CFI selects GeoLogic for upgrades, tests

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GeoLogic Solutions, a provider of multimode communications and tracking systems, has announced that Contract Freighters Inc. (CFI) will upgrade its MobileMax mobile communications and fleet management systems with GeoLogic’s new Cingular Wireless GPRS data solution by the end of 2006. In addition, early next year the truckload carrier will begin testing GeoLogic’s new Color Display Unit (CDU), a Windows CE-based touch-screen technology designed to provide a host of time- and cost-saving capabilities.

CFI fields about 2,600 tractors and 7,100 trailers in truckload service for customers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The long-standing GeoLogic customer has utilized every evolution of the company’s tracking and communications solutions since the early 1990s. “In terms of capabilities and costs, GeoLogic has consistently met our needs for many years,” says Herb Schmidt, president and chief executive officer of Joplin, Mo.-based CFI. “We are now adopting the new GPRS solution for its better data coverage and the ability it offers to further streamline our operation and communicate more effectively and efficiently with drivers and customers.”

Late last year, GeoLogic Solutions announced that its customers now have the Cingular high-speed digital data GPRS network as an additional communications option. The new choice is designed to provide expanded terrestrial wireless coverage, faster data rates and increased data capability, including wireless downloads of mobile software. The Cingular GPRS network is available to new customers and as an upgrade option for existing MobileMax users.

GeoLogic also recently announced the introduction of its CDU, a Windows-based touchscreen designed to be highly rugged and driver-friendly while offering a range of solutions, including driver logs and onboard navigation. Featuring plug-and-play compatibility with existing GeoLogic systems, the CDU operates on the industry-standard Windows CE 5.0 operating system.

Among the CDU’s features that are most attractive to CFI are its touchscreen technology that is easy for drivers to use, and the text-to-voice and navigation capabilities of the system. “Our intention is to test all new technologies which we judge to be credible and compatible to our operational needs,” Schmidt says. “We want to try new things to see how our drivers like them, how they integrate with our enterprise systems, and evaluate the ability to make our drivers’ jobs easier. With technology like the CDU, our goal is to improve the driving job by improving communication and reducing costly downtime and empty mileage, which is especially a concern at today’s higher fuel prices.

“Getting proper driving directions into a destination is a source of frustration for drivers across the industry,” Schmidt says, “so the prospect of having a text-to-voice, driver-friendly navigation system is very exciting to us. It also provides an opportunity to determine a return on investment in the CDU technology. If we can precisely direct drivers in and out of destinations over the most logical truck-friendly routes, we anticipate an improvement in accident frequencies, especially in congested areas. And while it can be hard to measure reduced driver turnover and lower retention and recruitment costs, we expect to see savings from this new GeoLogic technology in those areas.”

“The commitment by CFI, a long-standing and highly valued customer, is proof that we are taking the right steps when it comes to developing products and services with the best interests of our customers in mind,” says John Lewis, CEO of Herndon, Va.-based GeoLogic. “We’re proud to learn that CFI is extending its relationship with GeoLogic, and look forward to meeting the company’s needs for many more years to come.”