Tech shorts: Rand McNally is shipping its new low-cost ELD

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Technology news and briefs for the week of May 15, 2022: 

Shipwell launches new TMS feature

Shipwell has launched a new load optimization feature built directly into its transportation management system. It is designed to help customers significantly reduce the time it takes to plan and route shipments, the costs associated with moving them and the carbon emissions produced by the carriers hauling them by combining orders into shipments, which is often a manual process done by an individual or team within the logistics department, utilizing third-party software or spreadsheets outside of their TMS.

Shipwell co-founder and CEO Greg Price said load optimization is one of the biggest areas of need with the current capacity constraints.

Shipwell said its partners in developing the load optimization tool saved 20% to 40% by consolidating their orders into full truckload or less-than-truckload shipments and routing the trucks in the most efficient routes possible. And with efficient routing, one beta customer was able to reduce more than 10,000 pounds of carbon emissions by slashing the distance driven by more than 2,700 miles for just one shipment batch.

Shipwell’s new feature uses a proprietary algorithm to assess each individual order’s details, including size, weight, locations, pickup and delivery times to consolidate orders into the most cost-efficient routes and modes. Using the company’s integrated pricing intelligence tool, the feature forecasts individual load rates and compares them to optimized routes to provide a clear picture of potential savings.

The feature eliminates customers’ need to manually import and export data from third-party planning tools while providing shippers with the ability to customize load plans. Whenever an order is manually added or removed from a shipment plan, the algorithm automatically recalculates the cost and most efficient route for the shipment.

Rand McNally introduces new, low-cost ELD

Rand McNally has released its new Vehicle Link ELD that it says is designed for straightforward, long-term compliance.

The Vehicle Link ELD simplifies compliance by providing hours of service and driver vehicle inspection reporting with a low-cost, easy-to-use device that combines the Rand McNally fleet platform and the Rand VL app for drivers.

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“For months we’ve been hearing from fleets and drivers about potential compliance disruptions,” said Ivan Sheldon, Rand McNally vice president of product management. “It’s been a double whammy: major supply chain shortages, which means vendors are having difficulty providing ELDs to customers, plus, there are thousands of existing ELDs that rely upon 2G and 3G networks, which are being shuttered and have rendered those devices obsolete.”

The new ELD is available and shipping to customers now in the wake of AT&T and other providers’ 2G and 3G sunsets.

Samsara partners with maintenance platform

Fleet management and maintenance platforms Samsara and Whip Around have integrated their platforms to help their customers improve operational efficiency and fleet sustainability.

Combining Samsara’s IoT data with Whip Around’s fleet maintenance workflows helps fleets diagnose issues and be proactive with regular service intervals that could help reduce emissions, improve road safety and save on costs.

When the two systems are connected, odometer and engine-hour readings are automatically pulled into Whip Around from Samsara so customers never miss preventative maintenance schedules, reducing downtime and improving fuel efficiency. This comes from Samsara’s partner ecosystem and software integrations with thousands of organizations leveraging 155+ API integrations on its app marketplace, allowing Samsara to collect trillions of data points annually.

And with Whip Around’s fleet maintenance software that connects drivers, mechanics and fleet operators in an effort to improve uptime across fleet operations, drivers can efficiently and seamlessly submit defects from the Samsara and/or Whip Around apps via the Samsara Driver App. DTC fault codes, inspection defects and servicing can be grouped into work orders in Whip Around and bulk assigned to mechanics to ensure efficiency and real-time tracked workflows.

Loadsmith partners with Mastery Logistics to optimize freight network

Loadsmith, a third-party Capacity-as-a-Service (CaaS) logistics platform for shippers and carriers, has secured a new partnership to help it transition into a fully autonomous trucking company.

To power its nationwide CaaS platform, Loadsmith will deploy Mastery Logistics’ MasterMind cloud-based transportation management system to create a more efficient, economical and environmentally friendly transportation network that can help offset current overwhelming demand, bolster against future supply chain disruptions and enable more sustainable operations.

The enterprise-grade MasterMind TMS provides complete visibility across all modes of transportation, giving shippers full optimization control and the ability to leverage capacity in real-time, helping to simplify supply chain management for shippers, carriers and third-party providers by delivering scale, stability, speed and automation.

Loadsmith said MasterMind allows it to offer its shipping customers varied transportation options, including autonomous middle-mile with power-only first- and last-mile capacity. Shippers can track freight and monitor their transportation strategies in real-time using the platform, which integrates directly with the Loadsmith carrier mobile app, making it easy for drivers to find and book loads on demand.

Loadsmith said its network design and autonomous middle mile strategy aims to improve the driver shortage by offering a better quality of life for drivers by eliminating the long haul.

Loadsmith recently secured 350 autonomous trucks through TuSimple and plans to continue expanding its autonomous fleet.

SureCam secures millions in funding to spur growth

Video telematics provider SureCam has closed a $11.5 million funding round that it plans to use for continued growth.

SureCam said it will use the funds for product development and expanding its customer base more rapidly. The company has grown from fewer than 10 employees and a handful of customers in 2017 to 60 employees and more than 1,000 customers, including fleets as large as 6,000 vehicles but with a primary focuses on small and midsize businesses, particularly in the field services, utilities, construction and local delivery sectors.

Along with the new funding, SureCam adds to its board of directors investor and entrepreneur Jason Koch, co-founder of Telogis, a telematics company that was acquired by Verizon in 2016.

The round was led by SureCam’s majority shareholder Lewis & Clark Capital with participation from existing shareholders and the addition of Virginia-based CCA Financial.

Angel Coker Jones is a senior editor of Commercial Carrier Journal, covering the technology, safety and business segments. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and kayaking, horseback riding, foraging for medicinal plants and napping. She also enjoys traveling to new places to try local food, beer and wine. Reach her at [email protected].