Sprint touts new tools for transportation challenges

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With increasing fuel costs, transportation companies are searching for cost-effective solutions to maintain a competitive edge. With more than a decade of experience in providing enhanced communication solutions to the transportation industry, Sprint says it understands this challenge and offers a suite of mobile solutions to help improve productivity of mobile workers with GPS-based applications, instant voice communications and secure remote access to corporate data and customer information.

With mobility solutions including Nextel Direct Connect, Sprint Mobile Broadband cards, GPS solutions, such as ActSoft CometTracker, Telenav Track, Xora GPS TimeTrack, Sprint customers have the ability to:

Dispatch workers and jobs more efficiently
Increase on-time delivery and improve customer satisfaction
Maintain hours of service (HOS) compliance
Minimize delays and costs with accurate tracking of goods, drivers and trailers.

The RouteTracker solution powered by Turnpike Global and available from Sprint, offers transportation companies the ability to track odometer readings from their trucks, fuel efficiency, GPS coordinates and other fleet data right from Nextel Bluetooth-enabled phones used by truck drivers. This information is then passed through a data network to the end user, who can pull reports via the Internet at the terminal or anywhere there is access to an Internet connection.

“In keeping up with our promise to offer innovative solutions to our customers, Sprint is working on a strategic initiative with Ford to offer the first broadband-capable in-dash computer that will provide full high-speed Internet access via the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network, said John Higgins, director of transportation and distribution at Sprint.

In addition, bar-code scanning solutions from Sprint, such as AirClic MP, allow customers to wirelessly track inventory and packages, instantly initiate activity after capturing information, update inventories on the go to efficiently manage supply chain and continuously update the status and location of assets in the field. Sprint says it also offers wireless payment solutions on its handsets that allow customers to instantly collect and track credit-card payments for purchases at point of sale in a secure manner, improve cash flow with fast, paperless billing and reduce fraud and charge-backs with real-time authorization.

Nextel Direct Connect, the national push-to-talk network, and the instant one-to-one and one-to-many capability of Group Connect, help customers to make business decisions quickly, boost productivity and save time and money, the company says. More advanced services on Nextel phones allow customers to send a voice message to any email address using Nextmail, and share contact information and send pictures with the Direct Send feature.

Republic Services Inc., a provider of solid waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services has been using and benefiting from Nextel Direct Connect over the past few years.

Bill Halnon, chief information officer for Republic Services, says “the immediacy of Nextel Direct Connect technology is an ideal solution that allows instant conversations with our waste services fleet drivers, and we’ve been replacing LMR radio systems and other mobile devices with Nextel devices. Direct Connect enables our dispatch team to communicate immediately with the drivers to discuss dispatching, routing/re-routing and maintenance, thus leading to productivity gains.”

Halnon adds, “We also find great value in using the Nextmail capability which allows drivers to quickly record a voice message with just the push of a button regarding status of a pickup or to report a problem while on their route, which is then emailed to dispatch so they may react accordingly. We’re working with Sprint to explore additional push-to-x services to further enhance communications between dispatch and drivers.”