Refrigerated Rigids and Telematics: Saving the Day when Temperatures Soar

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In summer 2018, the UK saw one of the biggest and longest heatwaves on record. While this was great news for some, it posed its own challenges for the foodservice industry. As temperatures soared, fresh, cold and frozen foods were ordered by customers at much higher levels and with greater frequency than normal. Retailers saw an increase of 2.2% in total grocery sales in a four-week period during summer 2018, a growth traced directly to the heatwave thanks to customers buying more fresh foods, beverages and snacks. According to Nielsen figures, it was the biggest growth volume outside of traditional periods since 2013. Dining al fresco became standard, ice cream was more popular and fresh burgers and olives saw significant growth.

Shoppers spent +4.5% more on groceries in the last four weeks to 14th July, as the hottest June in more than 40 years.

Supply Chain Under Stress

Out of this irregular occurrence came an unlikely hero – the refrigerated rigid truck (or the rigid reefer as it is sometimes called) – the “workhorse” vehicle for many fleets in the foodservice industry.

live tachograph data

The strengths of the refrigerated rigid – combined with advanced telematics – became something of a hero for supply chains under strain. Already, valued for its convenience for urban deliveries, the refrigerated rigid truck is designed to cope with multiple stops, frequent door openings and operation day and night. Its payload capacity is ideally suited to foodservice operations and its temperature management capabilities are just what is required for these conditions.

Hauliers were asked to prove that their cargo was delivered on time and at the right temperature, all while ensuring that their drivers were not overworked and operating within driving and working hours regulations. And just because there were more jobs and not enough hours to complete them, fleets still had to ensure that drivers did not abandon fuel-efficient, legal and environmentally-friendly driving styles.

For both own account operators and for-hire foodservice operators, summer 2018 was a test of their vehicles and the telematics data used to support them. Temperature data needed to be available in real-time and reported on historically to shippers within minutes of delivery. Tachograph data from drivers needed to be instantly viewable to planners so that additional stops could be added. In addition, engine data needed to be analysed to ensure drivers were not speeding between locations to avoid missing delivery slots or cooling themselves down with excess idling.

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Truckload Strong at TCA

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The Truckload Carriers Association 81stAnnual Convention saw stakeholders—carriers, regulators, media, analysts, suppliers and technology vendors—get together in Las Vegas last week to look back at 2018 and identify some of the challenges facing the industry this year.

This year’s theme ‘Truckload Strong’ sought to unify truckload carriers and encourage cooperation as new challenges approach.

Here are two interesting topics that surfaced:

ELD remains top of mind

With the deadline to transition from automatic onboard recording devices to electronic logging devices (ELDs) coming at the end of the year, the ELD mandate and Hours of Service (HOS) regulations dominated conversations. Ray Martinez, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) administrator, said 2019 will be a critical year for the trucking industry as the agency continues to work with carriers to ensure a smooth transition. He also pointed to potential changes to HOS regulations as the agency continues to review the 5,200 comments it received on HOS reform. We expect to hear more on this later this year from the FMCSA.

During his address, Martinez also talked about how important it is for companies to embrace safety as part of their organizational culture rather than relying on laws and legislation to do the job. HOS violations dropped by 52% over the last year because of the ELD mandate implementation, he said, and he encouraged trucking companies to embrace new technologies and the safety benefits they provide.

Detention, a profitability killer 

Detention times are increasing across 135 key markets, hindering profitability for fleets and making it difficult for drivers to maximize their income, said Jack Porter, Managing Director, TCA Profitability Program during Monday’s session, ‘The Pulse of Truckload: Insights and Predictions from PPT and FreightWaves. Sonar data from the FreightWaves platform shows that most drivers only spend an average of 6.5 hours per day driving and generating revenue, amounting to huge losses, said Porter. With detention, cooperation between shippers and carriers is paramount. As carriers look to reduce driver waiting times and recoup losses, telematics data becomes a necessity as it enables fleets to keep track of idle time and properly calculate detention surcharges for shippers.

