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a real-time overview of exactly where each of your chassis are, means you no longer need to depend on potentially outdated and inaccurate manually-collected data that makes optimizing dwell times and distribution nearly impossible.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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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

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: , ,

10 Articles That Caught Our Eye in 2018: Industrial IoT, Satellite, and Telematics Developments 

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This past year saw plenty of interesting developments in the world of the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), satellite and telematics. At ORBCOMM, we closely monitor these trends to keep readers up-to-date on the latest evolutions and shifts in industry dynamics. These ten articles from 2018 cover a wide breadth of industry developments, advances, and trends in the world of Industrial IoT, satellite, and telematics. 

IoT SIM cards1. Businesses Expect Industrial IoT to Boost Their Revenues by US$154mn 

Inmarsat research says that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will greatly enhance business growth and productivity over the next five years. According to Inmarsat, this is due to the introduction of more efficient satellite technologies being prioritized and increasingly accepted as integral to business operations.  

2. How AI is Driving Business Model Change: The IoT and Analytics-at-the-Edge 

Take a closer look at why IoT is poised to be the biggest change to business models since the nineties. Suggesting a fundamental shift in the usage of AI, the writer looks at how businesses can face the future more efficiently, offering a detailed view into new methods that will likely become the established norm.  

3. The Future of Smart Transport 

Evolution in technology means that transportation systems are becoming smarter and smarter. Satellites capture robust and reliable data from all kinds of vehicles to inform traffic planning, transportation companies and shape the interactions we have with vehicles. Heleana Neil explores the future of ‘Smart Transportation’ and the impact of the usage of data on traffic, public transport, cars, and ships.  

4. Four Strategies for Putting Blockchain to Work in Transportation 

Until relatively recently, blockchain was perhaps been viewed as something of a buzzword. However now as it’s coming into its own, the uses of it are becoming clearer across many industries, especially transportation. Providing businesses with unique ways to modernize their operations, the convergence of blockchain and transport technologies offers an efficient and reliable way to stay ahead of the competition. In partnership with the newly formed Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), this is a closer look at where transportation companies can take advantage of blockchain tech.  

5. Prepare for the Future by Understanding the Benefits of Telematics 

Telematics data is set to take center stage for safety. That’s according to FleetNews, who predict that before long, all vehicles will have a ‘black box’ containing driving behavior data, which could be the difference in implication or exoneration of a driver. From liability to evidence collection, telematics data can aid police investigations, protecting drivers and companies in the event of an accident.  

6. Transparent Transhipping: Detecting Illegal Fishing with Satellite Data 

Illegal fishing has long been a problem in markets all over the world. Global Fishing Watch, a non-profit uses a satellite-powered platform to monitor the movement of fishing vessels. It is tasked with eradicating illegal fishing, combating overfishing, and protecting habitats. With the protection of species and global ecosystem hanging in the balance, it’s never been more critical that identification of hauling hotspots and instances of night fishing is bolstered to be more effective. 

7. Telematics and the Reefer 

With the announcement that Maersk Line was launching its own telematics system, the industry held its breath with anticipation. A chance to efficiently monitor refrigerated containers offers greater protection of investments and tracking of valuable goods. Platforms that offer temperature data, connectivity and failure notices combined deliver greater benefits to all stakeholders.  

8. INTERNET OF THINGS: IoT Essential for Mining to Compete 

Canadian Mining Journal’s article summarizes the importance of adapting IoT for mining. Many of the major mining companies around the world think that the future of mining is firmly intertwined with the Internet of Things. Automation will be key to this competitive advantage. While 70% of mining businesses surveyed said that IoT would give them an edge of their competition.     

satellite tracking device kit9. Beyond Exceptions: Fleets Reaching New Levels of Business Intelligence 

Going heavy into detail on consolidation, using predictability as an advantage, and pushing beyond exception-based reporting all play their part in creating smarter fleets. Navajo Express is just one example of how fleets can take advantage of data to enhance operational efficiency, for everything from reefer trailer monitoring to driver retention and equipment performance. 

