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Why the New DCSA IoT Standard is a Positive for the Container Shipping Industry: Q&A

At the beginning of June, the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) released a set of IoT standards for container connectivity that usher in the era of smart containers and greater visibility along the supply chain. This builds upon the track and trace standards established in January, and will lead the container sector to adopt the technology that we are used to seeing on land by creating a common language in container shipping.

ORBCOMM welcomes the new DCSA IoT standard, which is validation of the work we have been doing in various sectors including maritime, ports and multi-modal. I was asked for my take on the new standards, and why they are such a positive for the industry:

Q: Was there demand for these standards?

connected containersA: While the new IoT standards may sound ambitious, the maritime and container industry is actually lagging behind other sectors which have already implemented data standards/sharing. There are certainly challenges to tracking containers from one point of the globe to another, especially when cargo is at sea, but the technology for multimodal transparency has existed for quite a while. After all, if you think about it, it’s par for the course for an end-user to track a delivery package from UPS or Amazon on their mobile phones and watch it make its way from a warehouse and various distribution centers to their doorstep.

While some shipping lines have adopted this technology, including ORBCOMM customers, it has taken a push from the DCSA’s nine members to bring us to the point where we are implementing this way of operating across the container sector so that it will become the norm.

Q: What do the new IoT standards do?

The new IoT standards are focused on creating an industry framework for interoperability, which apply to Gateway Connectivity Interfaces including radio standards for gateways on vessels, on land, at event locations and for handheld devices. In essence, it is aligning various means of data collection and setting network connectivity requirements for reefer containers, dry containers, and the RFID registration of these containers.

The intention is that by ensuring that technology used to monitor, and track containers is standardized, it will be possible to track a container along every step of its journey and monitor the contents. As the DCSA points out, IoT standardization also means that service providers such as ORBCOMM will be able to create data collection and processing platforms that can be used by multiple stakeholders including vessel owner/operators, ports, terminals, container yards, inland logistics providers and also other third parties.

Q: What does the new DCSA IoT standard mean for ORBCOMM and its customers?

ReeferConnect IoT telematics solutionA: As we explained in this blog post, we are very excited that the DCSA is creating these standards as they align perfectly with the container management solutions we have been offering ORBCOMM clients. In fact, we are hoping that these standards will spur other sectors to follow in container shipping’s footsteps and harness the multiple operational benefits that IoT and data integrations can deliver.

Not only does ORBCOMM operate 16 vessel gateways, meaning that we have decades of experience in the data collection targeted by the new standards, but we already offer our customers the technology to track assets using a combination of data from trusted partners and our own fleet of satellites.  Our engineers have created a single, simple interface to assimilate these multiple AIS data streams and cellular monitoring so that the data is effortlessly processed into meaningful information. This data is integrated into an array of back-office systems including booking and terminal operating systems and our customers are already availing of the benefits that the DCSA is hoping to bring to the container sector.

Q: Will there be teething issues within the industry to comply with the new standards?

A: The DCSA IoT standards are not specific to a single provider, rather, they are setting a standard the different suppliers will have to ensure their product portfolios comply with. Unlike some of our competitors, our experience operating the industry largest deployment of vessel gateways using multiple communication technologies means that our engineers are used to creating APIs (application programming interfaces) and can ensure that all existing ORBCOMM technology is compliant with the new standard. In fact, we have demonstrated capability in each of the technologies in the DCSA standard as well as experience helping our customers in other sectors (such as heavy machinery) comply with incoming standards.

While it would be irresponsible for any company to claim that there will be no teething trouble at all, ORBCOMM customers can rest easy knowing that, as a global provider of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions with over two decades of experience, we particularly well equipped to assist them with this transition.

Additionally, as our customers are no doubt aware, our emphasis on flexibility of the solutions we provide in order to meet their bespoke needs mean that we have a strong focus on backwards compatibility and futureproofing our technology.