Fresh off the press

This year’s convention also saw some interesting product announcements, including ORBCOMM’s next-generation, solar-powered tracking device, which significantly enhances our dry trailer and container tracking solution. The ultra-compact GT 1200 series features an improved solar panel, expanded support for wireless sensors, quicker and safer installation and more. To download the product datasheet and learn more, visit our website.

Overall, the 2019 Truckload Carriers Association Annual Convention afforded a great opportunity for companies to spend time with existing customers, identify new business opportunities and learn more about happenings within the industry.

Well done, TCA team. We look forward to seeing you at the Refrigerated Annual Meeting in July!

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

Discover the Future of Asset Tracking Technology at TCA 2019

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The 2019 Truckload Carriers Association Annual Convention is officially under way in Las Vegas, NV, and we’ve got some exciting news to share. ORBCOMM has just launched our next-generation, solar-powered GT 1200 Series of devices that significantly enhance our current trailer and container tracking solution. Our newest product line is part of a comprehensive telematics solution that includes multiple sensor options, user-friendly applications and reliable cellular and optional satellite connectivity, delivering the latest features in hassle-free trailer and container tracking:

  • An ultra-compact, ruggedized design that allows for faster and safer field installation on any asset in any orientation
  • Global cargo visibility with an optional integrated cargo sensor
  • A newly-engineered, high-sensitivity solar panel for 20x charging improvement and up to 3x more messages
  • Expanded out-of-the-box support for wireless sensors and fully configurable I/O
  • Built-in tamper and impact detection for increased security
  • No maintenance or battery changes for up to 10 years
GT 1200 trailer tracking device

The new GT 1200 series is available as an all-in-one, feature-rich tracking device with integrated cargo sensors, delivering powerful remote asset management and cargo status detection with minimum wiring.

Integrated cargo sensor: GT 1210 underside view showing the cargo sensor facing into the asset.

Integrated cargo sensor: GT 1210 underside view showing the cargo sensor facing into the asset.

The new GT 1200 series is part of ORBCOMM’s comprehensive innovation plan to enhance nearly all of our products to expand our existing capabilities and provide our customers with advanced technology and unmatched value. The GT 1200 product line features the latest in asset tracking technology and offers incremental benefits to our transportation customers looking to more efficiently manage their assets, maximize driver productivity and improve their bottom line.

If you’re attending TCA, make sure to schedule a meeting, or stop by ORBCOMM’s booth #107 to see firsthand how the enhanced GT 1200 product line can help streamline your fleet operations.

TCA 2019 Annual Convention
When: March 10 – 13, 2019
Where: Wynn Resort, Las Vegas, NV
ORBCOMM Booth 107

Be sure to follow #2019TCA and @ORBCOMM_Inc on Twitter for the latest from the show floor. For those we won’t see at this year’s convention, feel free to reach out any time to learn how ORBCOMM can help you with your trailer and container tracking needs.

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Smart Telematics for Your Entire Fleet at TCA Annual Convention 2019

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Are you looking to combat the driver shortage? Attack regulations head on? Battle against rising costs? Take on the competition?

Join ORBCOMM at Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Annual Convention 2019 to discover how the next generation in telematics can help you defend yourself and your company against the rising wave of industry challenges. Now more than ever, it’s important to have a comprehensive telematics solution in place to remain strong and competitive in the face of adversity.

Featuring the industry’s most complete, single-source fleet telematics solution, covering virtually every asset class, including trucks, dry and tank trailer, refrigerated vehicles, containers and railcars, ORBCOMM will be on the show floor at TCA showcasing our latest innovations:

  • Get your hands on the new GT 1200 series – ORBCOMM’s new next-generation, solar powered trailer and container tracking devices.
  • Switch to e-logs drivers love and transition from AOBRDs to ELDs
  • Keep your drivers happier and improve safety, performance and retention
  • Boost your bottom line by maximizing utilization, saving fuel and protecting cargo
  • Gain around-the-clock visibility of trucks, trailers, chassis, containers and more
  • Connect your cold chain and ensure FSMA compliance

What: TCA 2019 Annual Convention
When: March 10-13, 2019
Where: Wynn Resort, Las Vegas, NV
ORBCOMM Booth 107

Going to be there? We’d love to meet with you!