10. IoT Applications in Agriculture 

As the world’s population is predicted to climb to 9.6 billion by 2050, the farming industry needs to adopt new technologies to stay ahead of the curve. ‘Smart Farming’ is set to use IoT technologies to face the challenges of extreme weather, climate change, and extreme farming practices, as the population increases.

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

Predictive Maintenance: The Untapped Advantages of Telematics for Construction

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There has been a lot of talk about how analytics will deliver value to the world of construction equipment. We believe that 2019 is the year analytics will deliver on that promise, leveraging telematics data to deliver results. But beyond telematics data, there’s an opportunity to use other business data to really make a difference to the bottom line in the industry.

Telematics solutions commonly provide detailed machine data, including parameters like engine oil, transmission and brake temperature, engine RPM, speed, tire pressure, fuel consumption and emission levels to name a few. This data can be analyzed and combined with historical data and deep industry knowledge to predict an upcoming failure so that planned maintenance can be performed. This avoids the cost and delays associated with a random failure.

Predictive Maintenance can be a Gamechanger

Predictive maintenance, based on predictive analytics, detects possible failures ahead of time to take corrective action at the right time, to avoid unscheduled maintenance and unplanned downtime, mitigating project risks and reducing costs.  While this is a significant improvement over traditional maintenance approaches, there is more that can be done.  Other sources of data can improve analysis and add additional dimensions to decision making.

Operational data describes how an organization functions daily. For a construction company, this might include machine operator scheduling and history, technician maintenance assignments, or to which project part of the fleet is assigned. Analyzing this data provides insight into how, when, and by whom a machine is being used and maintained. Another source of data—business data—might include capital costs and depreciation, machine warranty, machine maintenance history, and spare parts inventory.

Combining, storing, and analyzing all this data is the kind of ‘deep learning’ required to take the next step in improving business processes. Combining telematics data with logistics data could allow for greater insight into drivers who are particularly tough on their machines, flagging the need for driver coaching. It could flag a technician whose machines have fewer problems in the field, providing an opportunity to share best practices. For heavy equipment OEMs, this data could facilitate better design and performance of their machines. Bringing business data into the analysis could result in a decision not to spend excess dollars just on parts when a machine is coming towards the end of its useful life.

Driving Better Insights

Fleet telematics application

The technology for aggregating and analyzing this big data exists today. Applying analytics to this aggregated data is where new and important insights can be found and where business outcomes can be improved. The challenge for organizations is to share the data between departmental silos and, perhaps more importantly, between organizations.

From better maintenance outcomes to improved asset lifecycle management to better machine design, the insights gained when data is shared benefit the entire ecosystem, from OEMs to construction companies to equipment users. Businesses that adopt solutions that enable predictive maintenance have an opportunity to improve businesses processes, reduce costs and increase competitiveness.

ORBCOMM’s heavy equipment solution is analytics-ready and we’ll be enhancing our portfolio in 2019 with new and upgraded devices, enhancing the user experience and standards support in our management application and adding connectivity options.  Talk to the ORBCOMM team at Bauma Stand C4.639-G, US Pavillion.

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Posted in 2. Heavy Equipment Tagged with: , , ,

Canadian ELD Mandate Update: What We Know So Far 

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canadian e-log solutionThe Canadian ELD implementation process is expected to start this year. While final confirmation is not yet available, Canadian Transportation Authorities have indicated that it will closely follow the ELD implementation process used in the U.S. This is good news for Canadian carriers who already run cross-border businesses. Canadian ELD rules will apply to motor carriers, commercial truck and bus drivers.   

Why Canadian ELDs? 

Transport Canada shares generally the same reasons for introducing ELDs as the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations (FMCSA.) It has outlined its plans via the Regulations Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations (Electronic Devices and Other Amendments).  

ELDs help to bring about safer roads and prevent fatigue amongst drivers—a consistent danger to fleets. The government says “commercial motor vehicle drivers are particularly at risk because of the monotonous nature of their work, extended work days, irregular schedules and poor sleep hygiene. The regulations are intended to help normalize the driver’s natural sleep rhythms and to provide opportunities for daily rest to help drivers recover from the effects of fatigue while accommodating the efficient and economic movement of goods and passengers.” Canadian ELD are being implemented to increase driver safety and well being. 

