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FMCSA Publishes COVID-19 Emergency Declaration

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On March 13, the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), published an Emergency Declaration which suspends Hours of Service (HOS) for drivers providing direct assistance to the COVID-19 outbreak relief effort. Per the FMCSA, the declaration is in effect until the COVID-19 emergency is terminated or April 12, 2020, whichever comes first. This Emergency Declaration applies only to drivers and carriers in the United States. The Canadian Government and Transport Canada have not announced any emergency changes to HOS or carrier operations in Canada at the time of this publication.

Under this Emergency Declaration the FMCSA has defined specific criteria that allow a carrier to be eligible for HOS relief. Guidance and a copy of the Declaration can be found at the FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration page.

Carriers and drivers will need to familiarize themselves with the specifics of the Emergency Declaration and coordinate with federal, state and local authorities regarding eligibility for HOS exemption in relation to potential COVID-19 support operations.

While this Emergency Declaration provides the flexibility needed to respond to the developing health crisis, drivers and carriers should monitor driver fatigue to ensure driver safety and the safe delivery of supplies and support.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves we expect there will be further clarifications and adjustments related to Hours of Service. ORBCOMM will continue to monitor the changes and will respond as necessary.  Drivers and carriers are encouraged to monitor the FMCSA’s website as well as state and local agencies during the COVID-19 emergency to ensure they have the most up to date information and understand how these changes will affect their fleets.

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

Global Container Shipping gets a New Digital Track and Trace Standard

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ReeferConnect IoT telematics solutionAs we highlighted in two extensive ORBCOMM reports during the last quarter of 2019 – the Next Phase of IoT in Shipping Digitalization: Data Interoperability, Integration & Intelligence and Disrupting the Cold Chain: 5 Key Takeaways from Cool Logistics – work is now gathering pace within the global container shipping industry on the development of open standards to help accelerate and facilitate digitalization and automation, including the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technology as a key component.

Two of the leading organizations spearheading this work are DCSA, the Digital Container Shipping Association and COA, the Container Owners Association. DCSA is developing a range of standardization initiatives that kicked off last September with the publication of its ‘Industry Blueprint’ process mapping exercise to create common definitions and terminology for the flow of events and notifications typically involved in a container shipment. COA is focused – for now – on standards related to IoT telematics for refrigerated container operations, which remains by far the dominant segment of the container market to so far embrace IoT telematics.

ORBCOMM, along with other digital technology providers to the container shipping, ports and logistics industries, is working closely with both DCSA and COA on these standardization endeavours. Similar standardization work is underway in container ports, terminals and other sectors of the container supply chain.

DCSA’s first major standard was published at the end of this January and is focused on container track and trace (T&T). In this article, we take a closer look at the new T&T standard, why it has been developed and what it could mean for digitalization in container shipping.

What is the DCSA T&T standard?

The DCSA Track and Trace (T&T) standard is a technology and vendor-neutral initiative intended to assist cross-carrier shipment tracking, data integration and information quality across the multi-event, multi-party affair that is global container shipping. Read more ›

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

Increasing Efficiencies and Ensuring Compliance: visit ORBCOMM at TCA Truckload 2020

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The ORBCOMM team is looking forward to meeting industry professionals from across the country in Florida next week at the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Truckload 2020 Orlando. Join us at Booth 31, where we’ll be talking about the next generation of telematics and how our technology helps forward-thinking companies combat the biggest industry challenges.

The impact of ELD is still reverberating around the industry, while our neighbours in Canada can expect it to be front of mind for the next 12 months, at least. Elsewhere, the trucking industry is facing several challenges, including rising fuel expenditures, trailers going dark or missing because of network gaps, and disruptions to supply chains. We’ll tell you how telematics can solve these problems.

Drop by our booth to find out more on how to track, monitor and control all assets on one platform with the industry’s most advanced fleet management solution.

