Telematics is the basis to connect trailers and containers to the internet and transmit data that will enable companies to gain deep insights into their operations. But how do telematics solutions work excatly and what are the key benefits?
The main goal of telematics is to help identify optimization potential of the combined transport journeys. The trailers and containers get equipped with a sensor device, which offers multiple functions for example tracking and tracing, temperature and light monitoring, impact and acceleration etc. The collected information is then sent from the sensor via the cellular network and transferred to a central database. The database stores all information until it is accessed for deeper analysis to support fast and precise decisions.
Telematics 2.0 is the name for IoT based telematics technology, which is used in the automotive industry. Telematic suppliers utilise smartphone technologies like communication prototcols and sensors. The leading automotive insurers drove this development to track clients based on their diving behavior and hence adopt the risk premium of their services.
Current telematic solutions often deploy GSM Gateways to send encrypted information via short text messages to the predefined number of the telematic service provider. The telematic service provider holds the customer data in proprietary closed data sinks. That blocks sharing the collected information with suppliers and customers and to develop new use cases with value added services. Many customers want to aggregate the real time tracking data with other information like orders, feedback or customer data. To improve the interoperability the data needs to be exchanged in a open, secure and standardized way.
This market need of an open vendor undependent telematic platform try to solve T-Systems with TelematicOne and MAN with the RIO platform. MAN called their software as a Service solution cloud-based Operating system for the global supply chain. These meta-systems of telematic systems is a very important enabler for the digitalization of the logistic industry.
The trend of open data for automotive and intermodal public transportation like the mobile app Ally is also interesting for the intermodal freight business. From these examples freight companies can learn how to visualize the flow of information in a complex supply chain and optimize the journey time. Real time tracking can improve and verify the data quality of available routes and capacities. The related article How open data will change intermodal freight describes open accessable data streamen for logistics on the rail and road.
Sensorization is the enabler for advanced use cases for intermodal freight transport
- time schedule validation
- journey optimization
- dynamic pricing
- service guaranties penilities
- automatic pay on demand (per T/KM)
- insuarance / damage and theft protection
The European Commission started many R&D programs for example with Horizion 2020 and Shift2Rail with the aim to make intermodal transport on rail and inland waterways more visible. Universities like TU Berlin and TU Dresden research how open data can be shared for specific use cases (like traffic warnings) in consideration of data privacy, intellectual properties and information security. Hereby the Global Open Data Index publishes trends on public accessable data. Also global transportation and logistics players like for example Deutsche Bahn started Open Data initatives to make rail Freight more attactive and competitive using modern telematics.
Today only few companies in the combined transport market use modern telematic solutions to optimize their supply chains. If your company would like to get involved, we recommend to pay attention to the following requirements for an asset tracking device:
- Real-time (10 mins) and event based (stopped, turn) geolocation via GPS
- Shock detection via XYZ Accelerator sensors to identify the cause of damage
- Long distance and low power communications with GSM, LTE-M, ES-GSM
- Long life battery (>12 Months) or solar panel
- Low power consumation
- Smart energy saving and evening model
- Remote depoyment of configuration and rules (geofencing, event-based wake-up & reporting)
- Sufficient protection of theft of the tracking device
- Protection by environmental damage of the tracking device (humitity, dust min. IP67)
- Operating temperature of -20°C to + 60°C
- Internal GSM & GPS Antennas to reduce the installation effort
- Industrialised SIM
- protocol and guarantee the cool chain with temperature and huminity sensors
- lone or more light or infrared or motion detection sensor inside the asset for theft protection
- RF-ID Reader to identifer the loaded goods
- Hybride communication with cell and satellite
- Accurate position of the container via NFER or WiFi
We scanned the market for autarkic tracking devices for trailers and containers in the intermodal supply chain and can recommend the following tracking devices:
- Bosch Amra – Autarkic M2M solution for specialist for train freight cars
- ORBCOMM – GT 1100 (US based telematic supplier with dual cell+satellite comms, specialisted for ocean containers, Solar Panel + battery, 3 million installed devices)
- CE+ Rosenberger (Solar, GPS, Temp, Shock, Development and Production in Austria/Germany)
- idem telematics for trailer (Solar trailer tracking device or Fixed vehicle installation on EBS interface)
- Queclink GL505 (compact and simple GPS tracking device)
- Telic – Pico Track Endurance Solar (Solar, GPS, Shock, Remote Update and Configuration)
- Hirschmann – HS-2000 (Solar, GPS, Motion, tamper and temperature sensor, door, satellite optional)
- TrendFire – roadloxTRAILER (Autarkic tracking unit on EBS)