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IoT Technology Helping Meet Increasing Demands on Food Transporters

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E-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart are continuing to change customer expectations when it comes to acceptable delivery timelines and transportation requirements. Customers are increasingly going online to buy cosmetics, housewares, health and personal items and more recently, as research shows—groceries, further fueling the decline of brick and mortar retail and creating new pressures for e-tailers looking to attract and retain customers.  

According to a 2019 survey by Coresight Research, the number of US shoppers buying groceries online has jumped in the past year from less than a quarter to well over a third. In the same survey, 39.5% of respondents said they expect to shop online for groceries over the next 12 months into 2020. While a recent report by the Consumer Goods Forum says that online grocery shopping is set to increase by 163% globally by 2023.  

This direction that shoppers are taking is a strong indication that we’ll see more refrigerated vehicles. With greater demand for online groceries, there is a larger focus on temperature-sensitive loads and last-mile deliveriesBut as demand growsso do the challenges for carriers. Temperature fluctuations, inability to comply with food safety regulations, blind spots in the network and chain of custody breakdowns can all lead to problems, rejected loads, shipment delays and consequently, revenue losses.  

Small reefer operators face many of the same challenges as larger operators. Smart IoT solutions help to break down the barriers for operators of all sizes, ensuring they can keep up with the changing habits of shoppers and the challenges that bring.  

Smarter Strategies for Smarter Companies 

Transportation and logistics companies are integrating IoT technology as part of their core strategy to improve fleet and load visibility, maintain adequate temperatures and comply with regulations. IoT also brings advanced features such as Controlled Atmosphere, which can help to lengthen the shelf-life of products travelling long distances in intermodal shipping containers, making life easier for food transporters and ensuring the integrity of the cargo at the end of the journey. 

Ensure Accuracy and Two-Way Reefer Control 

Today, operators can utilize sophisticated monitoring systems that connect directly into OEM refrigeration units to ensure accurate temperature readings and remote control of the units. If needed, operators can remotely initiate a defrost, run pre-trip inspections, change reefer state and adjust reefer temperature. Two-way control gives transport managers the ability to manage vehicles from a centralized location, so drivers can concentrate on what they do best—driving. Two-way monitoring can also help mitigate human error by enabling fleet managers to deploy quick corrective measures when issues occur.   

Stay up to Date with Real-time Temperature Alerts 

Constant temperature monitoring and real-time tracking protect carriers against potential losses. In the event of a discrepancy between the trailer temperature and set-point, an alert informs staff, who can quickly take corrective action. If, for example, a door is open for too long and the temperature changes, key personnel get notified via email or text. This means operators can identify a problem before the goods are lost or compromised.  

Bolster Regulatory Compliance 

Automating data collection and record-keeping safeguards operators as proof of temperature compliance is always available. In addition, a telematics solution allows users to send automatic reports to shippers or receivers to prove cold chain integrity and document chain of custody.  

Randy Martin, Compliance Manager with Dutch Valley, a PA-based bulk distributor says the ORBCOMM solution is invaluable in protecting his deliveries: “If the customer on the other end just decides they don’t want the load, they’re going to say the temperature isn’t right. We can prove quickly that the temperature was right, and they’ve got nothing to go against.” 

ORBCOMM’S reefer management solution is simple and complete. Smart IoT devices come with cellular or dual-mode satellite connectivity, sensors and robust management portals. To learn more about our next-generation cold chain monitoring solutions, visit our website, or email us info@orbcomm.com.

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ELD Compliance and Transition Made Simple: Read Our Q+A

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ELD compliance demoThe Electronic Logging Device (ELD) deadline is here for US trucking companies, and fleets must outfit their cabs with the new systems to remain compliant and keep operations moving. But sometimes the hardest part of a transition is the adjustment period after the switch. In the case of the ELD mandate, poor preparation, lack of training and devices that don’t comply with standards can all plague the process and severely affect a fleet’s ability to operate.

ORBCOMM’s Scott Stofer – Director of Product Management and resident expert on ELD mandate and Hours of Service compliance – is here to answer some burning questions on the transition process and discuss why ORBCOMM is the right choice for your ELD solution.

How would you define a successful ELD transition?

It mainly comes down to training and operations. The introduction of ELDs has tightened up many of the less strict requirements. With these new guidelines, drivers and office staff must adapt to new processes, leading to the necessity for new training programs. The business needs to become acclimated to these process changes, which can be made easier through an effective and user-friendly ELD solution.

