We live in a data-driven world. Data is driving decision-making in all facets of business, and the trucking industry is no exception. Today’s fleet owners and managers are under unprecedented pressure to control costs and improve productivity, and many rely on data from their transport management systems to direct their operations.
Temperature management telematics solutions are an integral part of a refrigerated fleet’s “big data” picture. When these telematics solutions are enabled, they open a window into the real-time operations of the fleet and provide critical visibility of temperature sensitive cargo and their refrigeration equipment over the road. Thus, providing a more comprehensive assessment of the fleet.
Improve maintenance planning
When refrigeration unit engine hours and alarms are integrated into fleet maintenance management systems, it improves refrigeration equipment maintenance planning and scheduling and is another good example of how to fully optimize telematics data. The ability to remotely download the refrigeration unit datalogger to get a more in-depth view of refrigeration unit health using systems like TracKing further enhances maintenance efficiencies and asset up-time. Preventative maintenance not only saves valuable time, it also takes the unknown out of maintenance pricing so fleets can better control costs and easily route trucks to the nearest service location.
What to consider with data integration
When deciding if and how they should integrate their refrigerated telematics data into their business operations systems, fleet managers should consider the following:
- What are their data gaps and what level of visibility do they need?
- Do they want to manage trailer and refrigeration equipment usage like they do their tractors and drivers?
- Do their dispatchers need to know what’s happening over the road?
- Do their customers expect them to prove on-time delivery and that cargo was maintained at their specified temperature throughout the journey?
- Does their refrigerated telematics solution provider have a flexible, open platform making it easy to customize and integrate?
- Does their refrigerated telematics solutions partner understand the value of temperature and refrigerated equipment data?
Fleet managers should understand what data they need, who within their operations needs access to data and how the data will used. Once this is determined, they should work with providers of their transport management systems and refrigerated telematics solutions to ensure that integrated data is customized in their systems to meet their specific needs. By choosing the proper refrigerated telematics solutions can increase cargo protection; improve asset utilization and increase fleet up-time.
Data integration delivers actionable data
Depending on the size of the company, multiple stakeholders from operations to maintenance utilize data, but their needs and how the data is used can vary greatly. The true value of the data is realized when separate management systems are seamlessly integrated into business operations and stakeholders have access to actionable data to make sound decisions and improve response times.
For refrigerated fleets, a delayed response time can result in a lost load. That’s why Thermo King, for example, partnered with various telematics providers to offer remote temperature monitoring and management solutions. As satellite and cellular technologies have evolved, Thermo King’s remote monitoring capabilities have rapidly adapted to deliver its third-generation telematics solution, TracKing.
TracKing is an example of a flexible temperature and asset management solution that can integrate temperature data, refrigeration unit operating parameters, trailer locations and much more to give fleets the ability to monitor critical cargo and their refrigeration equipment through the dispatch process from pickup through delivery.
Integration of temperature and reefer alarms, door status and fuel level notifications is where refrigerated fleets often find the greatest value. These notifications help fleet managers monitor unauthorized or extended usage of their refrigerated trailers as well as manage fuel usage and costs.
Prior to dispatching assets, fleet managers can confirm their units are alarm-free, fully fueled and ready for their journey with the peace of mind that these essential elements are monitored to the point of delivery.
Every fleet is unique in how they use technology and data. A hybrid approach works for some fleets that employ an integrated system for dispatch and maintenance, but see the value of some stakeholders accessing a standalone refrigerated telematics solution to take corrective actions, access historical reports and get more insight into their refrigeration equipment operations.
The TracKing website, for example, now allows fleets to access critical operational data and interact with their refrigerated trailers all from the main tracking page. Because no two fleets are alike, data integration needs to be customized. It’s important to partner with a refrigerated telematics solutions provider that understands the refrigerated transport business and has forged strong partnerships with transport management solutions companies.
Once telematics data is integrated into a fleet’s dispatch or asset maintenance management system, all stakeholders have access to powerful and actionable information to efficiently run their fleet and improve operations.
This article was contributed by Gayatri Abbott of Thermo King.