Schedule Meeting

Here’s a taste of what to expect:

Introducing the All-New GT 1200 Series: Next-Gen Solar-Powered Trailer and Container Tracking

ORBCOMM’s new solar-powered GT 1200 series delivers the latest in asset tracking technology at unprecedented value to customers. Building on the strengths of our industry-leading GT 1100, the new GT 1200 series enhances ORBCOMM’s trailer and container tracking solution, delivering a new ultra-compact design, expanded support for wireless sensors, quicker and safer field installation, an improved solar panel with greater charging capacity and many more advanced features.

The new GT 1200 series is part of a turnkey solution that includes an application with powerful reports, dynamic dashboards, advanced analytics and two-way commands. Customers gain complete visibility of trailers and containers virtually anywhere in the world, improve asset utilization and driver productivity, streamline operations, and expedite cargo delivery to maximize ROI.

Available in two variants:

  • GT 1200: Get complete visibility for trailers and containers without maintenance or battery changes with advanced reporting and analytics to help streamline processes and improve efficiencies.
  • GT 1210: This all-in-one, feature-rich tracking device with an integrated cargo sensor delivers powerful remote asset management and cargo status detection capabilities.

Real-time truck management with advanced fleet telematics

At this year’s TCA show, we will also be showcasing the latest from our truck management solution, which combines driver-focused, in-cab devices based on Android, ORBCOMM’s BT 500 truck tracking hardware and powerful back-end reporting delivered by our FleetManager application.

FleetManager provides customers with a single view of all asset types in one place. It gives insight into powerful intelligence for improved decision making to comply with regulations, increase safety, save money on fuel and improve productivity.

New features on display will include integration with additional in-cab devices such as Samsung tablets and the new Garmin 780, which are especially developed for truck fleet telematics.

Our solution is focused on helping fleets switch from AOBRDs to full ELD compliance before December 2019, improving driver performance and fleet safety through driver scoring and increasing workforce productivity through enhanced jobs, messaging and navigation functions.


Be sure to follow #2019TCA and @ORBCOMM_Inc on Twitter for the latest from the show floor. For those we won’t see at TCA 2019, please feel free to reach out anytime to discuss connected assets and fleet telematics.

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LERS Leading the Way in the Battle Against Emissions – Q and A 

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In the UK, Transport remains the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gases. Latest figures released this week, show that while overall figures are down by 3%, emissions are still a huge problem and transportation plays a major part in this.  

While this week’s figures show the transportation sector still has a way to go in lowering emissions, there are plenty of industry-wide initiatives aimed at doing just that. One such initiative is the Logistics Emissions Reduction Scheme (LERS). Backed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), LERS is an industry-led programme aimed at a greener future.  

We talked to the FTA to see how LERS will record, report and ultimately reduce freight carbon emissions and have a direct impact on reducing transport sector pollution. Read our Q and A with the FTA’s Rebecca Kite below.  

Previously known as the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme, LERS works by aggregating fuel usage and distance travelled along with fleet data activity. The information is translated into a carbon footprint for operators. The voluntary scheme is aiming for a 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, from 2015 levels. It’s already having a positive impact, as Rebecca Kite outlines below:  

“In 2017, members of LERS achieved an impressive 4% average reduction in their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.” 

According to the FTA, joining the LERS initiative delivers a number of benefits. It carries weight with trade associations, logistics services and the Government. It can help to demonstrate an operator’s green credentials and it is totally free and confidential to join.  

Q and A with Rebecca Kite, FTA 

To find out more about the benefits for operators taking part in the LERS programme, we spoke to Environment Policy Manager with the FTA. Rebecca Kite gave us an overview of LERS and its success so far.   Read more ›

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

5 Fuel Efficient Driving Techniques to Save Truck Fleets Money

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Fuel efficient driving techniques can save truck fleets thousands of dollars per year, but perhaps more importantly, they can also positively impact driver safety scores, increasing road safety for all users. For example, slowing down is just a single driving behavior that reduces fuel consumption and increases safety. Telematics enable driver safety scoring, helping managers improve fleet safety.

