Container Industry Doubles Down on Digitalization

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container tracking deviceThousands of container industry executives descended on Rotterdam this November for the annual Intermodal Europe show. Attended by container shipping lines, leasing companies, equipment manufacturers, technology suppliers and container service providers, this year’s edition was the busiest we have seen in the last three years, with a stronger focus than ever before on digital technologies both on the show floor and in the seminar sessions.

ORBCOMM used Intermodal Europe as the launchpad for the new CT 3000 Series, our latest generation of refrigerated container telematics devices, available for permanent or temporary ‘trip-based’ installation. The new devices are smaller and quicker to install – around 10 minutes per unit – and the CT 3100 temporary device gives ocean carriers, inland barge operators, ports, depots, 3PLs and other members of the container transport chain the ability to monitor containers and shipments that they do not directly own or control.

In fact, as we discussed with The Loadstar during Intermodal Europe the genesis of the CT 3100 design was a request from one of our shipping line clients that wanted a way to remotely monitor non-telematics-equipped third party reefer containers on-board its vessels, rather than having to send crew to perform hazardous manual checks.

In today’s world of container shipping alliances and vessel sharing agreements (VSAs), having containers owned by multiple carriers on a single ship is an increasingly common phenomenon. And as industry players digitise at different paces, solutions such as trip-based monitoring are clearly needed to bridge the adoption gap.

connected containersWhat’s also needed are open standards, interfaces and interoperability, agreed speakers in the Smart Shipping Forum that we joined during Intermodal. Just as we heard and discussed at the Cool Logistics conference in October, the conversation around digitalization in container shipping and the intermodal supply chains is moving from ‘if and why’ to ‘when and how’. IoT, blockchain, platforms, analytics and AI are the top technologies on the digital radar, along with automation and autonomous vehicles in cargo handling and transport.

Accepting that “Industry 4.0” is now an unstoppable force, key issues for the maritime and intermodal industries include how to ensure that companies along the chain get appropriate benefits in exchange for sharing their valuable data and how to avoid simply creating a whole new generation of competing, siloed data platforms and ecosystems. This latter would limit user choice and flexibility, create barriers to investment, prevent true end-to-end supply chain data flow and hamper the ability to future-proof systems as technology continues to move fast.

As discussed at Intermodal Europe, achieving the full value from IoT and other digital technologies therefore requires open platforms and compatibility with third party equipment and systems. Suppliers of technology can’t work in isolation and will need to integrate with other service providers to successfully meet customer and supply chain needs. This is absolutely what we are seeing at ORBCOMM as clients ask us to integrate and amass data from multiple sources, not least as the basis for more advanced descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Technology users are equally recognizing that they will play a crucial role in creating the industry’s new digital foundations. Hard on the heels of the Intermodal show came the announcement that five of the world’s largest container shipping lines – AP Moller-Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Ocean Network Express – will collaborate on open industry standards to facilitate the take-up of digital technology across the maritime supply chain.  This follows the news earlier this year that an open group of international container terminal operators will collaborate on standards to support automation and digitalization in port operations.

Maersk container shipping

AP Moller-Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Ocean Network Express will collaborate on open industry standards to facilitate the take-up of digital technology across the supply chain. Photo: Maersk Media Library

The idea of the proposed non-profit association established by the five carriers — which aims to start up early next year, subject to regulatory approval — is not to endorse or launch any particular technological solutions but to provide standards that allow for easier information sharing through the supply chain, reported the UK Financial Times.

container fleet tracking webinarTalking to World Maritime News, group spokesperson André Simha, Global Chief Information Officer at MSC, said that the key driver is to create something for shippers and other members of the transport chain that is common and open. “The container shipping industry is at a fairly low start of digitalization if we compare it with other sectors like the aviation industry. Hence, the future association aims to accelerate and shape digitalization of the industry to help achieve higher level of standardized processes. The idea is to deliver better technological changes to our customers and more quickly compared to working alone,” said Simha. “Today, implementation of digital technology happens by working in closed silos. It leads to frustration and more bureaucracy for customers and other collaboration partners… We believe all stakeholders in the industry can benefit from digitalization and standardization leading to increased interoperability.”