Q: What’s next on the horizon from the DCSA?

Digital Container Shipping AssociationA: The DCSA has explicitly stated that its mission is “to drive technology standards and frameworks that will enable carriers to bring innovative solutions to market. Leveraging DCSA standards will improve a carrier’s customer experience, operational efficiency, regulatory compliance and business agility.”

The recent standards are the first of three planned IoT standards that the DCSA is issuing in order to establish connectivity requirements for reefer and dry containers, as well as the RFID registration of these containers. It has clarified that future releases will focus on “data structure and handling, physical device specifications as well as security and access management.”

ORBCOMM is confident that our technological know-how, talented engineers and industry experience will ensure our ability to comply with the upcoming standards from the DCSA and other professional bodies.

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

ORBCOMM Welcomes New DCSA IoT Standard

Digital Container Shipping Association As a global provider of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, ORBCOMM welcomes the new IoT connectivity interface standards for shipping containers published by the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) this week that will allow stakeholders to track their container assets at every step of the journey, increasing operating efficiency and end-user value.

“The new standard, which recognises the benefits of harnessing data and leveraging it into innovative IoT solutions, is validation of the work we have been doing in various sectors including maritime, ports and multi-modal,” explains Al Tama, ORBCOMM’s Vice President & General Manager, Container and Port Solutions. “Clients using ORBCOMM technology can rest assured that their systems are compliant with the new standards, and that they can continue to benefit from the end-to-end visibility and operational benefits our technology provides. This includes integration into booking systems and TOS, as well as augmenting container telemetry data with AIS information for more comprehensive visibility while on the vessel.”

ORBCOMM has over two decades of proven technological experience in supporting stakeholders across the supply chain integrate data for increased end to end activity using not just AIS data and cellular monitoring, but also land-based tracking and data gathering using handheld and RFID systems on vessels and at terminals. We have consistently invested in emerging technology to facilitate layered gathering of data and in fact, we were the first company to deploy commercially available long rage (LoRa) communication gateways on vessels and ports to compliment and coexist with cellular networks.

container IoTOur clients and end-users already benefit from access to the industry’s most open vessel gateways which use multiple communication technologies and have a demonstrated capability in each of the technologies in the DCSA standard. In fact, the combination of data from trusted partners and our own fleet of satellites allows us to provide customers with the most complete situational picture of global vessel, container and port activity available today.

“We have been pushing for the evolution of digital asset management in maritime for quite a few years as we have seen other industries that we service really reap the rewards of this approach,” continues Tama. “The new DCSA standards demonstrate the acceptance of the benefits that IoT brings to the table and we are keen to share our data and technical expertise with the industry. Our expertise across the entire supply chain combined with the unique viewpoint we offer as one of the few providers that supply vessel gateways mean that we are well placed to help customers leverage their data in the ways that the DCSA is hoping to achieve on a larger scale with the pending issue of further standards in the future.”

About DCSA:

Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) is a neutral, non-profit group founded by major ocean carriers to digitise and standardise the container shipping industry. With the mission of leading the industry towards systematic collaboration, DCSA drives initiatives to make container transportation services transparent, reliable, easy to use, secure and environmentally friendly. DCSA’s open source standards are developed based on input from DCSA member carriers, industry stakeholders and technology experts from other industries. DCSA member carriers include:  MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Evergreen, Yang Ming, HMM and ZIM. www.dcsa.org

Posted in 1. Transportation, 3. Maritime / AIS Tagged with: , , ,

How Smart Technology is Your Fleet’s Competitive Edge in the Economic Recovery: Live Webinar

Free Live Webinar: Thursday, June 18, 2020, 2pm EDT

Register Now

COVID-19 has disrupted freight transportation in ways never seen before. Still reeling from the freight shift, carriers are grappling with these new challenges.

Working from home means many are focusing more on training, solution deployments and how technology can help fleets optimize operations to ensure they not only maintain a competitive edge, but come out of the economic recovery even stronger than before.