From an operations perspective, there are multiple resources required to execute these changes, from solution providers like ORBCOMM to the account managers to the training personnel. With all these moving parts, the adoption process can take time and needs to be staggered. A successful transition will make room for a more gradual adoption that also accounts for the training component, all while keeping your business up and running at full strength.

What is ORBCOMM doing to help its customers make this transition?

We started looking at this process back in January, as we knew this change was on the horizon, and there would be nothing easy about it. Our first order of business was to put together an ELD task force that included account management, sales, operations and support teams. With everyone in the room, it was discussed and understood that this would be a difficult process for our customers and working through the growing pains alongside them by following a transition schedule was critical. Wasting no time, the sales and marketing teams began a campaign of consistent customer engagement, which will continue via frequent touchpoints that provide insightful updates. Ensuring that our customers can continue to operate their fleet seamlessly and in compliance with the law is important to ORBCOMM, so we want to be there every step of the way as the changes set in.

What is unique about the ORBCOMM ELD solution that’s different from other solutions out there?

There are two benefits customers will find when choosing our ELD solution. The first is that we’ve worked side-by-side with vendors and customers through every deployment and have developed a deep understanding of the pitfalls that can arise in the adoption process, as well as how to avoid them. Pain points are sometimes inevitable when moving to the new system, but fleets can trust ORBCOMM to not take short cuts and do a thorough job.

The second benefit is in the devices. We’ve worked with third-party organizations to certify our devices and have fixed our focus on building comprehensive solutions that fully comply with the legal specifications, keeping your fleet firmly within the boundaries of the law. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of devices right now on the FMCSA-certified list that don’t comply with these standards, as the ELD regulation required companies to self-certify, and the majority of them did. A very small number, like ORBCOMM, insisted on third-party certification, so you know what you’re getting meets or exceeds the standards.

The Canadian guidelines were recently published. What are we doing to support the Canadian market?

We have already started the process of reviewing the guidelines and the mandate, which includes engaging with some of the entities that are expected to take part in the certification process. The Canadian ELD mandate is very much in line with the FMCSA’s rules in the US, with which we are very familiar, so it’s simply a matter of identifying the additional rules that apply specifically to Canada. Ultimately, we’re in a great position to provide an ELD for the Canadian market as quickly and painlessly as possible.

The ELD transition process can be unforgiving, and the responsibility rests with transport companies to find a partner that will keep operations running smoothly and in compliance with the law. ORBCOMM’s ELD solution includes a broad set of management tools such as driver communication, navigation, performance scoring, driver safety features and more, to help you run a more efficient operation. See significant ROI through new efficiencies built around fuel consumption and drive time and improve driver retention by making it easier to manage and maximize their hours.

Book your free ORBCOMM ELD demo now to learn more.

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Earned Recognition, Brake Testing and Brexit, all at FTA Transport Manager Conferences

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While last year bristled with uncertainty around Brexit, there was more of an air of optimism around this year’s FTA Transport Manager Conference Autumn Series. ORBCOMM was delighted to exhibit at six dates across the UK.

We joined hundreds of industry professionals from all around the UK to hear Traffic Commissioner updates, the latest information on urban restrictions and clean air zones and how roller brake testing is vital for fleets.

Some of the challenges transport managers face include driver shortages, traffic congestion, staying on budget and remaining compliant. Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner for London and the South East, gave an update at the Southampton event on the expectations of transport managers and the importance of continuous professional development. One area she is looking to improve on is reducing the numbers of public inquiries and licence revocations and suspensions. In the past year, there were 872 public inquiries, 103 disqualifications of operators/directors and 139 disqualifications to transport managers. Communication and good working processes are key in reducing these figures in 2020.

Read more ›

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The Next Phase of IoT in Shipping Digitalization: Data Interoperability, Integration & Intelligence

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Container shipping today is surely not a business for the faint-hearted. Industry debates at recent international shipping and intermodal logistics events drove home several harsh realities:

  • Sea freight is moving more slowly and unreliably than ever before
  • Ship, container and other intermodal transport assets are far from optimally utilised
  • Trade growth is fragile and uncertain
  • Market sentiment is depressed
  • Regulatory pressures and associated costs are on the rise, especially around climate change and environmental sustainability

And all of this comes at a time when supply chains of all sorts are increasingly complex, with shippers expecting increased delivery time speed, precision and visibility – not least due to e-commerce.