As reported in The Loadstar, Adam Banks, Maersk’s Chief Technology Officer, added that “a joint set of technical standards will ensure interoperability and enable all parties to concentrate on value adding differentiation … [benefiting] all parties in our customers’ supply chains”.

Interoperability and ‘agnostic’ data solutions are at the core of ORBCOMM’s philosophy and we welcome and endorse these initiatives to foster more effective implementation of digital connectivity across the maritime supply chain.

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Brexit, Smart Tachographs, and Earned Recognition: FTA Transport Manager Conference 2018 Recap

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Fleet Fuel EconomyIt’s hard to contemplate a time when the UK freight industry faces more or deeper challenges.  

That was the key message at the UK’s Freight Transport Association’s final Transport Manager Conference for 2018. For example, the FTA is facing Brexit head-on in the UK. According to Director of Policy at the FTA, Elizabeth De Jong, the organisation is preparing for all eventualities in the lead-up to the March deadline. Although there is still uncertainty around Brexit and exactly what to expect, the FTA is doing everything it can to be ready for it. 

The ORBCOMM team joined hundreds of industry professionals on November 28 to hear more on Brexit and the most pressing matters facing transportation in the coming months. With representatives from customers like GreggsAF Blakemore & Son LtdJames Hall and Co. Ltd and Faccenda Foods, it was a packed house in Birmingham in the UK. The day featured topics that ran the gamut of transportation concerns from Brexit to urban deliveries and Clean Air Zones (CAZs).  

FTA Transport Manager Conference

The ORBCOMM team joined hundreds of industry professionals at the UK FTA’s Transport Manager Conference 2018

Earning Recognition with DVSA  

One of the biggest topics on the agenda was the DVSA’s Earned Recognition scheme. 

The scheme is defined as a new standard for UK operators for fleets to minimise roadside inspections. Keith Gray, General Manager – Training, Audits and Standards, FTA – said the programme is already underway with approximately 80 operators. It monitors and rewards operators that proactively check maintenance and drivers’ hours and submit the data to the DVSA. 

Gray outlined the benefits and challenges and urged operators to sign-up. In speaking to members on the pilot scheme, he discovered some worried that there weren’t enough benefits. However, he was quick to reassure of the benefits of membership to the scheme including an increased reputation for safety and reliability.  

The FTA says that the programme offers inherit and explicit benefits. The main ones include a reduction in roadside inspections and site visits from DVSA. Fleets can also use the DVSA marque when bidding for contracts and industry recognition. The DVSA also offers a dedicated earned-recognition team to participants.  

To participate in Earned Recognition, fleets need to include digital monitoring for vehicle monitoring and drivers’ hours. To sign up to the scheme, visit the DfT website here 

What Next, with Brexit Looming?  

Brexit is obviously, a cause for concern across every industry. For transportation and those involved in it, this is no different. Director of Policy at the FTA, Elizabeth de Jong, opened her discussion on the impact of Brexit, by confirming what we already know: it is difficult to plan around something we don’t have any concrete facts about.  

What is clear though, is that the FTA is pushing forward with its plans to protect UK businesses as much as possible. The FTA will continue to prepare and be ready as soon as any solid decision is made. In the meantime, it will continue publishing Brexit notes and getting the industry as prepared as possible for all Brexit-related eventualities.  

The FTA will continue to update the logistics industry with its next meeting in London on December 15 Getting Logistics Ready for Brexit 

Smart Tachographs Coming Soon 

live tachograph data“Smart Tachographs”, the next-generation of tachographs, are on the way in the UK.  They will make use of satellite positioning, short range communications and integration with telematics through an Intelligent Transport System interface. GNSS will allow recording of the vehicle location at the start and end of a journey, while short range radio will mean enforcement personnel can check a signal from the roadside while the vehicle is moving. These are being introduced in a bid to avoid manipulation of tachograph data. This change into effect on June 15, 2019.  

