Cargo transportation company Tropical Shipping has equipped its entire U.S. chassis fleet with over 2,000 5G-compatible asset visibility systems developed by vehicle tracking company PowerFleet. FreightWaves spoke with PowerFleet’s CEO Chris Wolfe to understand the company’s suite of asset visibility solutions and how it can help trucking fleets improve their operations.
“The LV-300 that Tropical took is from the LV series at PowerFleet. All platforms, be it LV-100 or LV-500, provide the same insights but only have power differentiation. Tropical decided on LV-300 because they wanted to do a lot of heavy data gathering more frequently,” said Wolfe. “And if you go with LV-300 or LV-500, you can also add sensors as you go as all the products within our suite of solutions can identify each other.”
For PowerFleet, getting Tropical to install its solutions on-board the fleet helps test the robustness of the asset visibility solution across a variety of temperatures and geography, as Tropical runs services from the Caribbean all the way up to Canada.
Earlier this month, PowerFleet also announced the release of two new products to its Expert suite, called the OC55 and OC59 – helping customers simplify their asset maintenance management, optimize labor resources, and leverage data to create actionable insights.
“PowerFleet Expert is just one of the three different solutions that we offer, based on the budget restrictions and operating requirements of our customers. PowerFleet Expert, of which the OC55 is a part, is a whole operating system with data analytics – specifically tailored for mid-sized companies,” said Wolfe.
The OC59 will be the improved version of OC55, providing all the benefits of OC55 along with providing cellular communication and GPS, enabling customers to use PowerFleet Expert solutions on material handling equipment run outside, without the need for WiFi connectivity.
“Traditionally, PowerFleet solutions on the industrial side have always been on-campus. As the cellular version of our product, OC59 opens up a whole new space for us – including construction equipment, construction rental and material handling equipment that are run outside,” said Wolfe.
PowerFleet’s budget version of the Expert is PowerFleet Essence, which Wolfe explained to be a fit for small customers who have four or five forklifts on site. The higher-end in the solutions suite is the PowerFleet Enterprise, which is bought by bigger companies like Walmart or Nestle that have hundreds of forklifts across their plant.
“Our system helps companies maintain their fleet. For instance, we know when a vehicle slows down and why. Depending on the situation, we can remotely stop a vehicle, making sure it can only be moved after a manager comes out to reset it,” said Wolfe. “This is important as there could be injuries. Forklift accidents are horrible, and they are the second biggest cause for death in the business, other than over-the-road trucking.”
PowerFleet monitors if the right person handles the equipment, checks if they are certified, and also makes sure the operations comply with OSHA regulations.
“PowerFleet was engineering from the beginning to act like the nervous system in a human body. Our sensor suite and platforms capture data as humans do – data is gathered from a variety of sensors off tires, lights, freight loads and trailers,” said Wolfe. “We pull that data and process it through the machine learning algorithms we’ve developed to provide customers with insights.”