The Spider in the Web of Truck GPS Tracking
GPS tracking providers for trucks throughout the world are numerous, each country has its own providers, from app’s to tracking to full-blown on board computers with lock, unlock and safety functionality for all types of vehicles and businesses. The main challenge for the business user, and especially ones that use a lot of third party providers, is getting the GPS information from all these systems. This has created certain integrators in the market that will get the info from all the different systems and present it in one system.
After the release of GPS, hundreds of entrepreneurs all over the world saw their goldmine: by tracking we can make assets more productive. Everybody managed to get a piece of a pie, creating many competitors. This is great for the market, the challenge it created especially for those who don’t own their fleet is integration. How do I get the information from all these different service providers to cover all my deliveries? And how do I get access to the second great benefit of tracking which is increased customer service? By tracking I can provide my customer with information on when their delivery will arrive even if the truck hits unexpected traffic.
With Truck GPS tracking, integration is key
The simple answer is integration; someone must create an integration with all these providers or every driver who works for you should download your app. The first solution takes time and money; the second solution is quicker.
However, cold-chains, for example, need to know the temperature of the vehicle at all times to be able to determine whether the quality of the product is uncompromised. Grain suppliers and other bulk suppliers need to be sure the delivery is done at the customer and not at some other location so the driver gets a nice payday. This partially eliminates the second option for these companies.
The second option is great because it gives the execution abilities at very low costs and as soon as the driver doesn’t work for you anymore he deletes the app again and goes on his way.
The future: from integration challenges to moral / legislative challenges
Soon I think smartphone apps of truck and trailer producers (MAN, Volkswagen, Mercedes, etc) will standardize the GPS tracking market. It will allow all the relevant information to pass through the phone of the driver or even through the 3g chip that’s in the chassis and/or trailer to the people that are allowed/have bought access to this information, which will make it more of a moral/legislative issue than an integration issue.
Given that there are comparatively few companies that build trucks the integration will become a standard part of any TMS/VRP. One extra benefit for the manufacturers is that they’ll get all the info on their products lifecycle in real time, allowing them to have a much better quality control and check on all their components and products.
Currently the big issue in tracking analytics is the many concurrent providers, that all have their own information in a proprietary system with proprietary integration. To be able to bring this all together you need to integrate all this information and standardize it. This is what is currently happening.
However, for the producers of trucks and trailers, like Volkswagen, Mercedes, etc, it would be very easy to start providing these services to their customers and their customers’ customers. This would drastically reduce the number of systems and players.
Given the many GPS providers out there, the main issue currently is to get all the necessary information from all the sources. This to be able to properly control your fleet, in the future this will become more standard and easier, due to it becoming a service that comes with the factory version of the truck and not something that’s bought after.