We heard at the FTA Conference that Brexit won’t make any difference to the rules around Smart Tachographs; they’ll be arriving regardless of how Brexit pans out, so operators need to be ready.  

There is no retrofit required to existing vehicles, but all new registered vehicles will need to include them. An important point to stress is that drivers won’t see any difference. The menu interface, card handling, and card login will be similar. The important part for fleets is that they must tell drivers if a smart tachograph is in use as drivers need to give consent for GDPR reasons. However, there is no driver data submitted through smart tachographs.  

Other topics covered on the day included other major issues facing transportation organisations today like tyre safety, urban restrictions, emissions, managing maintenance providers. There was even a mock trial at a public inquiry conducted by Nick Denton, Traffic Commissioner for the West Midlands. Featuring a driver who went above his hours, it examined his reason and handed over judgement, in the same way a real trial would occur. 

We would certainly recommend a visit to the next FTA Transport Conference and we look forward to the next one for a deep-dive into the major issues the industry is facing.  

Read more about ORBCOMM’s Tachograph Management Solution here.

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Industrial IoT: 6 Things to Look for in a Technology Partner

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IoT and M2M solution webinarThe world of the Internet of Things (IoT) knows no bounds. In fact, according to McKinsey, by 2025, IoT will have a potential total economic impact of as much as $11.1 trillion per year globally! We’ve seen consumer IoT technology get a lot of press, but in reality, more than two thirds of the business value of IoT will be in B2B applications. IoT will be the biggest source of value of all disruptive technologies, ahead of mobile internet, knowledge-work automation, cloud computing, and advanced robotics.

There are many markets where the industrial IoT has already made an impact. Here are five examples:


The transportation market is incredibly diverse across the globe. Each market has specific requirements of how they need to track, control, and protect fleets whether across the road, over the rails, or on the sea.

Natural Resources

As the way we produce and consume energy continues to evolve, the need for smart solutions for the energy industry that remotely monitor, manage, and control this critical infrastructure continues to increase.

Heavy Equipment

With machines that can cost over $1M, leasing and construction companies need effectively manage heavy equipment to increase efficiency, lower operational costs and increase equipment life.


Combining the need for safety in the open ocean and for government regulation of the fishing industry, there is increasing demand for custom solutions for the maritime market.


There is significant growth in smart agriculture where farmers and agribusiness seek to maximize their productivity, increase sustainability, all while controlling costs.
Connecting with the IoT
To take advantage of this huge opportunity presented by the industrial IoT, it is critical to have the right technology partner.

Here are 6 things to look for in an industrial IoT partner:

IoT support1. Customer Care (with Real Live People!)

Technology is great, but sometimes you just need to speak to someone to find out where your order is, answer a specific technical question, help debug an app, or just bounce ideas around. A comprehensive customer care infrastructure is critical. This should include a support portal that gives you access to administrative information, training, documentation and software and utilities for testing and troubleshooting your application.  Multi-tiered support services should be part of the mix with tier 1 support providing a reliable first point of contact. Tier 1 should include support for orders and billing, provisioning and commissioning, and basic trouble shooting. Tier 2 should provide more detailed technical services like terminal and application software support and backend development support. For complex technical challenges, a tier 3 team should be available to put you in touch with corporate engineering and development resources to resolve difficult problems.

IoT development kit2. Easy Onboarding

Partners should have an easy to order IoT development kit that includes all the hardware and software you need to develop a solution. The kit should include things like a development terminal, an I/O development board, software tools, airtime and a quick start guide.

A good development kit really speeds up your onboarding and quickly gets you productive.

IoT tools3. Tools and Apps that Minimize Programming Complexity

Programming IoT devices and terminals can be complex and time consuming. Look for partners that provide modifiable canned apps, that you can use to bring your hardware from programmable to configurable.

These apps are really the building blocks of your industrial IoT solution and should include things like a fleet management app, an interface to SCADA equipment app, and apps that help you integrate with prevalent third parties like Garmin.

