistake. With this innovative technology, dispatch will know if the wrong trailer leaves the geofence in the yard, eliminating guesswork and simplifying yard check management. This is especially important for reefer management, as product shipment delays can result in spoilage, hefty insurance claims and ruined customer relationships.  

Looking beyond the transportation market, we’re staying true to our satellite heritage with the release of our new dual mode (satellite-cellular) terminal for industrial IoT applications. This solution can seamlessly support virtually any IoT use case with a ruggedized exterior, remote troubleshooting capabilities, expanded battery for longer in-field placement and two levels of connectivity for enhanced reliability. 

Award-Winning Excellence and Powerful Partnerships 

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When you build solutions that solve problems and bring value to your customers, you get recognized for it. We’re proud to share that we have secured certifications and received accolades this year for the work we’ve done with our customers and partners, including: 

You’re only as strong as your partner network. Building upon our solution with third-party specializations provides customers with a stronger overall solution that can address a wide range of different business needs. 

This year, we’ve teamed up with Noregon to integrate their comprehensive vehicle health and safety diagnostics with the ORBCOMM platform, empowering our fleet customers to further improve their maintenance visibility and management through real-time data. 

In the satellite IoT industry, we’ve partnered with Unseen Labs to help them get their comprehensive space-based RF detection technology into the hands of our maritime AIS (Automatic Identification System) partners and customers. 

Expanding our Offering under New Ownership! 

If you haven’t heard, we were acquired by GI Partners this year. We’re excited to continue into 2022 working with GI Partners as a privately held company, fitted with the resources and flexibility necessary to continue developing strong solutions that ease the pains of our customers. 

With this acquisition, we will be able to continue rapidly advancing our long-term strategy by focusing on key markets that can benefit from our suite of solutions such as small and midsize fleets.  

Telematics data provides incredible value at any tractor or trailer count, which is why we’ve built smart truck solutions that can be installed in minutes, carry no upfront hardware costs and feature affordable monthly subscription pricing. 

Orbcomm Brings Satellite M2M Services to China - Via Satellite -

We’re also further strengthening our offering overseas as well. Just this year, our heavy equipment monitoring solution was approved in China, enabling Chinese customers to track and monitor their industrial equipment while providing data-rich insights that can improve asset utilization, operational efficiency and more. 

Sharing our Customers’ Success 

Nothing makes us happier than when we’re helping our customers win more business with our telematics solutions. Here are just a few customers who have deployed our solutions this year: 

What to Look Forward to 

GI Partners to Acquire Orbcomm | Transport Topics

While 2021 has been a challenging year, we’re excited about what we were able to provide to our customers and can’t wait to start the new year off.  

In 2022, we will continue to deliver ROI-positive telematics solutions to new and existing markets, helping to solve complex logistics and other operational inefficiencies, enable real-time visibility and reduce unnecessary processes and expenses. 

As always, be sure to follow us on social media and check our blog regularly to stay up to date on recent developments and new product launches.  

On behalf of the ORBCOMM team, we wish you a happy new year and the best of luck in 2022! 

Posted in 1. Transportation, 3. Maritime / AIS, 4. Heavy Industry, Small and Midsize Fleets Tagged with:

Food Surplus Management demonstrates efficiency of CNG-powered vehicles using ORBCOMM data

Irish company proves the efficiency and low maintenance costs of compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered vehicles on its journey to a more sustainable fleet.


The company

Food Surplus Management (FSM) found the right fit with ORBCOMM to support its move to a more sustainable fleet using compressed natural gas as a proven and reliable alternative to diesel or petrol. As an after-market, mixed-fleet telematics provider, ORBCOMM was ideally positioned to provide a comprehensive and trusted system for comparing fuel savings and freight emissions across CNG- powered vehicles and a wide range of different makes and models of trucks.