Register Now for a free webinar as our panel of experts from ORBCOMM, McLeod Software and Drivewyze share tips and real life strategies on how fleets can overcome the current crisis:

Emerging Stronger

Plus, discover the value of a fully integrated telematics solution and how fleets can use technology to improve utilization, achieve better planning, optimize dispatch operations, and boost driver efficiency and satisfaction. Also, hear how one fleet is using technology to gain a competitive advantage during these challenging times. You’ll learn:

  • What new trends have emerged over the past few months in freight transportation?
  • What technology is helping fleets through times of crisis?
  • Will more fleets embrace digitization and adopt paperless and touchless processes? What can carriers do to streamline that transition?

Even if you can’t join us live, register to be notified when the on-demand webinar replay is available.

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

Get the Complete Picture: 5 Ways Telematics and Cameras Complement Each Other

Telematics and Video Cameras, The Perfect Match

Telematics and camera systems are coming together to become an essential part of any fleet operator’s toolkit. Before, simple dashcams delivered abundant but weighty and hard-to-manage data.  The data was tough to sort through and videos had to be pulled manually. Now, with advantages in camera technology and combined with telematics data, fleet managers can access video footage in real-time to get the full picture on accidents, near-misses, driver safety and more useful details on how their drivers are behaving.

How Telematics and Cameras Work Together

Cameras are mounted in the cab and around the vehicle to record various aspects of a trip including a view of the road, driver perspective or traffic around the vehicle. The camera is usually connected to the vehicle through a hard-wired connection, WiFi or Bluetooth.

With telematics data, you can already track individual vehicles or fleets. This ensures drivers are on route and on time. With camera footage added to fleet telematics information, you can review complete evidence in the case of a collision, a near-miss or a complaint about a driver’s behaviour.

By overlaying telematics data with video camera footage, the combined system gives the who, where, when and why of your truck and driver. You gain a clearer picture of the driver behaviour and the vehicle involved, what were the mitigating circumstances and the road conditions at the time of an incident. An ideal solution is one that captures real-time video and combines it with telematics data from the vehicle, such as location, speed, harsh braking and cornering or rollover information.

5 Ways Telematics and Cameras Complement Each Other

The sum of the two is greater than the sum of the parts; they don’t compete, they complement. Here are five examples of how telematics and camera systems complement each other.

Control and Reduce Costs

Telematics data helps reduce the cost of insurance claims by providing evidential data including Driver ID, Vehicle Identification Number, vehicle speed at the time of the incident and GPS location information. This data is shared with the camera system in near real-time. Together with contextual information from the camera, this allows for a fast assessment and investigation of an incident and immediate information for First Notification of Loss (FNOL) with insurers, resulting in better accident management.

Quickly Investigate and Exonerate Drivers

Reports suggest that, as a habit that if a truck and a car collide, the truck driver is automatically blamed. Figures from the US show that even though truck drivers are blamed for most of the crashes that occur, 80% of those crashes are the fault of the car owner. Camera footage, when combined with telematics data, provides evidence of who was at fault in the event of an accident. Drivers feel more protected, knowing the camera footage and telematics data can exonerate them in the event of an incident.

Make Accident Reconstruction Easier

Telematics systems alone provide information like time, location and speed of a vehicle, but when combined with a camera system it gives a much clearer picture, identifying who was at fault, if it was your driver’s error, or if they weren’t paying attention. With the addition of camera footage, operators can see where a driver is or isn’t at fault and video evidence can help to exonerate innocent drivers. By consulting telematics data, you can also ensure correct driver IDs, which reduces any conflicting reports about who was driving at the time.