TCA Truckload Orlando
When: March 1-3, 2020
Where: Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, FL
ORBCOMM Booth 31

Here’s a taste of what to expect from the ORBCOMM team.

ELD Still A Hot Topic

We’ve been focussing on ELD since the mandate came into effect. After helping our North American customers through the deadline, we are now looking north of the border to Canada, where their own deadline will kick in June 2021.

Read more: Find out how Dutch Valley Foods works with ORBCOMM to ensure ELD compliance, improve CSA scores and reliably transport freight in temperature-controlled environments.

Ensuring Remote Connectivity

We look forward to introducing satellite back-up for our trailer tracking solution – GT 1200 series – giving our customers full connectivity in even the most unreliable cellular conditions.

Sneak Peek of New Additions

The team will be providing visitors with a sneak peek of the upcoming addition to our truck management solution, the IC 500 in-cab camera, which allows near real-time visibility into incidents to streamline accident reconstruction in the event of a claim against your fleet and to encourage better driver behavior.

BLE Sensor Updates

Beyond our existing integrated sensors, we are preparing to support additional options and update existing ones, including:

  • Temperature and Humidity: Monitor temperature and humidity-sensitive cargo.
  • Trailer ID: Identify if trucks and trailers are paired correctly and receive alerts when the wrong assets have been tethered.
  • Fuel: Detect rapid fuel loss.

Cargo Camera Sensor

Our upcoming optical cargo sensor for dry assets uses camera technology to further enhance our cargo sensor capabilities. Unlike standard cargo sensors on the market, which can only detect if an asset is loaded or unloaded, our new camera sensor uses image recognition to detect the specific load percentage of the asset, while also determining load conditions and dunnage/cleanout verification. We offer multiple install options, including trailer side, roof, and both sides of the door, allowing customers versatility in monitoring their assets.

Be sure to follow #2020TCA and @ORBCOMM_Inc on Twitter for the latest from the show floor. For those that we won’t see at this year’s convention, feel free to reach out any time to learn how ORBCOMM can help you with your trailer and container tracking needs.

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

Reefer Monitoring & Control: Preventing Revenue Loss While Staying Compliant – Q and A with Expert Chris Corlee

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Ensuring temperature compliance through multiple points in the supply chain is one of the biggest challenges a refrigerated fleet can face. If not tracked closely, temperature errors, deviations and equipment malfunctions can lead to wasted food and other perishable cargo, as well as food safety issues and cargo claims for the fleet.

Implementing a proper cold chain solution across your fleet will help eliminate many of the challenges of refrigerated shipping. Here to answer some questions on why you should consider a cold chain solution is Chris Corlee, Director of Sales Engineering, TMS Integration Specialist and cold chain expert at ORBCOMM.

Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

Bridge Strikes, What Damage do they Cause and How to Avoid Them?

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Did you know… in the UK alone, there are five bridge strikes per day?

At every Transport Manager Conference in the UK in 2019, we heard of the many challenges and opportunities hauliers are facing daily. One thing that we’ve heard crop up again and again – an avoidable issue – is that of UK bridge strikes. Recent figures say there are typically five strikes per day across the UK. Hauliers face losses of millions of pounds per year as a result. There is a lot of scope for improvement in preventing bridge strikes with the right systems and processes. Telematics and clear processes can work together on the prevention of bridge strikes and eliminate the risks associated with bridge strikes.

Image via Network Rail

What is a Bridge Strike?

A bridge strike happens when an HGV or other vehicle collides with a railway bridge or with a bridge over a railway. There are around 2,000 incidents in the UK annually and approximately 180 in Ireland. Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner for London and the South East outlined at the recent FTA Transport Manager Conference series that UK bridge strikes are still a major issue for operators. In a four-week period alone in 2019, there were 96 strikes leading to March 5. As Sarah Bell says, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Research says that nearly half of lorry drivers surveyed (43%) admit to not measuring their vehicle before taking to the road. Read more ›

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

Turning ELD into a Positive Driver Experience

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Queen Transportation turns to ORBCOMM for a driver-friendly ELD deployment

Queen Transportation wasn’t just looking for an ELD solution – they wanted driver satisfaction. Director of Operations Doug Ostrowoski set out to find a solution that placed Queen Transportation’s drivers first.