Unused vessel slots (estimated at 10% of total sailings), schedule unreliability, empty container moves and longer supply chains that impact container turns – especially for high-value refrigerated container assets – are costing the shipping industry billions of dollars a year. The industry can no longer tolerate these inefficiencies, said Hamburg Sud CCO Frank Smet at the recent TOC Americas conference. The answer, he said, lies not in squeezing suppliers through procurement but rather through data-driven process change.

container fleet tracking webinarAt Cool Logistics Global in September, Hamburg Sud parent company Maersk and other major reefer container carriers added to the digital drumbeat. Rising demand from Asia is creating new opportunities but equally presenting fresh challenges in achieving ROI on valuable reefer container assets, not to mention monitoring cargo quality on very long-haul journeys, said reefer shipping executives at the annual event.

Managing this complexity requires fresh thinking. And, compared to the caution of just a few years ago, digital is now seen by the ocean freight community as a critical pathway to tackle previously intractable issues. Even if actual adoption and deployment of digital solutions is still at an early stage, it’s no longer good enough for containers and cargo to be ‘dark, dumb and disconnected’ during their supply chain journey.

Data is the way to bridge the gap between the realities of slow and unreliable shipping and rising supply chain expectations and “visibility is the new substitute for speed”, said a senior executive from Kuehne + Nagel – the world’s largest ocean freight buyer – at a recent industry event. But he also noted that it must be good data and as near real-time as possible to be of genuine benefit.

Unfortunately, much of the very large quantity of data latent in the shipping world today is not good, not real-time, and remains tremendously fragmented.

The need for and value of high-quality visibility data and analytic capabilities is increasingly significant for shipping, added the Kuehne + Nagel executive. IoT has, therefore, become a foundational building block for the successful digitalization of shipping, giving shippers and carriers alike trusted visibility and actionable insights into where shipments and assets are going, what condition they’re in and where they can be routed to achieve more efficient delivery and return-on-assets.

As Gartner said earlier this year, “the increased availability of Internet of Things (IoT) data and extended external data sources such as weather or traffic conditions allow organizations to anticipate future scenarios and make better recommendations in areas such as supply chain planning, sourcing and transportation.”

IoT data is also crucial to feed the growing wave of analytics, AI and ML that will drive more automated and intelligent decision-making in shipping, transportation and logistics. But big data that is bad data won’t solve anything. IoT data has trust baked in to support digital transformation.

Read more ›

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Better Temperature Monitoring, Driver Performance and CSA Scores for Dutch Valley Foods

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Find out how Dutch Valley Foods works with ORBCOMM for more efficient refrigerated tracking, with temperature monitoring, better driver performance and a safer fleet.

“The number of rejected loads has gone down. If the customer on the other end just decides they don’t want the load, they’re going to say the temperature isn’t right. We can prove quickly that the temperature was right, and they’ve got nothing to go against.” – Randy Martin, Compliance Manager at Dutch Valley Foods.

Download our latest case study with Dutch Valley Foods to find out how the Pennsylvania-based hauler increased productivity, improved CSA scores and became more efficient with ORBCOMM’s telematics solutions.

Read more ›

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Controlled Atmosphere Containers Made Easier for Refrigerated Cargo Transport

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container fleet tracking webinarTransporting perishable goods over long distances has always been challenging. It can be a race against time for produce to get to their destination intact as oxygen in the air will cause it to ripen quickly and eventually start to decompose.

Controlled Atmosphere Lengthens Shelf Life

Controlled Atmosphere containers use advanced technology for atmosphere control by regulating carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen levels. The right conditions inside a container help to slow down ripening, preserving perishable produce and vastly improving its shelf life especially during long-distance trips.

These state-of-the-art containers have been particularly successful for transporting high-respiratory produce such as avocadoes and bananas, allowing the fruit to arrive in perfect conditions, ready for sale on supermarket shelves.

 

Where To Find Controlled Atmosphere

ORBCOMM’s Controlled Atmosphere technology is now available in the ReeferConnect and VesselConnect platforms for leading OEMs Daikin and StarCool. The new functionality enables customers to remotely monitor and control containers, including setting Controlled Atmosphere functionality, initiating pre-trip inspections and accessing data logs.