Mitigate Against Bogus Claims

The Insurance Fraud Bureau estimates that “Crash for Cash” scams cost £340m per year in the UK. Fraudsters manufacture collisions hoping to profit off the claims. Hauliers and fleet operators are suffering from bogus accident claims, with insufficient data surrounding accidents, and being slower to File Notification of Incidents (FNOL) to their insurers. Camera footage on its own cannot give all the key data which is required by fleets to help win accident claims and dismiss bogus claims. The key data is evidence of who was driving at the time, confirmation of the vehicle involved, the speed the vehicle was doing at the time of the event and the vehicle’s location.

Make Your Fleet Safer

A key benefit of cameras in the telematics context is the insight it gives into driving behaviour and driving styles to reduce the number incidents or accidents before they occur in the first place. By combining telematics data and actual driver footage, you get very detailed reports on driver journeys and this can be used to improve driver training. Telematics can provide data on key areas including harsh braking, overspeeding, harsh cornering and lack of anticipation of the road ahead.

By reviewing driving events and the related video footage, behaviours can be improved. During debriefs and performance reviews, managers can utilise the footage to show best practice in tricky situations. If a driver is struggling in one area, this can give some context on why that might be the case and provide specific, practical ways to improve. Footage of accidents, near misses, collisions and harsh driving events can be reviewed with drivers.  The positive results are a reduction in the number and severity of accidents, the amount spent on tyres and maintenance, and an increase in fuel efficiency.

ORBCOMM’s Camera Integration

ORBCOMM integrates its telematics data with third-party camera systems to allow fleet operators to complement camera footage with contextual, evidential data. In analysing the event’s location, vehicle speed, driver identification and behaviour, fleets can reduce insurance claims, lower the costs and risks of accidents, improve fleet safety and fuel efficiency by encouraging better driver behaviour.

Interested in learning more? Here at ORBCOMM, we are committed to partnering with the most innovative and safety-first companies. To find out more, get in touch on info@orbcomm.com.

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

FMCSA Revises HOS Rules, Extends Emergency Declaration

ELD compliance demoThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently announced two important updates for truckload carriers:

FMCSA Announces HOS Rule Changes

Today the FMCSA published its long-awaited final rule on changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. The FMCSA says the changes are designed “to provide greater flexibility for drivers subject to those rules without adversely affecting safety.” Specifically, the changes:

  • Revise the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.
  • Modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
  • Modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • Alter the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

FMCSA Extends Emergency HOS Declaration Until June 14

FMCSA has also extended its national emergency declaration until June 14, 2020.  This first-ever national HOS declaration provides regulatory relief for motor carriers assisting in emergency relief efforts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Remember, we’re always here to help you understand how this declaration impacts your fleet and to implement best practices for compliance as it relates to ORBCOMM’s ELD solution. For additional support, we’ve created a special email address, safety.compliance@orbcomm.com, to send your questions or concerns related to FMCSA’s HOS emergency declaration.

Stay safe and well.

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

The Cost of Overweight Trailers and How to Avoid the Problem

Latest figures from the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)  say that overloading of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) has been a consistent problem since at least 2013, with more than 670 reported offences. Many of these lead to fines and prosecutions. While overweight trailers cause safety issues for all road users, it also causes a financial issue for operators. In April to June 2019, the average fine for overloading of vehicles in the UK was £5,453.27. Awareness and technology are key to avoiding the pitfalls of overweight trailers on UK and Irish roads.

Why is Trailer Overloading a Problem?

Safety experts, regulatory bodies and operators agree that overloaded trailers cause lots of problems. These include issues that impact the driver, the fleet and the general road-using community.

  • Road Safety: Overloaded trucks are unpredictable and it’s harder to stop quickly in the case of an emergency. Steering is impacted and stopping distances can increase.
  • Financial Hazards: If a driver is stopped by DVSA officers, as part of a roadside check they will specifically check for authorised load weights and type of load permitted. In the UK the penalty can be up to £5,000 and up to €2,500 in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Playing by The Rules: Transport authorities recognise that it’s an unfair advantage on operators who work to the law and obey the weight limits – and they penalise accordingly.
  • Cargo Theft: Knowing when your trailers are overloaded/unloaded can help to identify whether theft is taking place.