“It’s something that was going to be a positive – to be able to show the drivers ‘Yes, we’re going ELD, but you’re also getting some benefits out of it, too.’” says Ostrowoski. “Initially the drivers were against doing anything different, but after about two trips with the system they liked it way better.”

Features such as in-cab notifications about the road ahead have been saving their drivers a significant amount of time, and are not only leading to a happier fleet, but increased efficiency – a clear sign to Queen Transportation that cost savings are on the horizon. Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

Get Smarter About Smart Grid at DistribuTECH 2020

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Smart grid information

Improving reliability and minimizing service interruptions are two key challenges facing utilities, especially when it comes to energy provisioning in isolated areas. IoT for smart grid delivers 24/7 monitoring of field equipment and infrastructure, alarms, and the remote control of equipment from centralized locations to help optimize operations and improve customer service. Meet the ORBCOMM team at the upcoming DistribuTECH 2020 show in San Antonio as we unveil the latest in IoT technology for energy and water utilities.

This year’s show is shaping up to be one of the biggest yet, with thought leaders from around the world who will be sharing their knowledge and problem-solving skills. Visit ORBCOMM at booth 1760 to learn more.

DistribuTECH International

  • January 28 – 30
  • Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center | Halls 1 – 4
  • ORBCOMM Booth 1760

What Will I hear from ORBCOMM at DistribuTECH?

We know that working with the electrical grid can be unpredictable, especially in isolated areas. Utilities need real-time visibility into the status of field assets and infrastructure to reduce manual processes and quickly address issues. That’s where ORBCOMM’s smart grid solution comes in. Our system delivers precise, real-time data to utilities, so they can minimize manual intervention, leading to faster decision-making and reducing the frequency and duration of interruptions to the service.

Some benefits include:

  • Enabling visibility of operations even in remote areas through satellite communications.
  • Quick and easy installation with no infrastructure required.
  • Fast and accurate identification of system issues when maintenance is needed.
  • Durability in extreme weather and natural disasters.
  • Scalability to extend capabilities into new regions.

Improve the Safety of Personnel on the Road

Poor driving habits can result in an increase in vehicle crashes, putting the lives of workers at risk and exposing utilities to expensive liability. A fleet safety solution helps drivers develop situational awareness, allowing them to identify and correct risky behaviors. ORBCOMM’s comprehensive fleet safety solution delivers in-cab voice coaching, compliance with Hours of Service regulations, driver scores, speeding notifications and more.

Take advantage of numerous benefits, such as:

  • Instant in-cab voice alerts of unsafe driving such as speeding and seatbelt violations.
  • Automatic notifications to the back office when a vehicle has been involved in a crash.
  • Driver scorecards to identify those in need of further training.
  • On-the-road productivity tools for drivers such as customizable electronic checklists.
  • Optional satellite communications to ensure reliability in remote areas.
  • Speed by street functionality accurately identifies speeding violations.

The ORBCOMM team is looking forward to the first show of the year. Book a meeting to find out more about ORBCOMM’s smart grid and fleet safety solutions.

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Posted in 4. Oil & Gas / Utilities, 6. Networks Tagged with: , , , , ,

Working Hours Analysis: What Happens When You Combine EU Working Time Data, Drivers’ Hours Info and Non-Tacho information?

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Tachograph data is vital for the successful running of any EU fleet. Under both EU and country laws, tachographs record driving time, break time, rest periods, speed and distance travelled. But what happens when you need to get a fuller picture of all your data points, to forward plan your drivers’ activities or prepare files for an audit or inspection?