IoT services4. Expert Professional Services

Professional Services are critical to the success of any partnership. Partners should be able to assist with things like documenting customer requirements, to doing high-level design right and coding the complete application.

This gives solution providers the flexibility to increase speed to market or easily augment internal skill sets.

IoT hardware5. Versatile, Rugged, Programmable Hardware Options

Hardware provides one of the foundations for any industrial IoT solution. A good partner should have a family of programmable IoT devices, terminals and modems that include options like battery backup and solar power.

This level of choice gives solution provides the flexibility to meet different customer needs.

IoT connectivity6. Multi-Network IoT Connectivity Options

Every solution needs to have IoT connectivity between an asset and the backend software. Partners should be able to provide flexible connectivity choices including satellite and cellular. Connectivity should be available in all geographic regions that the solution provider plans to do business.

Chat with usDid we miss any? Let us know in the comments below. Looking for the perfect industrial IoT partner? Contact us online, email of chat with us live.

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Oil and Gas Fleet Safety: Is It Time to Stop Simply Checking the Box?

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deploying fleet safetyAnyone who spends time in the oilfield will see that with the upswing in business comes an increase in fatalities. It looks like this year is on track to set new records in oilfield driving fatalities. Unfortunately, the statistics don’t lie.  

Over the past year, oil and gas fleets have seen a dramatic increase in oilfield fatalities. If we focus on one particular area as an example, in the 22 Permian Area Counties (including two in New Mexico), there were 154 driving related deaths in 2017. In 2018 for the same region, the figure is already at 225. That’s a 46% increase at a time when the industry should be actively working to bring this number down.  

While oil and gas employees would agree that oilfield driving comes with some risks, reports show that 90% of these crashes can be attributed to driver behavior. The time has come to ask the question: Is it time to stop simply checking the box?  

Drivers on the Oilfield at Risk 

According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Organization, 823 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job between 2003 and 2010. The fatality rate is seven times greater than the average rate for all US industries. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the oil and gas industry with four of every 10 workers killed in a highway vehicle accident, according to OSHA. The problem has escalated in recent times as fleets look to “tick” the compliance box for ELDs, without looking beyond that. As the focus narrows on the administration of compliance, are we forgetting about the practical safety issues day-to-day.

Fatigue is an ongoing challenge within the oil and gas fleet safety industry and it’s never been more important as the driver shortage continues. Oil and gas driving is known for its risks and challenges. Drivers may think they can go without the required rest and just plow ahead. This is where driver training is key. Regular driver training, coaching and mentoring reinforces best practices for oilfield driving and continues to perpetuate a culture of safety in the minds of drivers. The National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH) has also published its guidelines for oil and gas employers on preventing fatigued driving at work.  

How Can we Address thOil & Gas Fleet Safety Problem?  

Fleets can work on these issues by addressing more than simply ticking the compliance box. A strong fleet safety program benefits fleets of all sizes, particularly in oil and gas. A written plan can help guide drivers to the best safe practices for their roles. Fostering a culture of safety can help organizations become proactive in their approach instead of waiting for disaster to strike.  

Fleets can also leverage technology to offer in-vehicle training for drivers to ensure they are implementing best practices when operating a vehicle. Complete Energy Services, an ORBCOMM customer, worked hard to increase its safety practices through training. They have significantly increased their safety by reducing speeding events by 49% and increasing seat belt compliance by 59%.  

“Knowing that the majority of our workday consists of being exposed to the highest risk documented in any US industry, motor vehicle travel, we have implemented a complex Safety Management System and training programs to give our team the best opportunity to achieve success,” explains Scott Mercer, Safety Director at Complete Energy. “One component of the SMS is the in-cab coaching. From classroom training to real-time coaching, these are two key components necessary for our team to achieve Target Zero.”

fleet safety with ivmsHow can ORBCOMM help? 

By delivering real-time verbal alerts, ORBCOMM’s oil and gas fleet safety solution helps drivers be proactive with their safety in the field, without any infraction. They can learn best practices for oilfield driving to help them become safer and better drivers.  

