September 20, 2017

BlackBerry partners with Fleet Complete for asset tracking

Combined products will allow carriers to monitor the location and the condition of trailers and cargo, companies claim.

By Ben Ames

Location-monitoring system vendor BlackBerry Ltd. and asset-management solution provider Fleet Complete said today they have formed a reselling partnership that will add BlackBerry's "Radar" truck-tracking product to Fleet Complete's fleet-monitoring solution, helping transportation companies better manage their fleet operations.

Under the agreement, Toronto, Ont.-based Fleet Complete will incorporate BlackBerry Radar into its current fleet-tracking solution for trailer and cargo monitoring, Philip Poulidis, senior vice president and general manager, IoT, for BlackBerry, said in a conference call with reporters.

Offering those customers access to Ottawa, Ont.-based BlackBerry's internet of things (IoT)-based sensors could improve fleet utilization while unlocking excess shipping capacity now being wasted by logistical inefficiencies, Poulidis said.

The combined offering will allow users to monitor the location and condition of both vehicles and trailers over a single Fleet Complete web interface, Fleet Complete CEO Tony Lourakis said on the same call. Viewing the data on a single, map-based screen could allow fleet and logistics managers to monitor available load capacity or track the movement of temperature-sensitive goods, such as food and pharmaceuticals, to ensure they comply with government regulations and client requirements, Lourakis said.

Handheld computing pioneer BlackBerry launched its Radar product in 2016, offering a system that monitors the location of trailers via global positioning system (GPS) technology. Radar delivers alerts about events, such as when a truck has crossed a user-defined area; when a trailer door has opened or closed; or whether a container is full or empty; as well as about environmental data, such as temperature and humidity.

The system has since been adopted by customers such as the asset-based transportation and logistics company Titanium Transportation Group Inc., which said in December that it would attach the sensors to its fleet of 1,300 trailers.

Freight-visibility and shipment-tracking solutions have taken on renewed importance in recent months, as users seek real-time tracking of inventory in transit to cope with the year-round demands of omnichannel fulfillment or the seasonal peaks of holiday shipping. That demand has prompted the launch of Honeywell International Inc.'s "connected freight" network of sensor tags attached to pallets or individual packages as they travel in containers; Dell Inc.'s Edge Gateway series of compact, rugged computers built to be attached to 18-wheelers; and Roambee Corp.'s asset-tracking sensor network, backed by Deutsche Telekom.

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

More articles by Ben Ames

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