That’s where Working Hours Analysis (WHA) comes in. The WHA workspace combines detailed social infringement analysis, non-tachograph data about drivers and vehicles, attestation letters, minimum wage checks and customised expenses – all from one screen. The benefits for fleets include higher levels of tachograph compliance, reduction of costly fines, easier management of fleets with multinational driver workforces and improved payroll accuracy.

Here, we look at five key tachograph and non-tachograph data points, that, when examined and used, can make a big difference to your fleet’s administrative and operational efficiencies and compliance.

Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

6 Ways In-cab Devices can Move Beyond Compliance to Boost Fleet Efficiency and Driver Productivity

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Since the introduction of ELDscompliance has been the main impetus for fleets to install in-cab mobile devices.   

However, with scores of basic ELDs introduced to the market over the last two years, fleets are now recognizing the limitations of compliance-only ELD products and the cost of not maximizing productivity and efficiency gains made possible by smarter in-cab solutions such as ORBCOMM’s ELD truck management solution powered by Samsung. 

By connecting drivers with the back office and even to customers, in-cab devices can become a productivity hub for fleets. If internal and third-party software and applications can be combined on one single device, fleets can use the device’s computing power and data connectivity to reduce delivery times, improve customer communications, minimize fuel costs and reduce maintenance wear and tear. 

Here are six reasons to consider upgrading your device to products like ORBCOMM’s ELD solution powered by Samsung tablets: 

1. Closed, Proprietary Platforms Won’t Make the Grade  

Today fleets have a myriad of apps, software and documents that they want to share online with their drivers. Whether these are third-party or in-house, the range of applications can include navigation, parking, weather and DVIR apps, payroll reporting, driver bonuses, weigh station bypass, maintenance shop apps, training documentation … the list goes on. To ensure these can work together, in-cab device software must be open, non-proprietary, scalable, powerful and flexible enough to integrate with other applications. 

2. Better LastMile Delivery 

As e-commerce pressures force shippers to change the way they do business, carriers must find more cost-efficient and traceable ways to deliver products to customers. Barcode scanning and digital signature capture are key technologies to provide real-time proof of delivery. In-cab devices need to be able to provide these to drivers for use in all weathers and conditions.  

3. Move to the Paperless Cab 

The drive from paper to electronic communication is also key. By going paperless, drivers can scan barcodes, capture signatures, take photos of loads and transfer trip reports directly to shippers and receivers. Paperless cabs reduce administrative costs, make billing and invoicing instant and provide other benefits for the fleet. The driving experience is enhanced as the driver becomes more productive. And the happier the driver is, the less likely it is for driver turnover to occur. 

Vince McCullough has been driving trucks for 42 years. He’s both a driver and driver trainer with Chief Express and sees that paperless has a lot of advantages:  

“Every morning I go into the Driver Summary screen on the ORBCOMM ELD. It pulls up the last 10 or 12 days I’ve driven, and if I haven’t signed off on yesterday’s hours yet, the record of those hours will be listed in red. I touch that and it asks me to sign it. I hit another button to sign and the red turns to green. I’ve signed my logs for the day before and I’m good to go. It takes 10 or 15 seconds.” 

4. Keeping Data Secure 

Having so much data out there on the road with drivers comes with challengesData security is the first; phone loss, theft and unsecured WiFi connections can be headaches for IT managers who are responsible for protecting company and customer data. With potential attacks on the device, its software and the data, IT managers need to be able to manage mobile devices out in the field from back in the office. Device management is a necessity so that phones can be locked or wiped remotely.

5. Keeping Devices Updated 

Managing hundreds or thousands of mobile devices in the field can be a headache for fleets. Devices must be stocked, configured with the correct software and apps, managed for inventory and distributed to users. It’s not just the device; the correct mounts and cradles must be shipped also. And once out in the field, 24/7 support is key for drivers as they get used to their new devices. When new software is released, this must be upgraded remotely; managers need to be able to touch the device without it having to be brought back into the office. And when some devices fail, these must be returned, replaced and warrantied.     