Fleet Fuel EconomyWhile it’s impossible to control external factors like fuel prices or other road users, drivers are one constant that have a direct impact on fleet safety and fuel savings. Fleet managers who help drivers change their behavior can have a powerful, long-term impact on monthly fuel-spend as well as improving Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores. 

While nearly every action in the cab impacts fleet safety, not all actions create the same results. Speeding, the use of harsh braking and over-revving all have a significant impact on fleet safety as well as impacting fuel economy. Minor changes to these habits can result in a positive boost to safety scores.  

As fleets increasingly implement programs to thank drivers for their economic driving abilities. Here are some of our simple tips for safer, more fuel-efficient driving.  

 Download our full e-book on Fuel Economy: Smarter Steps to Getting Drivers Onboard.

Read more ›

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New in Fleet Safety: Using Anticipation to Improve Driver Behavior, One Brake Press at a Time

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Driver and fleet safety is a top priority for trucking companies today. We hear it every day from our customers, which is why driver safety features prominently in our solution portfolio. One such example is the new driver anticipation data and analysis available through our FleetManager telematics platform.

What is Driver Anticipation?

Anticipation measures the time taken before the brake is pressed after a driver lifts their foot off the accelerator. Each of these events is banded together and analyzed. The data is then compiled to deliver an Anticipation score. 

This Anticipation score contributes to the measurement of safer truck driving. Large numbers of events of a short duration, (e.g. less than one second) shows that the driver has to react too rapidly to events instead of the opposite; a controlled braking event. A lower Anticipation score is better as it suggests that the truck driver is anticipating the road ahead.

Anticipation can be used to measure truck drivers on a short-term or long-term basis. They can be reviewed over any time period (for example, over one week as well as over longer periods of time such as months or years). 

Anticipation is a strong fleet safety indicator. It contributes to data which can indicate which drivers are more likely to have an accident. A high Anticipation score indicates that the driver is not anticipating that they may need to stop in a few seconds, instead of reacting too late to an event. Lower Anticipation scores over time can help fleet managers address problems before they crop up.  

Anticipation For Drivers  

Truck drivers already have a tough enough job with plenty of demands put on them daily. Anticipation is a way to assist drivers in identifying the habits that could be risky so they can work on changing them.   

Anticipation data is available as a performance metric or a safety metric and is available to the driver on in-cab devices.  

fleet safety through driver anticipation

  • It is one of the scores which contributes to overall the Safety score in the Driver Performance scores section  
  • The Safety score is consistently updated and is available to the driver at the end of their trip
  • The score compares drivers to their peers

Increasing Safety with Anticipation

Built as a way to identify and correct poor driving habits, Anticipation is as important for fleet managers as it is for driversIt is a coaching tool to identify individual and long-term instances of this behavior. Fleet managers can leverage Anticipation data to feed into fleet safety and driver training programs.

safe driving habits

This driver is demonstrating excellent anticipation skills. They are managing their braking activity well in respect of the road ahead.

Actions from Anticipation  

The data available to fleet managers is extensive. Anticipation is one way to leverage this data in a comprehensive and easy-to-digest way. Anticipation offers many benefits:   

  1. Improve driver behavior: Anticipation is a strong fleet safety indicator. It highlights drivers who may be more likely to have an accident so fleet managers can address problems before they arise. A poor Anticipation score indicates that the driver is not expecting that they may need to stop in a few seconds, instead of reacting too late to an event.  
  2. Reduce wear and tear on brakes: Anticipation can be used to monitor the inappropriate use of braking. Learning which drivers are doing this frequently can help to address the issue and alter behavior to reduce wear and tear.  
  3. Increase fuel efficiency: A good Anticipation score suggests a more fuel-efficient driving style. By easing off on the accelerator, the vehicle can come to a natural stop. The distance traveled in this state are known as “free miles”.  
unsafe driver behavior

This driver is demonstrating poor anticipation behavior. The low Anticipation score suggests the driver spends a lot of time moving quickly between brake and accelerator and is reacting to the road ahead.