ELD device

Other benefits outlined in the document include fairer competition for carriers, better cross-border relations with U.S. regulatory requirements, proper compliance with HOS rules and better quality of life for drivers.  

Canadian vs. U.S. ELD: What’s the difference?  

Many fleets already have experience with ELD compliance. With nearly 80 Canada-U.S. truck crossing points, fleets have adjusted to the cross-border process. The Canadian ELD will help to ensure this cross-border consistency continues. When drivers can seamlessly move across the borders, goods can do the same.  

canadian eld devicesHowever, there will be some differences between the Canadian and U.S. ELDs, in part due to the different regulations already in place for Canadian carriers. Some of the differences between Canadian and U.S. ELDs include: 

  • The Canadian mandate is set to apply to trucks manufactured in 1995 or after. The U.S. rule applies to trucks from 2000 or newer. 
  • Law enforcement sharing will differ. In Canada drivers must display driving information to officials, but not at the same level of detail as is required in the U.S. This is because Canada measures in a different way, through Cycles.  
  • Canadian ELD mandate will require a change in status in personal conveyance if a driver goes beyond a 75km measurement within a 24-hour period. The U.S. ELD has different requirements.  

A timeline for Canadian ELD 

It is expected that the introduction of ELD in Canada will mirror the timeline of the process in the U.S. There, the FMCSA published the rule in 2015, with a phase-in compliance from December 2017. The phase-in process sees the mandatory use of ELDs with existing AOBRDs grandfathered for two years. ELDs will be mandatory by December 2019. 

In Canada, motor carriers and drivers will have two years to prepare for the implementation of ELDs. This gives carriers the time to select and install ELDs and train their drivers in how to use them.  

Within those two years of transition, drivers and carriers will be exempt from compliance with the new ELD provisions. After the two-year transition period, full compliance will be required.  

According to the Government of Canada Gazette: “For those drivers who would be using an Electronic Recording Device (ERD) immediately before the ELD amendments come into force, an additional two-year transitional period has been included in the Regulations.”  

Chat with usThe precise timeline for the introduction of the Canadian ELD is still under review. It is expected that the timeline will be like that of the introduction of ELDs in the U.S., with a public comment period, publication, compliance date and end of a grandfather clause. 

We anticipate updates in the coming weeks. Until then, talk to ORBCOMM about our ELD products and find out how they can help your fleet be prepared for Canadian ELD.

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

2018’s Top IoT, Telematics and Monitoring Stories

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aobrd to eld telematics solutionsIn 2018, industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology and the evolution of telematics continued their rapid advances into all our markets, across land and maritime transportation, supply chain, heavy equipment, and other key industrial and government sectors.

IoT permeates so many parts of our lives now and fleet owners, shipping operators, and port managers are all benefiting from advances in this technology. The intersection of big data, hardware, software, and analytics are evident in every element of the supply and cold chain.

As the global leader in industrial IoT, M2M and fleet telematics, ORBCOMM keeps a very close eye on which IIoT applications are surfacing in different industries. Here we take another look at the different use cases we wrote about this year, a deeper dive to learn how IIoT, telematics and remote monitoring is reshaping the world we live in.

Read more ›

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

A Look Back at 2018: ORBCOMM’s Year of Growth, Insight and Innovation

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fleet telematics webinarAs we look forward to another eventful year, ORBCOMM would like to wish every success in 2019 to all our customers, channel partners, suppliers and business colleagues around the world. As usual, we are taking a moment to look back over the last 12 months and forward at the year to come. We hope you’ll enjoy the round-up below, which also includes links to various knowledge resources.  

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology remains on a rapid adoption curve as part of the accelerating global trend to digitalization and automation within the Fourth Industrial Revolution

This trend is reflected this year in our subscriber base growth across land and maritime transportation, supply chain, heavy equipment and other key industrial and government sectors. As recently reported, we hit 2.3 million subscribers this September and expect to have added 350-400,000 new subscribers by the time we usher in the New Year.

