Up to the minute telematics

Up to the minute telematics

The South African transport industry isn’t only fast paced; it faces many risks as well … luckily there is software available to provide risk management solutions.

According to the Road Freight Association – an organisation that influences the state of the industry, from rates to driver interests and health – truck hijackings increased by ten percent from 2013 to May this year, with a total of 1 200 hijackings taking place at an estimated cost of R12 billion.

Hein Jordt, managing director of Ctrack Fleet Management Solutions, states that the cargo is usually the intended target: “Hijackers target loads that either offer high-value goods – such as cellphones, tablets and expensive alcohol – for which they have a definite market, or loads that can be disposed of swiftly – such as nappies, cigarettes or any fast-moving consumer goods.”

Jerry Pierce, operations manager at Cartrack, adds: “Hijackers may be looking for a specific cargo, such as high-value electronic goods or grocery items, among others. On other occasions the actual vehicle or its trailers may be the target.

“Cargo items find their way back into the economy, the black market, or are shipped across the border. Vehicles and trailers are stripped for parts, shipped across the border or are simply relicensed, with the aid of corrupt officials, and put back on our roads.”

These crimes cost the economy, the insurance industry and operators billions. “It’s not just the cost of replacing the vehicle and its cargo, but the reputational damage that comes with it,” explains Pierce.

There is, however, some respite for the industry. The new service Positioning+ (a service within Dynafleet; a fleet management system from Volvo Trucks) makes it possible to track a vehicle’s geographic location, minute by minute, thus assisting time-critical transport operations.

“One good example is the concrete industry,” explains Johan Östberg, product specialist at Volvo Trucks. “Timing is everything – down to the very minute the truck must roll up to take delivery of its load of concrete.

“When mixing concrete, the mixture is individually adjusted to match the time needed for loading and the time needed for delivery and casting. With Positioning+ it is possible to precisely determine when the truck will arrive and to prepare the concrete blend accordingly.”

Apart from the real-time positioning feature, this service makes it possible to define a geographic area, a route or an entire country and receive messages every time a truck passes through these defined areas.

This is particularly useful in warehousing operations, where staff need to know when a truck arrives and when it leaves so they can carry out follow-up activities. For certain types of transport the positioning service also offers additional benefits.

“If a truck deviates from its route, the system issues an alert. This creates a safer, more secure working environment for drivers hauling high-value goods,” explains Östberg.

Tip-top telematics

Geotab’s end-to-end fleet tracking solution has been named a finalist in the IT Products and Services for Transportation category, of the 10th Annual 2015 IT World Awards, by the technology research and advisory guide Network Products Guide.

“We’re excited to be recognised by the IT industry for our advanced GPS fleet tracking technology and its immense impact on the transportation industry,” says Colin Sutherland, Geotab’s vice president of sales. “Geotab will continue to produce premium hardware and software that serves as the most scalable, reliable and secure telematics technology available.”

This end-to-end solution, which is made up of Geotab’s GO7 telematics device and MyGeotab fleet management software, allows fleet managers to track productivity, optimise their fleet, enhance driver safety and achieve optimal compliance standards, while improving on- and off-road safety. It also supports all major vehicle manufacturers globally.

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