Anticipation data is compiled in various reports in FleetManager. It feeds into driver scoring, where each driver is compared and scored against each other. . 

To learn more about what has to offer, email us at

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

Why AEMP 2.0 is Critical to Managing Your Mixed Fleet

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Efficiently managing heavy equipment fleets in construction and mining environments is critical to ensuring profitability. Visibility of all machines and their condition across all locations is critical to increasing utilization, efficiency and preventing downtime.  

Most OEMs provide a telematics solution with their equipment that delivers varying levels of information. Historically, the information was provided in proprietary formats and required the use of OEM websites or portals to look at the data. With mixed fleets, trying to pull all the data together to have a single cohesive view can be challenging. In addition, with fleets of hundreds of machines, the amount of data collected can quickly become overwhelming. The challenge is to take all this data and combine it into a single, actionable view. 

Setting Standards 

To bring some order to what had become the wild west of telematics data, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) introduced a telematics standard in 2010. The standard has evolved over time and AEMP 2.0 (also known as ISO 15143-3) is the most recent version.  

Fleet telematics applicationIt creates a common data format that facilitates pulling mixed fleet data together on a single portal, single website, 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. 

Having access to this data enables fleet operators to manage their whole fleet across different OEMs and machine types. They can generate a full picture of utilization, fuel consumption, maintenance state and other parameters across the fleet, across jobsites and locations, and across the company. This consolidated view of company assets allows the entire fleet to be managed with the greatest operational efficiency. In many cases, this allows companies to reduce the number of machines they own in favor of renting or leasing less utilized machines, better plan for maintenance to avoid unplanned downtime and take advantage of emerging data-driven use cases.  

Focus on FleetEdge 

ORBCOMM’s FleetEdge4 now supports the AEMP 2.0/ ISO-15143-3 telematics standard. FleetEdge4 is the industry-leading third-party telematics solution for heavy equipment, powered by rugged devices and multinetwork connectivity.  

Using FleetEdge4, managers can manage their entire fleet, irrespective of the original equipment manufacturer, all from a single pane of glass. Data can be viewed and managed in FleetEdge4 or it can be viewed in a company’s existing management application via a simple API integration. FleetEdge4 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. In addition, FleetEdge4 is available on the ORBCOMM mobile app, which makes it possible to manage on the go. 

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Posted in 2. Heavy Equipment Tagged with: , ,

Chassis Fleet Optimization: 3 Reasons Why It’s Crucial to Your Business

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trailer telematicsOptimizing your chassis fleet operations may sound like an obvious part of doing business, but it’s often easier said than done. Over time, as your chassis fleet grows and challenges arise, you realize that things aren’t running as efficiently as they could be.

As chassis telematics solutions become more ubiquitous, companies without the technology may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Lack of visibility into a chassis fleet is the number one adversary to fully optimized operations and may have a drastic impact on the bottom line by contributing to longer dwell times, improper geographical distribution and asset misuse.

A good telematics solution is made up of a tracking device, intuitive software and a variety of sensors that work seamlessly together to provide real-time visibility into chassis operations to help businesses deploy fleets more strategically and increase margins.

Here are three reasons why optimizing your chassis fleet is crucial to your business:

  1. It allows for better planning and decision making

Having a real-time overview of exactly where each of your chassis are, means you no longer need to depend on potentially outdated and inaccurate manually-collected data that makes optimizing dwell times and distribution nearly impossible. Visibility into your operations through telematics helps you ensure your chassis are properly distributed geographically, which saves on time and costs of manual labor. It also lets you know how specific yards are performing, shortening your turn times so your chassis are more frequently on the road making money.

