Werner Gets Trucking With Cold Chain Monitoring

Orbcomm's telematics service will monitor the conditions of perishable goods that Werner hauls, while helping it manage its fleet more effectively.
By Michael Belfiore
Feb 03, 2015

Orbcomm, a machine-to-machine (M2M) communications company based in Rochelle Park, N.J., announced last month that it had signed trucking firm Werner as a customer for its cold chain monitoring services.

The Werner deal, says Orbcomm CEO Marc Eisenberg, gives his company "a lion's share of the large fleets out there." Besides Werner, which is one of the largest trucking businesses in the United States, Orbcomm also counts among its customers such refrigerated trucking giants as J.B. Hunt, Marten, Prime Inc., C.R. England and Walmart.

Marc Eisenberg
Orbcomm's refrigerated truck-tracking service consists of its RT 6000+ communications device, which monitors temperature levels, locations and other variables, such as fuel levels, and ReeferTrak, a Web-based application that trucking dispatch teams can use to monitor vehicles outfitted with Orbcomm's technology. The device will be installed in all of Werner's approximately 1,000 refrigerated trucks, bringing the total number of refrigerated trucks monitored by Orbcomm to approximately 90,000 worldwide.

Back at their home offices, dispatchers working for Werner or other Orbcomm customers can log into the ReeferTrak application to view data about their fleets that is updated as often as once a minute. The system alerts dispatchers to temperature swings in the trucks that might damage cargo, such as ice cream or fish, and helps them keep tabs on the vehicles' locations, as well as spot unexpected drops in fuel levels that might indicate theft—all without drivers having to exit their vehicles. Since the RT 6000+ plugs directly into each refrigerated trailer's central processing unit, it also enables dispatchers to turn refrigeration units on and off, and to change temperature settings remotely, via the cellular modem. In addition, dispatchers can alert drivers by phone to any issues that cannot be addressed remotely.

"What it can do for Werner," Eisenberg says of the monitoring system, "is that it can absolutely save loads. If it's at the wrong [refrigeration] setting, you can lose your load. If you run out of fuel, you can lose your load." The solution also allows Werner and other Orbcomm customers to monitor driver behavior that contributes to fuel waste, such as excessive idling.

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