Read More About the Costs of Overweight Trailers to fleets and How to Avoid the Problem in our new eBook

Read more ›

Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

What is AIS? The Role of Satellite AIS in Digitizing Maritime Supply Chains

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution ushers in a new wave of smart digital, automated and autonomous technologies, it’s worth a reminder that longer established systems are playing a vital role in our brave new data-driven world – and indeed continue to actively develop and combine with other existing and emerging technologies.

For our blue ocean economy, world shipping, trade and supply chains, one such technology is the global vessel automatic identification system (AIS ) and, more specifically, satellite AIS (S-AIS).  In this introduction to a new series showcasing and celebrating the current and evolving dimensions of S-AIS in the digital age, here’s a brief primer on the origins of AIS, the satellite revolution, and some of the major applications today

Q: What is AIS Technology?

satellite aisAIS (Automatic Identification System) technology is a shipboard broadcast system that transmits a vessel’s identification, position, course, speed and other critical data.

Major adoption of AIS kicked off after 2002, when the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – the UN regulator governing international shipping – modified its Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention to mandate that most large vessels over 300 gross tonnes must fit ‘Class A’ AIS transceivers for international voyages.

In 2006, IMO’s AIS Technical Standards Committee followed up with its ‘Class B’ AIS specification, ushering in lower-cost devices for a broader array of smaller commercial vessels. Since then, IMO’s AIS Committees have continued to advance standards and protocols across a myriad of vessel types, sizes and fleets sailing on international waters today. That ranges from merchant vessels including dry bulk, container, general cargo, reefer, ro-ro and tankers; to passenger ships, yachts and other pleasure craft; offshore supply ships; fishing vessels, military fleet and more.

Q: Why was AIS Developed?

AIS was originally conceived as a short range, high-intensity identification and collision avoidance system that would allow ships to see, and be seen by, other marine traffic in their immediate vicinity. It was also later utilized by national and regional maritime authorities to track vessels plying their coastal waters and to support vessel traffic services (VTS) who, like air traffic control for planes, are responsible for the safe navigation of authorized ships into and out of their ports and harbours.

So, in short: safety and maritime domain control.

Q: What’s the Difference Between Terrestrial AIS and Satellite AIS?

It’s all about the medium and capabilities, versus the intent. In the first wave of AIS development, messages were received exclusively by land ground stations. Known as terrestrial AIS (T-AIS) this technology continues to play a vital role today, with base stations dotted across the planet.

But there is a drawback. Read more ›

Posted in 3. Maritime / AIS, 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: , , ,

Dual-Mode Satellite/Cellular IoT: The Next Generation – Live Webinar Coming May 5

Dual-Mode IoT WebinarWith COVID-19 changing the world as we know it, our first wish is that this finds you safe and well. For those of us fortunate enough to continue working, we’re facing up to the prospect of doing so from home for the foreseeable future. Regardless of your new reality, ORBCOMM wants to ensure you stay up to speed on the latest innovations in industrial IoT and M2M…

Satellite/Cellular IoT: The Next Generation

The All-New ST 9100 Dual-Mode Terminal for Industrial IoT
Free Live Webinar: Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 1pm EDT (5pm UTC)
(Sesión en español: Jueves 7 de mayo)

What hasn’t changed is that there are 30 billion connected devices in the world today, and that number is expected to double in the next four years. Industries all over the globe are taking advantage of IoT connectivity to enhance their operations, and satellite is critical to ensuring the uninterrupted flow of information.