  1. It helps you protect your assets

When you can see where your chassis are, you know whether or not they are where they’re supposed to be and if they are being properly handled. For instance, customers may be storing them outside their yards, putting them at increased risk of vandalism and theft. Or drivers may be using them for unauthorized runs. And what happens when one goes missing due to theft or misplacement? Eventually, you’ll need to write it off. In all of these cases, telematics can help to provide you with the up-to-the-minute tracking information and location history you need to keep your assets secure.

  1. It boosts customer satisfaction

Telematics does more than simply provide you with access to dots-on-a-map location visibility. It also helps improve customer service with more accurate billing and invoicing, more on-time deliveries, the ability to provide ETAs through en-route chassis location updates and notifications when things go wrong so you can respond immediately. The result of all these benefits is greater customer satisfaction, positive word-of-mouth, and long-term loyalty.

Telematics made easy

Telematics in the supply chain is proven to enable better business planning, streamline operations, minimize theft, improve preventive maintenance and repair and enhance customer service. All of that is made possible through a combination of smart devices, sensors and powerful software. ORBCOMM devices feature quick and covert installation and are positioned to protect the hardware from contact with the container during loading. Our sensors combine with the solution to help extend the life of your tires, boost fuel economy, mate chassis to trucks, tell you if chassis are loaded or empty and whether chassis arms are opened or closed. All this data is made actionable through our software solutions, providing you real-time alerts on chassis location, geofence access, mounting and unmounting events, historical reporting and much more.

For more information on ORBCOMM’s chassis tracking solutions, or to get a free no-obligation quote, visit

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Sea Traffic Management: Maritime Visibility Made Easier

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A Deep Dive Into Sea Traffic Management

One of the largest challenges in the maritime industry is that there is no coordinated system that allows the monitoring and control of vessel passage around the world. Compare this to the airline industry which has extremely accurate and up-to-date information. Airline routing and control is very specific and provides for a safe and efficient network of integrated control of the flight of an aircraft. ais data advantages

Into this background comes Sea Traffic Management (STM), developed by EU-financed research and innovation projects with several European partners within the areas of academia, governmental bodies and industry.  

STM is a real-time information exchange network that allows for onboard and onshore vessel information to be utilized, enabling more just-in-time arrivals, improved routing, reduced administrative burdens and decreased risk relating to human factors.  

Optimizing Sea Traffic Management 

This enhanced monitoring of vessels helps avoid groundings and collisions, facilitates port scheduling and optimization which would allow for shorter turnarounds, enables bunker and emission reduction and optimizes the use of resources, all which would lead to the more efficient use of the world’s oceans by sea vessels that generally provide transportation for 90% of the world’s goods. 

One of the enablers of STM is the Automatic Identification System (AIS) that provides the identification of vessels, location, course, and speed plus the ability to provide data from the vessel to shore operations. With the introduction of the 2002 IMO SOLAS Agreement, use of AIS Class A transponders is mandatory for vessels over a certain size. With the introduction of Class B AIS in 2006, the number of vessels utilizing AIS transponders has grown to over 250,000 vessels with the anticipation that over the next few years up to 1 million vessels will be equipped with AIS transponders. 

Satellites Aiding AIS

In 2008, ORBCOMM became the first company to launch a constellation of satellites that were able to receive the AIS messages from AIS transponder equipped vessels and transpose this information into usable data that could be displayed providing the name, position course and speed of AIS-equipped vessels anywhere around the world. 

The original intent of AIS was to provide a collision avoidance process that enables vessels to identify other vessels that may be on a collision course and thus be able to take the necessary action to avoid such a collision.  AIS data now contributes a base service for the integration and development of Sea Traffic Management.  This is expected to create a more efficient and environmentally friendly maritime sector. By the year 2030 (relative to 2015) the full deployment of STM is expected to: 

  • reduce accidents by 50% 
  • reduce voyage costs by 10% 
  • reduce waiting time for berthing by 30%
  • lower fuel consumption greenhouse gas emissions by 7% 

The use of AIS information in the STM initiative enables a more efficient, safer and eco-friendly maritime industry that ultimately results in less expensive products and services into the world at large. 

To see how ORBCOMM’s AIS data services can enhance the way you do business, visit or email 

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

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