ORBCOMM’s solution automatically detects behavior that can compromise fleet safety, such as speeding, harsh accelerating and harsh braking. The driver receives a verbal alert to self-correct before things escalate. The results speak for themselves:  

  • 90% reduction in crashes
  • 89% reduction in aggressive driving 
  • 86% reduction in speeding and increased safety rates across the entire fleet.  

fleet safety simplified

For more on oil and gas fleet safety, schedule a demo or chat with us online anytime. 


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Posted in 1. Transportation, 4. Oil & Gas / Utilities Tagged with: ,

Trip-Based Telematics Adds New Possibilities to Reefer Container Management

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container fleet tracking webinarWhen Maersk deployed their Remote Container Management (RCM) initiative in 2016 by outfitting all 270,000 of its refrigerated containers with ORBCOMM telematics devices, it set off a chain of events that would begin the transformation of the entire reefer shipping market landscape.

At the time, Maersk Line CCO Vincent Clerc hailed smart containers as a ‘game-changer’. Containers that were formerly dumb, dark and disconnected had become visible, smart and connected. It was such a revolution, that in the first six months of 2017 alone, Maersk’s RCM system alerted the company to more than 4,500 incorrect temperature settings on customers’ reefers amounting to millions of dollars saved on refrigerated cargo that may have otherwise spoiled.

Maersk remote container management

Maersk has equipped 270,000+ refrigerated containers with ORBCOMM telematics devices, as well as outfitting its 400+ vessels with GSM capability to monitor reefer cargo and containers.

The industry has since continued its upward trend toward greater connectivity and IoT technology is fast evolving to accommodate the growing demands and challenges of the container supply chain. Transport assets that were previously ‘invisible’ as they moved cargo along complex supply chains are now being outfitted with increasingly sophisticated IoT devices, making it possible for companies to seamlessly connect business processes, such as shipping and receiving with people, data and things – pallets, containers, trailers, warehouses, distribution centers, terminals and yards – to run supply chain networks at higher efficiency.

Despite all these advancements, breakdowns in the supply chain are still having a significant impact on profitability. According to Clerc, more than 59% of claims stem from “malfunctioning reefer units, poor supplier handling of off-power periods and wrong temperature set points” – all issues that can be “partially avoided or mitigated proactively with live data” from refrigerated transport assets fitted with IoT telematics.

Trip-based telematics helps answer a market need

In the case of Maersk, installation of its remote container management system and devices shows how one major carrier responded to technological advances in GSM, satellite tracking and the IoT. But what about other types of shippers interested in trip-based telematics?

Trip-based telematics refers to the leasing of tracking units affixed to containers on a cost per-trip basis. Temporary, reusable asset tracking solutions allow trip-based monitoring of high-value cargo or third-party assets where permanent device installation isn’t viable.

According to Michael Dempsey, ORBCOMM’s Vice President of Container and Port Solutions, “There is a nexus of a whole bunch of forces coming together and increasing demand for low-cost, per-trip-basis coverage; rather than having to permanently fix an RCM unit on each container.”

ORBCOMM answered the call at Intermodal Europe 2018 with the announcement of its new CT 3000 Series of devices—the next-generation in remote container management across road, rail and sea. There are two devices. The first is the CT 3000 for permanent installations. The second is the CT 3100 for temporary installations used to monitor assets while on a trip, a vessel or at a terminal. Both combine with sensors and applications to help turn containers into smart, visible assets that consistently deliver critical information to help drive more efficient and profitable operations.

container tracking devices - CT 300 series

The new CT 3000 Series was also featured in a recent article published in The Loadstar’s Coolstar online editorial.

Schedule a demo or contact us to learn more about what ORBCOMM remote container management and trip-based telematics can do for you. Chat with us

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Weigh Station Bypass: New Drivewyze Integration Helps Fleets Manage Costs and Driver Retention

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At a time when driver retention and fuel efficiency are critical issues, saving three and a half minutes by bypassing weigh stations is something that fleets can’t ignore. For every minute a truck lines up at a weigh station, it costs fleet owners time and money.

