Low cost of entry
As with most technology, the cost of trailer and container monitoring systems has come down. In July 2011, Spireon entered the trailer and container tracking market with FleetLocate; the company says it now has more than 1.3 million tracking devices deployed in a number of industries. This year, the company is planning to release a new less-expensive FleetLocate tracking system.
For some fleets, intermodal service is not just a domestic business. Technology can offer low monthly pricing plans for global coverage through satellite communications and roaming agreements for cellular.
“While we are highly focused on our core North American and European markets, we are able to configure for service worldwide wherever GSM coverage exists,” says Charlie Cahill, chief executive officer of Blue Tree, which recently introduced fixed low-cost monthly plans that eliminate roaming charges previously experienced when traveling between the United States and Mexico or Canada. “This is proving very popular among our customer base,” Cahill says.
Motor carriers that provide intermodal services say customers expect the same level of service they receive from traditional offerings. Technology brings the visibility necessary to ensure on-time delivery, cargo security and load integrity, regardless of mode.
Rand McNally boosts IntelliRoute TND with Wi-Fi
Rand McNally introduced a 7-inch truck GPS device with two new features: Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing for real-time weather information and display; and new hardware with ruggedized casing, a brighter screen and video input for third-party back-up cameras. The IntelliRoute TND 720 joins Rand McNally’s line of GPS devices for professional drivers.
Dave Muscatel, chief executive officer, said real-time weather was among the top requests it received from tens of thousands of “TellRand” submissions from professional drivers. With Wi-Fi connectivity, the device can transmit and display weather as well as other real-time information. The Wi-Fi feature was designed so that drivers can connect by using their enabled smartphones as Wi-Fi hotspots.
The IntelliRoute TND 720 also includes the following new features:
• Enhanced truck routing options, including avoiding a state or province as well as dirt roads;
• Exits Quick View – With a new button on the map screen, drivers can find truck-friendly locations off the upcoming exits along a route;
• Fuel logging for tracking purchases and fuel use;
• Breadcrumb trails, an option to record and display paths traveled; and
• Increased map customization options to allow drivers to personalize the way their map appears, specify icons and import third-party POIs into their device.
All of the features and functionality from earlier models are included, such as advanced truck-specific routing, on-duty driving timers, state mileage recorders, Virtual Dashboard and the ability to download construction and software updates.
Rand McNally also announced a new pricing plan, features and warranty program for its TND 760 Fleet Edition. For $649 for the hardware and $19.95 per month for service, trucks can be equipped with a fully compliant EOBR system. For $799, the device comes with Rand McNally’s navigation. Lease options are available starting at $39 per month for qualifying fleets.
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