Speaking of the enhanced functionality, ORBCOMM CEO Marc Eisenberg said: “We are the first IoT company to support Controlled Atmosphere containers, which will take intermodal operations to a higher level of operational efficiency and compliance while ensuring optimal care for high-value, perishable cargo.”

For additional information about ORBCOMM’s support of Controlled Atmosphere containers, see the official announcement made at Intermodal Europe 2019.

Read more on the ORBCOMM blog: Unit 45 Pioneers Smart Containers for the New Silk Road.

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Mixed Fleet Telematics – The Foundation of Heavy Equipment Fleet Performance

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We’ve heard a lot of buzz about Industry 4.0, but what does it really mean to your business? According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Industry 4.0 “is a transformation that makes it possible to gather and analyze data across machines, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs.”  The construction and mining industries are in the midst of this transformation and need to adapt and embrace this change to successfully compete and not be left behind.

Data about all aspects of the use, condition, maintenance, and operation of heavy equipment is critical to managing fleets today. By looking at idle ratio, fleet owners can reduce fuel waste and ensure maintenance practices are based on actual usage. Construction companies can track machine location to see if assets are at the right job site at the right time, ensuring optimal asset utilization. Companies can look at cycle time, production tonnage, and idle ratio to optimize machine and operator productivity. Finally, operator safety and compliance can be achieved by monitoring parameters such as speeding and harsh braking and providing tools for eLog and DVIR compliance.

Today, most heavy equipment manufacturers (OEMs) provide a telematics system with their equipment. These systems can be homegrown or from a third-party that specializes in heavy equipment telematics. Each of these systems provide different data and have different approaches to making the information visible to machine owners. In many cases, the information discussed above is provided by the OEM.

But most construction and mining companies have mixed fleets, manufactured by different OEMs. The challenge is that each OEM provides their data in their own format, displayed based on their approach or point of view. Trying to pull the data into a single cohesive view can be challenging.

The Rise of Telematics Standards

To begin to resolve this challenge, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) introduced a telematics standard in 2010. The standard has evolved and AEMP 2.0 (also known as ISO 15143-3) is the most recent version. The standard creates a common data format that facilitates pulling mixed fleet data together on a single portal, website, or enterprise business system. Almost 20 common parameters are part of the standard including asset identification, location, operating hours or miles, fuel burn, engine temperatures, fuel level, idle time and average power percentage.

But challenges remain. Owners of mixed fleets will still get a separate data stream for each OEM. Part of these data streams may be in a common format (ISO 15143-3), but other parts may be proprietary. And with multiple data streams, how do fleet owners achieve their goal of having a single view of their data and be able to act on that data?
Fleet telematics application

Powered by FleetEdge

Enter ORBCOMM’s FleetEdge. FleetEdge supports the AEMP 2.0/ ISO-15143-3 telematics standard and is the industry-leading third-party telematics solution for heavy equipment, powered by rugged devices and multi-network connectivity. FleetEdge can integrate multiple OEM data streams into a single user interface, ensuring that fleet managers can manage their entire fleet, irrespective of the OEM, from a single pane of glass. FleetEdge is specifically designed to provide heavy equipment managers access to location data, operational status as well as analytic, predictive and diagnostic tools for every asset in their fleet.

See You at EquipmentSHIFT 2019

ORBCOMM will be attending EquipmentSHIFT 2019, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) annual conference. The conference promises to “provide insight on leveraging data, emerging technologies and a culture of innovation that will separate you from your competition and increase your bottom line in ways never before imagined. Knowing how to strategically manage your big iron, tools and people will give you the opportunity to take your operations to the next level.”

For more information, contact us to book a meeting or schedule a demo.

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Goodbye AOBRD, Hello ELD: Expert Advice on the Transition

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The days of the AOBRD grandfather clause are numbered. As most fleet owners are fully aware, the December 17 deadline is looming, and the FMCSA has made it clear there will be no soft enforcement after this date.  

While many fleets have already made the transition, if yours is not one of those, then get moving fast. The ELD mandate deadline waits for no one.  

To help smooth the transitionwe asked some ORBCOMM experts and customers for their ELD advice. Training and educating drivers, identifying driver leaders and communicating openly with all stakeholders are key elements for a successful transition from AOBRD to ELD.  