Drivewyze® PreClear weigh station bypass, America’s leading weigh station bypass service, is now integrated with ORBCOMM devices. With more stations covered than any other program, it helps fleets increase efficiency by cutting down queue times, integrates seamlessly with ELD devices and reveals the hidden costs of weigh station delays.

Weigh Station Bypass

ORBCOMM-equipped vehicles using the Drivewyze PreClear bypass service.

Weighing Up Your Options

Just a few years ago, the standard procedure meant drivers could attempt to skip weigh stations altogether. That could mean incurring fines, fees or court costs. If law enforcement caught drivers skipping weigh stations, they could make them go back, costing even more time and money. Illegally avoiding a weigh station could put an entire fleet in jeopardy with financial, safety and productivity consequences.

But the costs of stopping at weigh stations stack up. According to American Transportation Research Institute and Drivewyze data, each stop costs approximately $9.30 in time and fuel. The longer a driver queues, the more it costs. Knowing if a driver can bypass a station legally and safely can save time and money.

Weigh Station Bypass in an ELD Era

Being able to bypass weigh stations is even more important since the ELD hard deadline, as it helps drivers maximize their Hours of Service (HOS). As fleets continue to bed down with ELDs, and many make the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs, ORBCOMM’s bypass integration makes it a little bit easier, “where even a single stop could extend a run into an additional day.”

The Drivewyze bypass service on ORBCOMM devices helps fleets in a number of ways beyond saving time and money.

1. Driver retention

Drivers are up to 3X more likely to stay with a company that provides a bypass service, according to a 2015 Drivewyze survey. Being able to bypass weigh stations is valuable to drivers. Of all responding drivers, 63% worked for companies providing weigh station bypass and felt more positive about their job and company. “Company-paid bypass service came in at number five in the results of what truck drivers really care about.”

2. Improving fleet safety

Drivers who avoid an open weigh station can face serious penalties. This could be down to a driver being pre-occupied or simply driving in unfamiliar territory. It can also impact a fleet’s CSA scores. The heads-up notifications can reduce the number of accidental weigh station avoidances and improve CSA scores by as much as 5%.

3. Extensive reporting

Find out exactly how much your fleet could be saving. Fleet managers can rely on data-driven measures to improve efficiency. Out-of-the-box reporting shows ROI by calculating the real costs of weigh station delays on the fleet’s business based on fleet costs and measures, not industry reports.

Drivewyze weigh station bypass

ORBCOMM Empowers Drivers to Stay on the Road Longer

With Drivewyze PreClear now integrated with ORBCOMM devices, customers receive weigh station bypass services at over 700 sites in 42 states and one Canadian province. It’s the only solution that can handle both fixed scales and mobile inspection sites. Drivewyze PreClear is GPS based, so the driver doesn’t need to get in any specific lane.

When a driver approaches a weigh station, Drivewyze provides two- and one-mile countdown notifications before advising the driver to bypass or pull in. Recent bypasses are available for review by the driver.

weigh station bypass coverage

Drivewyze Coverage Map

Come see ORBCOMM in action at American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition (ATA MCE), October 27 to 31, in Austin, Texas. Visit us at booth number 7023 to learn more about our recent Drivewyze PreClear integration and other exciting new technologies.

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Disrupting the Cold Chain: 5 Key Takeaways from Cool Logistics

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container fleet tracking webinarThe 10th Cool Logistics Global congress took place in early October and, as usual, ORBCOMM joined as sponsor and speaker. Refrigerated container and trailer operations are key markets for our Internet of Things (IoT) tracking and monitoring solutions along with end-to-end cold chain traceability solutions for major food suppliers and retailers. So, Cool Logistics provided a great chance to share our experiences and take the industry pulse.

As we head off to continue the smart container conversation at Intermodal Europe, here are our 5 key Cool Logistics takeaways:

1. Digital disruption is coming (fast) to cold supply chains

connected containers

A wave of change is coming to container supply chains, driven on the one hand by rapid advances in the cloud, digitization, automation and autonomous traffic, and on the other by evolving market dynamics.