Integrating data across transportation modes and assets

Transportation and supply chain are among our largest markets and earlier this year, IoT analyst Berg Insight again named ORBCOMM as the largest global provider of cargo unit tracking solutions. Berg estimates that the installed base of tracking devices across road trailers, containers, rail freight wagons, air cargo containers, cargo boxes and pallets reached 3.7 million in 2017 and will mushroom to 8.9 million by 2022, with the intermodal container market playing a key role in the next phase of growth.  

A big focus for our transportation team in 2018 has been to integrate truck connectivity alongside our established OTR trailer and intermodal container solutions, following our 2017 acquisition of inthinc, Inc and Blue Tree Systems Ltd. Mid-year we announced the launch of our next generation FleetManager cloud-based software, which allows users to manage data from multiple asset types on a single digital platform, including trucks, trailers, reefers and containers.

 While clients often come on-board for a specific application to start with, once the data starts to flow we are seeing many opting to expand their solution to other equipment classes, as well as wanting to integrate data from and with other systems for a truly unified, comprehensive view. Aggregating ever-larger amounts of data on a single platform is helping our clients to unlock new business insights and reach new levels of process automation. Automation and streamlining of Pre-Trip Inspections (PTIs) for reefer containers is just one case in point.

As more departments start to consume IIoT data – from the C-suite down – it’s vital that users get to see just the data they want, in the format and frequency that they want. That’s why we have made FleetManager open, scalable and intuitive, with highly configurable dashboards and widgets, an array of customizable live and historical reports and intelligent search functionality. API integrations also help ensure interoperability with other platforms and enterprise systems.

We’ve also been busy adding new functionality to our truck connectivity solutions, including TachoVision software – the industry’s most advanced, one-stop tachograph management – which is now available on the FleetManager platform along with fuel management, driver scoring, vehicle inspection and reporting, GPS tracking, in-cab messaging and jobs.  

The vital importance of trucking and truck drivers to the global economy and world trade has been in the spotlight in 2018, not least due to the new ELD legislation in the USA which caused some shocks to import and export supply chains early this year and an endemic shortage of truck drivers on an international basis.

Governments and industry alike are increasingly looking at how new technology can play a role in improving truck driver safety, health and productivity, and as a recruitment and retention tool. We’ve published a variety of articles and guides on key trucking trends during the year including technology adoption in the oil and gas segment, how to tackle distracted driving, key elements of a fleet safety program and getting drivers on-board with fuel economy programs. 

You may also be interested in our recent webinar with Inmarsat and Verizon that explores how embedded IoT and M2M are helping manage supply chain complexity across land, sea, and air modes. 

Adding intelligence to data with analytics

In one of our other major developments for the year, ORBCOMM is now offering cloud-based data analytics to customers in our core transportation and logistics, supply chain and heavy equipment markets.

Launched in August our analytics service responds to customer demand for more sophisticated business intelligence tools. Use cases already identified include refrigerated transport operational performance, operational cycle and dwell time management, condition delivery management, fleet driver performance, predictive machine breakdown and shutdown, preventative maintenance planning, and business optimization.

Analytics will be a major focus of development for 2019 and, as we work internally and with key customers to explore the technology, we fully expect to see more use cases and applications emerging. This really is just the start.  

Taking cold chain telematics to the next level

While open software, cloud platforms, and advanced BI tools are a major focus of development, we certainly aren’t neglecting telematics devices and sensors. This November saw the launch of our new CT 3000 series of cold chain telematics devices for refrigerated containers, including a reusable, ‘trip-based’ solution that gives all types of companies the ability to monitor containers whether they own them or not. The new devices were officially launched at the Intermodal Europe expo and as we reported in our post-show blog are smaller, lighter and quicker to install – around 10 minutes per device.