Irish-owned FSM specialises in sustainable food waste collection, taking short-date and out-of-date food waste from retail, food, manufacturing and hospitality centres for recycling at its custom-built facilities. With over 15 years of experience, FSM provides a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to landfill. FSM is a company with strong environmental credentials. With sustainability at its heart, the company was one of the first in Ireland to use compressed natural gas to fuel its fleet, as it searched for a cleaner, more affordable and proven choice for its fleet. The potential for using gas for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) is to reduce C02 emissions from 7% to up to 23% over diesel* depending on drive cycles and payload.

The challenge

In 2017, Gas Networks Ireland, which owns and operates the country’s natural gas network, launched the first CNG Vehicle Fund to support businesses adopting the new technology. The initiative aimed to show the viability of CNG as an alternative to diesel. In addition to introducing high capacity fast-fill CNG stations across Ireland, the project included a subsidy scheme for the purchasing of new vehicles.

FSM was one of the first haulers to apply and purchased three Scania trucks powered by CNG as part of its fleet of 32 vehicles that operate nationwide. Niall Lord, Managing Director of Food Surplus Management, explained that one of the main reasons that FSM got on-board with the initiative was that it aligned with its company values. “In our business, we collect food waste. The food goes for anaerobic digestion, which is the production of biogas, biomethane. CNG was an obvious fuel for us,” said Lord.

To monitor the performance of its CNG vehicles against the rest of its fleet, FSM turned to its telematics system for data. FSM had switched from another provider to ORBCOMM telematics in 2018 and uses it to enhance the visibility of their trucks, drivers, and workflow, to improve driver behaviour on the road and save money on fuel and maintenance.

Lord sees ORBCOMM telematics as mission-critical for his fleet. “We switched over more than two years ago. We have the whole fleet there. We’re tracking everything. We use vehicle management, driver management, tachograph, the whole suite of reporting. Our transport manager and transport staff use it quite a lot.”

With the detailed information available through the ORBCOMM system incorporating maintenance, fuel burn information and driver performance scoring, it was the perfect partner for the CNG initiative.

The solution

The fuel savings offered by gas-powered trucks was a big reason for Lord and FSM to get involved and the initial results are promising. Lord says, “From a monitoring point of view, from the ORBCOMM system, fuel is probably what we watch most. It is also useful for maintenance planning and obviously for routing. We can see where the trucks are.”

Using ORBCOMM telematics to monitor the trucks’ fuel usage, Lord says the results speak for themselves. While fuel economy in diesel and CNG trucks were on a par, the savings on the lower costs made CNG a viable alternative.

“Fuel is an overhead. Gas is around 70 cents while diesel is in the 90s. There’s a 20% plus saving in fuel which is substantial. If you have that across the board, it’s a no-brainer”.

– Niall Lord, Managing Director of Food Surplus Management

FSM has been carefully monitoring the vehicles’ performance during the trial period, with a close eye on ORBCOMM dashboards to watch fuel and maintenance. Lord says, “There is definitely a saving in running costs. They run a very clean engine, we’ve had little or no mechanical problems with the vehicles either, which is huge. It’s important that trucks don’t have much downtime and the CNG-powered gas trucks have little or no downtime.” The company has had success with the pilot programme of three trucks. “I would absolutely recommend it. The fuel economy in the trucks is on par with diesel; they are very efficient.”

The future

As one of the first companies in Ireland to operate CNG vehicles, FSM wants to convert the whole fleet as soon as the refuelling rollout allows. For his fleet to convert fully, Lord says they’ll need a larger number of fuelling points. Without that, he says it will be challenging to grow the use of CNG trucks. When there is a full rollout in place, it will be the obvious choice to transition to a fully CNG-powered fleet. Lord says a switch to gas-powered trucks is a win-win situation. He says it is definitely a viable alternative to diesel. “The trucks work great. There’s nothing to prove technology-wise, with the vehicles themselves or the fuel economy they deliver.

Ready to unlock data-driven insights within your fleet? Schedule a demo with our team today.

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

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