“Definitely talk to drivers about it…we’re bringing in a better solution and a better tablet and a better system to help with the transition.” Doug Ostrowski, Director of Operations, Queen Transportation and Logistics.  

Watch our latest video to find out more.  

With contributions from:  

Doug Ostrowski, Director of Operations, Queen Transportation and Logistics 

Ray Brogdon, Chief Administrative Officer, Texas Freight Services 

Chris MacDonald, ORBCOMM VP Sales, North America 

Scott Stofer, ORBCOMM Director, Product Manager 

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Fleet Management, Reefer Monitoring, Trailer Tracking and More: See the Latest at ATA MCE 2019

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The ATA MCE is one of the leading events of the transportation industry, bringing together more than 2700 trucking professionals to exchange ideas and get a look at some of the latest technologies.  

The stakes have never been so high for carriers and drivers. With the ELD regulation coming into effect in December and added pressure on carriers to streamline freight and logistics operations, many of this year’s conversations will center around how technology can help fleets improve operations, retain drivers and be more profitable.  

We’re excited to be a part of the discussion again this year. With more experience in the trucking industry than any other provider, ORBCOMM has built the industry’s most complete fleet telematics solution, covering every aspect of fleet management across all asset types, from driver behavior to the security and integrity of cargo.  

We will be showing attendees: 

  • Why drivers love our ELD solution and how we’ve helped fleets like yours successfully transition from AOBRDs to ELDs. 
  • Our new GT 1200 series. This is ORBCOMM’s innovative, next-generation solarpowered trailer and container tracking devices with optional integrated cargo sensors.
  • Why the biggest names in the industry and over 85% of the market, trust ORBCOMM for reefer monitoring.

 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition
October 5 – 9, 2019
San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA
ORBCOMM Booth 3003 

Read more ›

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Tech Talk, Compliance and Fuel Budgets – All in a Day’s Work at FTA Autumn Seminars

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Fleet Fuel EconomyThe FTA has announced details of dates and venues for this year’s Transport Manager Conference Series in the UK, and ORBCOMM is looking forward to taking part in what is set to be a record-breaking year, as we join hundreds of industry professionals from across the UK during October and November.

Whether it’s compliance, safety, fuel auditing, urban restrictions, tachograph rules or truck sales, the FTA Transport Manager Conference series is a fantastic way to engage in the debate.

Sessions That Matter

The events aim to highlight the key issues the transportation industry is facing and outline some of the solutions to these challenges. Of course, Brexit will likely feature as we move swiftly towards the key date of October 31st. However, we’ve got to start thinking beyond that too.

This year’s conference covers the breadth of industry concerns. We will hear an update on enforcement by the DVSA. Other sessions will run the gamut from tyres to technology. There will be talks with the latest advice on reducing your fuel budget, monitoring brake testing, urban restrictions and drivers’ employment status. Innovation in trailer technology is also on the agenda, with ideas on how technology can help your business work smarter and more efficiently. The National Vehicle Threat Mitigation Unit will give an update on the use of vehicles as a weapon. The information sessions will be in addition to the popular interactive quiz too.

Carlie Nowell from the FTA says: “the events provide the ideal opportunity for delegates to gather the very latest compliance information, straight from policymakers and experts, and we’re delighted that so many transport managers are keen to come along and make sure they are in possession of the most up-to-date information available.

Meet the ORBCOMM Team

Be sure to visit our stand to meet with our team. We’ll be on-hand to talk through the biggest challenges the industry is facing and how our telematics systems can help to make a difference. We’ll be discussing refrigerated rigids and how they are the workhorse of the industry, we’ll show you how we make digital tachograph rules easy, and we’d welcome the chance to discuss the major challenges that your fleet faces.

Andy Newton, UK Sales Manager with ORBCOMM is looking forward to joining the conferences: “The FTA seminars are always a great event. To get on the ground talking about the challenges the industry is facing and ways to solve these problems makes it such a valuable day.”

  • 10/10/2019: Grand Hotel Gosforth Park Newcastle
  • 17/10/2019: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • 31/10/2019: London Heathrow Marriott, London
  • 12/11/2019: MacDonald Inchyra Hotel, Falkirk, Falkirk
  • 19/11/2019: Doncaster Racecourse
  • 26/11/2019: Ricoh Arena, Coventry

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