Trailer Telematics: To Track or Not to Track

When it comes to trailer telematics, fleet owners and operators often wonder if the ROI is significant enough to justify the investment. Trailer telematics have come a long way in the past few years. Trailer tracking devices have become more powerful and affordable, while increased competition has driven airtime costs to an all time low. Telematics providers are now able to incorporate cellular and satellite connectivity based on individual messaging needs for one low monthly fee.

Whether you manage a fleet of 50 or 5000 trailers, a telematics solution can help you streamline your trailer operations and achieve significant cost savings.

Here are some of the benefits and ROI drivers you can expect from a trailer telematics solution:

Reduce dwell and detention times: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), detention costs the trucking industry more than $3 billion in lost time and productivity. A trailer tracking solution can help you track trailer status and identify assets that have been at a yard or a customer’s location for an extended time to ensure quick corrective measures are taken.

Facilitate detention billing: Compensate for lost revenue by tracking detention time and enabling billing. A trailer tracking solution can flag assets that have exceed grace periods and provide the necessary data for carriers to bill for extra time.

Optimize trailer utilization and turn-time: Trailer telematics can help you improve tractor-to-trailer ratios by up to 15%, so you can deliver the same number of loads with fewer trailers. This is a huge savings to your business considering the average cost of a new trailer in the US is $50,000. Real-time arrival and departure alerts as well as inventory management capabilities also help streamline dispatch operations and ensure that drivers always go to the right location and find trailers quickly.

Prevent cargo theft and unauthorized use: Cargo and commercial vehicle theft continues to be an issue for transportation and logistics companies around the world. Earlier this year, CargoNet reported $175 million of cargo stolen in 2015 in the US and Canada alone. A telematics solution makes it possible for fleet operators to receive alerts when a trailer enters or leaves a specific location or when it deviates from its planned route. Door and cargo sensors enable alarms when a door opens or closes or when cargo is removed from a trailer. With access to real-time data, carriers can quickly react to a possible theft situation and minimize losses.

For trailers travelling through remote isolated areas, satellite connectivity becomes a driver’s lifeline as it guarantees driver-dispatch communications anywhere and at any time. This is particularly important for trailers hauling high-value cargo or travelling through countries that may be prone to hijacking situations.

Truck Telematics diagram

Looking to track and manage refrigerated trailers?

Trailer telematics solutions enable users to remotely monitor cargo area temperature and receive alarms if values deviate from the specified range. In addition to monitoring temperature, a comprehensive, two-way trailer telematics solution also enables you to remotely set reefer temperature or turn a unit on or off.

ORBCOMM provides a wide range of trailer telematics solutions to help optimize your operations. To learn more about how we can help you optimize efficiencies and reduce costs, contact us online, email us at or post a comment below.

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