As we discussed in this interview with The Loadstar magazine during Intermodal Europe the trip-based device is a timely addition in today’s maritime container world dominated by shipping alliances and vessel sharing agreements, where boxes from many different shipping lines can be loaded onto a single vessel.

Looking forward, we anticipate further advances in mesh technology, sensors and short-range communications like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to continue opening up new tracking possibilities for our clients. That includes being able to track pallet-level sensors ‘through the box’ by using container and trailer telematics as a ‘gateway’ for cargo to talk to the world while goods are in-transit. This latter capability is expected to be of particular interest for cold chain applications, one of the hottest markets for IIoT solutions. We joined fellow cold chain professionals at the Cool Logistics conference this October to explore key trends in the reefer sector and you can read our five key takeaways here.

Satellite services and solutions – expanding into China

Of course, satellite is at the heart of our business, both as an integral component enabling many IIoT solutions – especially for industries and geographies where cellular connectivity is limited – and also to provide AIS and other data for mission-critical maritime operations across shipping, fishing and more.

We were excited to announce this October that we have received regulatory approval to provide satellite services and solutions in China, the world’s 2nd largest economy China is investing hugely in advanced technologies across nearly every walk of life and business and there are great opportunities to be part of this expansion.

We will be building our first China Gateway Earth Station (GES), with more in the pipeline, and working with local partner Asia Pacific Navigation Telecommunications Satellite (APNTS) to develop new business across the heavy equipment, transportation and logistics, and maritime industries.

In another satellite innovation, we provided advanced satellite technology as part of a ground-breaking initiative by UK company Clearwater Tracking that aims to revolutionize the business of marine insurance. 

Clearwater is one of the many value-added resellers (VARs), distributors, solution providers, system integrators and developers that use ORBCOMM’s IIoT and satellite technology as part of their solutions. These are crucial partners for ORBCOMM and our recent webinar explores in more detail how VARs can make the most of their IIoT technology investment.

Over the coming few years, digitalization, automation and other smart technologies will transform just about every business on the planet as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Connected, visible assets are a critical piece of the equation, helping users remotely track and control not just equipment, but equally operational flows, across the globe in real-time and generating huge amounts of data to feed advanced analytics and other emerging technologies like blockchain. 

At ORBCOMM, we will continue to develop our capabilities, offering expertise to support our clients in the journey to the future.  We look forward to working with you in 2019 and beyond.

PS. You can view and download all case studies, webinars and white papers from our website Knowledge Centre or just get in touch and we’ll be happy to email them to you.

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

One-Year Itch: 9 Reasons to Switch from Your Current ELD Solution

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aobrd to eld telematics solutionsWe are one year in with one year to go in the ELD phase-in process. There are 365 days to go until the mandatory use of ELDs will be introduced on December 16, 2019, the final date for full ELD mandate compliance.

While the path has not always been smooth, ELDs have broadly been good news for the trucking industry. According to Clem Driscoll of C.J. Driscoll & Associates, total revenue, largely driven by the mandate, has doubled since 2015, to $1.1 billion.

While it is estimated that 96% of fleets are ELD compliant, many carriers and drivers who are subject to the rule chose to comply with existing AOBRDs which were grandfathered for two years. The big switch is yet to take place. Operators have until December 2019 to move their existing AOBRDs to ELDs and so 2019 will be the vital period for fleets still using AOBRDs.

ELDs have been seen to be good news, but how much good news for your business depends directly on your choice of vendor. CEO of TransSafe Consulting, Annette Sandberg says poor quality ELDs are a reason behind a lot of fleet problems. She told the FTR Transportation Conference:

“We’ve seen a number of vendors struggle to meet requirements and some of that struggle is born on behalf of the carrier. So if you’re a small carrier – say, five to 10 trucks – and didn’t have a lot of money to do initial due-diligence testing on a device and you went with something based solely on cost, and you bought a cheap system, that’s probably exactly what you have: a cheap system.”

To try to remove the pain, it may be time to reconsider your original ELD vendor choice or to review your current AOBRD provider. Here are 9 reasons why you should consider switching from your current ELD solution. Read more ›

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

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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