Reefer transport, logistics and infrastructure are moving to embrace digitisation, but the big disruption will come from external societal mega forces, including:

  • An explosion in e-food commerce, driven by mobile, pressuring downstream supply chains to get faster, more flexible, more transparent and more precise. ‘Legacy-light’ China and other parts of Asia are leading the charge
  • More educated consumers expecting more traceability, safety and sustainability plus a faster, more convenient and personalised shopping experience
  • Growing public and media pressure to tackle waste along the food chain
  • An exponential increase in global regulations and compliance – from food and drug safety to climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability – requiring monitoring and reporting on a grand scale
  • And, of course, continued rapid advances in digitalisation itself, including the blending of technologies such as IoT, blockchain, AI/ML, mobile and smart packaging to build entirely new business models

 2. IoT adoption in the reefer container industry is shifting from ‘if and why’ to ‘when and how’

While Maersk is the only global reefer box carrier so far to fully embrace IoT telematics, the consensus is that adoption will speed up in the coming 3-5 years. “It needs to be part of the future that all reefer boxes are connected,” said Ole Schack-Petersen of cold chain logistics specialists LCL and the Broom Group.

The practicalities of large-scale IoT adoption should not be underestimated, however. Maersk said that it took five years to fit its entire reefer box fleet with telematics. Developing robust solutions that help users implement and scale at speed is therefore a crucial capability for IoT vendors.

Shipping companies outside the top 10 can get up and running faster and smaller carriers have successfully deployed IoT telematics across their reefer box fleets and other intermodal transport assets. That includes vessel-based GSM networks for on-water monitoring of containers and cargo.

A new trend to help the global reefer container fleet get smart is the supply of embedded IoT right out of the factory. Reefer OEMs are now starting to work with telematics suppliers and leasing companies are also enhancing their offering with telemetry.

The development of ‘plug and play’ reusable IoT telematics devices for temporary asset monitoring will be important, giving all parties the chance to monitor shipment on a trip basis, at terminals, depots and yards, and on vessels.

Maersk IoT telematics

While Maersk is the only global reefer box carrier so far to fully embrace IoT telematics, the consensus is that adoption will speed up in the coming 3-5 years.

3. Blockchain is coming and will pair with IoT for new systems of trusted data

There’s a global buzz around blockchain and the cold chain is no exception. Indeed, food and health supply chains have been early targets, especially to address contamination and counterfeits.

Recent examples include Walmart’s blockchain database for leafy green vegetables in the wake of an e.coli outbreak involving romaine lettuce. China’s giant online retailers and Alibaba have also launched food and drug safety blockchain programmes for cross-border trade.

The data that feeds the blockchain needs to be trustworthy, however. That’s where IoT telematics and sensors come in, providing a verifiable digital record of assets, cargo, processes and hand-offs.

It’s still early days but more blockchain-based platforms are expected to emerge in cold chain over the next 3-5 years, consuming more IoT data.

4. As the focus shifts from IoT devices to data ecosystems, APIs and open, interoperable platforms are a must

While there’s still lots to come from IoT telematics and sensors, hardware is becoming mature. The focus now is shifting to:

  • The best and most cost-effective ways to filter and present IoT data to a growing number of engaged stakeholders both within and across companies.
  • How to combine and integrate multiple data streams on and across platforms and enterprise software
  • Helping users build out secure, stable, scalable and smart IoT ecosystems.

From the C-suite down, more departments are consuming IoT data, but they do not want or need to see everything. Intuitive, customisable dashboards and reports are critical for different people to see just the data and metrics that matter most to them.

No single digital platform can ever dominate. Rather, the future lies in a ‘system of systems.’ APIs and interoperability are crucial to avoid creating new data silos. The IoT data ecosystem needs to allow users to integrate multiple smart devices and suppliers, plus other information sources.

5. It’s all about the data – but analytics, change management, governance and cyber security are key to unlocking the next level of value

Ever more smart devices are entering the cold chain, and more of them are talking to each other – including cargo level sensors and container telematics. Leveraging this to transform business processes and create new commercial propositions is the next big step.