6. The Future? One Device in Each Truck  

Realistically, fleets will be able to support one in-cab device in trucks in the futureDrivers cannot be expected to juggle two mobile devices. Instead of wasting time retrieving information from emailssocial media or cell phonesdrivers want to be able to access everything on one device. Drivers don’t want or need another device to complete all their tasks. 

Fleet Fuel Economy

Choose the Right Solution 

To cope with all these challenges, fleets are examining the capabilities that their in-cab devices have for combining driver communications, productivity and efficiency apps on the one device.  

That’s why ORBCOMM’s truck management and ELD solution is now available on Samsung devices, where fleets can build a productivity hub and create driver ecosystems. By locating productivity and efficiency apps together on a Samsung device – internal or third-party – fleets can connect drivers, schedules, assets, back-office and customers, all on one in-cab screen.  

Even better, fleets can buy all the components directly from ORBCOMM for one price. ORBCOMM’s Truck Management and ELD bundle, powered by Samsung, combines everything your fleet requires, including full hardware and software, Samsung mobile device, full data connectivity, MDM (mobile device management), high-quality enclosures and mounts from ProClip, together with device deployment, fulfilment, warranty and customer support. 

Fleets can choose from Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A 8.0 or Galaxy Tab Active2 and get defense-grade security, ruggedized hardware and proof-of-delivery technology. Samsung devices make it easier to track orders, capture signatures or take notes with fast data processing, high-resolution cameras that perform in low light, facial recognition, enhanced touch, glove mode, water-resistant S Pen stylus and long-lasting batteries. 

 To learn more, download a datasheetor contact us at eld@orbcomm.com. 

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

5 Tips to Ensure Smooth Roadside Inspections After the ELD Deadline

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The ELD compliance mandate is now in full effect and the Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCSA) is reminding motor carriers and drivers that enforcement has begun. 

Fleets without a fully functional ELD will be considered out of compliance with Hours of Service regulations. As per the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), drivers will be asked to complete their delivery and park the vehicle until an ELD is installed 

Here are five tips to help ensure your fleet of drivers has smooth ELD roadside inspections: 

  1. Ensure your driver knows how to identify the device as an ELDAt roadside stop, the first question will likely be, do you have an ELD?  Make sure drivers know the name of the ELD provider and can point to the indicator on your screen that says ELD. It is unlikely inspectors will have the complete list of FMCSA-registered ELDs, so having the information available is a good start. 
  2. Ensure you have logs available for the previous seven daysYour ELD should provide you with the last seven full days of ELD formatted logs as well as the current 24hour period. If the driver has had the ELD for less than 7 days, ensure they have printed AOBRD logs that should be available for inspection. AOBRD logs are expected to be in printable format. 
  3. ELD compliance demoHave all the required documentation. The mandate requires that the user manual and Cab Cards are readily available in either printed or electronic format, as well as seven days’ worth of blank logs, in case of a malfunction.  
  4. Know how to mount and unmount the ELD ScreenThe mandate requires the ELD screen to be accessible to the inspector from outside the vehicle. Make sure drivers know how to remove the ELD screen from its mounting bracket and securely remount it for safe use after inspection. 
  5. Know the file transfer mechanism the ELD supports. The driver may be asked to transfer ELD logs to web eRODS for further inspection with the web eRODS tool. The mandate requires ELDs to be able to transfer files by BluetoothUSB, or telematics transfer option that allows email or web service or both. Drivers need to know what type of file transfer the ELD device supports and how to access it when askedIf sending by email, the ELD is pre-configured to send log files to the appropriate contact as set by the FMCSA, so there is no need to manually input an email address 

For more on ELD, read our Compliance and Transition Made Simple Q and A or book a demo for our future-proofed ELD solution that drivers love.  

 

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

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