Join ORBCOMM’s experts for this informative and engaging webinar where you’ll learn about the many capabilities of our brand-new ST 9100 device – a dual-mode satellite and cellular terminal for diverse IoT applications, ideal for remotely monitoring and controlling assets across multiple industries:

  • Transportation: Keep fleets connected with uninterrupted efficiency.
  • Mining: Track and enhance operations both inside the mine and out.
  • Maritime: Never lose sight of dry and refrigerated assets or vessels at sea.
  • Oil & Gas/Utilities: Safely monitor and control remote equipment in the field.

Register Now

Who Should Attend?
This webinar is a must attend for value-added resellers, distributors, solution providers, system integrators and anyone involved in the development of IoT, M2M and satellite-based solutions. Whether you’re an established ORBCOMM VAR looking to get to the next level or are looking to bolster your solutions, you’re sure to walk away with some practical tips and fresh ideas.

Get tracking with the industry leader in smart IoT-enabled telematics

ORBCOMM asset tracking devices and connectivity provide the total visibility needed to enable VARs and solution providers to optimize utilization, reduce costs, enhance efficiency and more. That’s why the world’s top companies trust ORBCOMM for reliable, cost-effective, easy-to-use tracking, monitoring and control.

To learn more, schedule a demo or email sales@orbcomm.com.

 

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

Surviving Supply Chain Shock: The Value of Visibility

The COVID-19 crisis has hit world maritime trade and supply chain operations with unprecedented scale and speed. Now more than ever, visibility is crucial to keep shipping, ports and cross-border trade flowing as efficiently as possible and equally to help supply chain ecosystems become more resilient, resistant and responsive to this and future shocks 

From first to last mile, across land and oceans, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted world maritime trade and global container supply chain operations at unimaginable speed and scale. Trucking, rail, intermodal, ocean and inland shipping, ports and terminals, warehouses, DCs and more have all been deeply disrupted.

As nations around the world close their borders and curtail the movement of billions of people in the fight to curb the virus, freight still needs to keep flowing. We salute the truck drivers, rail operators, port people, seafarers, warehouse workers and all the other frontline #freightfolk who are working hard to ensure the continued international supply of essential foodstuffs, medicine, fuel and equipment, as well as the industrial and consumer goods needed to preserve our global trade economy for a post-COVID-19 world.

None of us yet knows exactly what that world will look like. But we can be sure that technology, both digital and automated, will play a vital role, both in the immediate future and to support the longer-term rebuilding of world trade, shipping and supply chain ecosystems.

In his March 25 address to world leaders ahead of the G20 Virtual Summit, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, stressed that “all available technological trade and transport facilitation solutions should be used to reduce the burden posed by COVID-19 on maritime and cross-border trade. We cannot afford to compound the health and economic challenge facing us.”

Not surprisingly, UNCTAD’s focus on the importance of technology to keep freight and supply chains flowing has been widely echoed. Writing this March in the Journal of Commerce on the outlook for global container shipping, Lars Jensen of Sea-Intelligence Maritime Consulting observes that the huge and growing worldwide pressure on human resources, large numbers of people working from home and – for those who cannot do so – the critical need to minimize direct physical contact, has “mercilessly revealed which parts of the supply chain process are not yet digitalized.”

Read more ›

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

Latest COVID-19 News for Fleets and Drivers

As we face into another week of a disrupted COVID-19 world, we wanted to provide the latest news to help keep you up to date during these times. Here are the latest industry updates:

FMCSA Extension Until May 15

The FMCSA has extended the Hours of Service Emergency Declaration until May 15, and expanded it to cover the transportation of liquefied gases for refrigeration or cooling systems.

FMCSA Emergency HOS Declaration
Remember, as it pertains to emergency HOS declarations:

  • Ensure you and your drivers understand how Federal and State declarations apply to your fleet
  • Annotate any records related to an exempt trip for log management
  • Retain all supporting documentation related to the use of the exemption
  • Ensure documentation is available at the roadside and maintained for the required six-month HOS record retention period.

Questions? We’re here to help. Email us at safetyandcompliance@orbcomm.com.

Read more ›

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

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