As data is amassed and shared more widely – such as Maersk and other carriers have done for their customers – it opens the door for more proactive asset and supply chain management. That includes analytics to predict future patterns and make rules-based decisions.

It takes a large historical database to extract full value from predictive and prescriptive analytics, but this is coming as more cold chain and transport assets get connected and more data is aggregated on integrated IoT platforms.

Data makes mistakes visible and all parties accountable. That can be a culture shock both inside enterprises and across supply chain communities. Proactively managing this as a strategic business priority, not just another IT project, is vital.

Intermodal EuropeDeep change management is needed to reinvent business processes and relationships, retrain existing staff and on-board digitally-savvy talent. This is a big but necessary challenge to avoid being left behind as the pace of technological change continues to escalate.

Data governance and cyber security are two of the biggest challenges. This will require cooperation between public and private sectors at many levels. Various bodies are now working to develop protocols, frameworks and tool-kits and industry must get deeply involved to ensure workable legislation and policy.

Join us on stand B26 at Intermodal Europe in Rotterdam, November 6-8, to see the latest in IoT telematics, software and analytics including our new solutions for temporary or permanent monitoring of refrigerated containers. Schedule a Meeting.

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

The Future of Connected Transportation at ATA MCE 2018

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ATA MCE 2018: ORBCOMM BoothWe’re at the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition this week, where we’re exhibiting the latest additions to our market-leading portfolio of telematics solutions, devices and integrations for our transportation customers.

What: American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition
When: October 27 – 31
Where: Austin, Texas
ORBCOMM Booth 7023

Already at ATA MCE 2018? We’d love to meet with you:

Schedule Meeting

In addition to some exciting new announcements, you’ll learn why ORBCOMM is the only telematics provider capable of meeting the demands of transportation companies looking to manage your entire fleet under a single platform. From truck to reefer to dry vans, straight trucks, containers and railcars, we cover virtually every asset class under one roof.


For those we won’t see at the ATA show, feel free to contact us anytime to discuss connected assets and fleet telematics.

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: ,

IoT and M2M Solutions Webinar Coming Oct. 23!

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Gartner forecasts that there will more than 20 billion connected assets by 2020. But how do you take the promise of the Internet of Things and translate it into effective solutions that deliver more value for your customers—all while saving you time and increasing revenue?

Supercharge Your IoT and M2M Solutions

How VARs can quicken time to market, increase revenue and reduce complexity

Live Webinar
Tuesday, October 23

Two sessions to choose from:
October 23, 11:00 am EDT (October 23, 3:00 pm UTC) or
October 23, 9:00 pm EDT (October 24, 1:00 am UTC) 

Register Now

Join ORBCOMM for this informative and engaging webinar where you’ll learn how to:

  • Quicken time to market and speed your path to revenue
  • Reduce complexity in developing custom applications
  • Minimize programming burden by using custom tools and professional services
  • Diversify your portfolio by entering new and hot IoT markets
  • Existing ORBCOMM VARs: discover time-saving tools you never knew existed!

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 for a leading partner to help bolster your solutions, you’re sure to walk away with some practical tips and fresh ideas.

Register Now



Questions? Email us anytime at

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

Integrated Dispatch and Asset Tracking Helps Mike Tamana Optimize Fleet Operations

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In our latest case study, we explore how ORBCOMM’s integrated fleet management solution helped a refrigerated transportation company minimize spoilage, improve fuel economy, optimize asset utilization and comply with food handling and driver hours-of-service regulations.

Mike Tamana Trucking uses ORBCOMM’s end-to-end telematics solution via its integration into the McLeod dispatch software. The company’s dispatchers are able to access critical data from its trucks, drivers and trailers from within the McLeod dispatch interface, simplifying operations and improving efficiency and profitability.

mcleod software integration case study

Learn how the carrier also improved customer service with accurate ETAs and early notifications that allow customers to plan for delays.

Download the Case Study

To learn how ORBCOMM and McLeod can help you optimize fleet operations, visit or email us at

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: ,

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