As trucking companies move closer to the goal of driverless vehicles, the technology that will enable this mission continues to improve. With this improvement comes a vast amount of information regarding the status of a given load. Enter the fleet of trailer telematics fueled by cloud technology.
What is trailer telematics?
Trailer telematics refers to a suite of technologies that provides the visibility needed to allow fleet managers to better control the key elements that impact the effectiveness of their fleet out in the field:
- Finding viable trailers to use out in the field
- Optimizing the rate that trailers get loaded, to ensure that as many tractors as possible have a viable load
- Providing alerts when pickups and deliveries are made
- Tracking the location and status of trailers between the point of load and the point of delivery
- Tracking the status of various elements of a trailer (wheels, lights, etc.) to ensure that they are in working order
How does trailer telematics work?
Essentially, a suite of devices are installed on a given trailer, and these devices monitor various aspects of the trailer in question, and relay them back to a cloud server, where the data is delivered back to the trailer owner, normally via a web interface.
The presence of cloud technology here is key.
Telematics companies are really SaaS solution providers masquerading as hardware dealers, and this allows for surprising extensions in functionality. While many of these capabilities are reactive in nature, an additional and still-evolving benefit to these technologies is the ability to provide predictive analytics to proactively react to potential problems.
With all of this data in the cloud, the application of AI analytics allows providers to mine this raw data for useful information, which can allow companies to proactively manage everything from security to regulations:
What does this mean for distributors?
For distributors leveraging their own fleet, the benefits should be self-evident — better opportunities to keep trucks on the road. But even for distributors working through third-party logistics providers, there are several potential benefits that might be available.
One immediate opportunity relates to visibility of delivery. The location control aspects of telematics allow for a real-time understanding of where your delivery currently resides, whether incoming or outgoing. This should allow distributors to plan for the realities of delivery timing, while also providing opportunities for expediting, negotiation, and accountability management in real time, allowing proactive companies to be the “squeakiest wheel” on the trailer.
Time and Tracking
As customers demand tighter delivery schedules, the ability to track your product to the day and to hour becomes critical, and your 3PL (third-party logistics) should, at some point, be able to provide this level of information. Moreover, as trailer location control becomes a reality, the ability to locate and schedule backhauls, based on the specific location of a given rig at any moment, becomes a reality.
Cloud technology helps distributors get the information they need to stay competitive.
The lesson to be learned here is that the information is out there, and it’s only getting better. Ask your freight provider whether they have that information, and how they can make it available to you.
Wondering how cloud technology will fit into your distribution technology plan for 2022 and beyond? Contact our cloud specialists today. Our IT industry experts would love to begin a conversation about trailer telematics solutions, supply chain management, data analytics, or other trends affecting distributors of the future. Reduce costs today by moving your trailer data to the EstesCloud platform, a private cloud hosting solution with hybrid cloud options. Support your telematics technology with help from our cloud consultants.
EstesCloud is the ultimate cybersecurity and backup and disaster recovery solution for manufacturers and distributors. Keep web-enabled and web-driven data safe. Secure your telematics devices through the preventative maintenance strategy of cutting-edge cloud technology. Private cloud technology helps you reduce maintenance costs while also protecting you against the risks of highly connected solutions like trailer telematics systems. Got trailer tracking on your company roadmap? The weather’s never been better to drive your commercial vehicles into a custom cloud built to fit the needs of your business. Smart cloud, smart trailer.