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Scanning the globe

While it is often said that South Africa is at the forefront of the global tracking and telematics industry, it is interesting to see what others are doing. NKOSINI NGWENYA explores some current global fleet-management trends.

The South African trucking industry has over the years struggled with the epidemic of vehicle theft. According to a recent report by Avis Fleet Management: “Nissan and Scania trucks are most targeted by criminals followed by Hino, Isuzu, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi and Toyota.”

This has necessitated new approaches to fleet-management solutions that are characterised by state-of-the-art technologies and innovative methods that will reduce vehicle theft, while ensuring the optimum utilisation of trucks for trucking companies.

Leading fleet-management solutions companies in South Africa – such as Eqstra, Ctrack, MiX Telematics, and many others – offer trucking companies a wide range of products that seek to address safety, efficiency, compliance, fraud, fuel theft and other security concerns.

In addition, value-added products such as crash alert, roadside assistance, internet tracking and GPS logbook are services meant to allow South African trucking companies to keep track of their vehicles, drivers and other mobile assets at all times. This has enabled the South African industry to be at the forefront of the global tracking and telematics industry.

A closer look at the global tracking and telematics industry reveals that trucking and shipping companies in other countries – such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Arab Emirates – have all embraced contemporary fleet-management solutions to actively manage all components of a fleet.

Some of the top companies in the tracking and telematics industry globally include Telogis, P&L Software, RouteWare, Dossier System, GPS Insight, Fleetio, RTA Fleet Management, Prophesy Transportation, Wabco Holdings, Emaint, Webfleet, Encore Core, AMCS, Enevo, LYTX and ATTI.

In Europe, fleet-management solutions company Wabco Holdings has established itself as a leading tracking and telematics company in the European commercial-vehicle market. Wabco recently underlined its dominance over the European tracking and telematics industry by signing its largest fleet-management solutions contract ever, with Girteka Logistics.

Wabco will be providing advanced fleet-management solutions technologies to 2 700 trucks belonging to Girteka Logistics operating across the European market.

According to Edvardas Liachovicius, CEO at Girteka Logistics: “This multi-year agreement will see Girteka Logistics trucks upgraded with the Wabco-owned Transics comprehensive fleet-management solutions (FMS) portfolio, including advanced TX-SKY on-board computers and TX-FLEX mobile app connectivity, as well as TX-CONNEC back-office IT and software integration via the TX-TANG web service platform.

“This powerful combination of advanced fleet-management solutions provides significant benefits for Girteka Logistics, including improvements to its overall fleet efficiency and an enhanced customer service capability.”

Under the agreement, Wabco’s fleet-management solutions will provide real-time communication between Girteka Logistics’ dispatchers and drivers. On the other hand, TX-SKY onboard computers will constantly monitor and collect high-quality truck data.

This will enable fleet managers to plan advanced route management as well as receive real-time alerts and alarms on vehicle speeds, GeoFences, driving times and activity duration. These functions, which include efficient remote tachograph downloading, are all critical to support compliance with European driving and resting-time regulations.

TX-SKY also delivers truck-performance and driving-style analysis to aid more economical and ecological driving. This is complemented by TX-FLEX mobile app connectivity, which further enhances driver efficiency with out-of-cabin information support,” affirms Nick Rens, Wabco president for Trailer Systems, Aftermarket and Off-Highway Division.

Moving to the North American market, Zion Market Research claims that North America holds a dominant position in the global fleet-management market, with around 37 percent of the market share. Canadian telematics and fleet management systems provider, Fleet Complete, is one of the leading industry players in the North American market.

Fleet Complete expanded its operations to the Australian market in 2016 and in the process introduced a cloud-based platform called Connvex to the country’s tracking and telematics industry.

This new platform has the potential to gather anonymised data from every Connvex-connected vehicle, as well as others, and provide data analytics services to third parties, according to Sandeep Kar, global chief strategy officer at Fleet Complete.

“Connvex provides all contributing participants with in-depth learning and unparalleled insight that is critical for the design and development of unique solution offerings. The platform can help with remote diagnostics and prognostics, safety and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), electric vehicle mobility, digital freight brokerage and video telematics, mobile resource management and ride sharing,” explains Kar.

The global fleet-management market is expected to grow substantially from US$ 3,25 billion in 2016 to an estimated US$ 15,5 billion by 2024. This projected growth is a result of the increasing integration of smart devices with vehicles, the new regulations on fleet safety and security, and the requirement for increased operational efficiency.

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.

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