Telematics technology vendor Omnitracs LLC on Tuesday launched an upgrade to its fleet management system software that offers a single, cloud-based platform supporting a variety of functions for both long-haul and last-mile operations.
Dallas-based Omnitracs said its "Omnitracs One" product delivers a range of software services for various transportation market segments through a single, united platform, and allows users to run the software on a variety of electronic logging devices (ELDs), or handheld computing platforms such as tablets and smartphones.
That flexibility is critical because the market is seeing a blurring of lines between some of the traditional definitions of trucking services, as many transportation providers strive to offer a wider variety of services to cope with the fast growth of e-commerce shopping, freight-matching marketplaces, and driver shortages, Kevin Haugh, Omnitracs' chief strategy and product officer, said in a phone interview.
"Some companies who'd had heterogenous elements are now seeing a convergence of those services," Haugh said. "So some companies that had been long-haul providers are now also doing middle-mile and last-mile stuff, while some last-mile companies are now doing long-haul, terminal-to-terminal work. So they're knitting together those areas of transportation."
The Omnitracs One platform can serve that wide variety of users from a single software product by combining a back-office foundation that resides in the cloud with an application programming interface (API) layer that delivers customer data. End-users access the system through their choice of mobile device, he said.
The system can integrate with companies' existing software applications, such as enterprise resources planning (ERP) or transportation management system (TMS) products, and contribute fleet management capabilities such as a routing, dispatch, and compliance (RDC) module, said Haugh.
Omnitracs built the system by combining technology components from several companies it had acquired in recent years, including its 2014 purchase of mobile fleet optimization software vendor XRS Corp. and its 2013 purchase of fleet management software solution provider Roadnet Technologies, he said.
Fleets and carriers are calling for this unified solution as they expand their range of services to handle the rapid expansion of demand for last-mile parcel delivery, he said.
"There's an explosion in last-mile delivery—not just with Amazon, but more broadly—and it's causing our entire transportation system to run more miles," Haugh said. "It used to be that a product was delivered to a store and we'd use our own miles to drive over and pick it up, but now it's disaggregated and delivered piece by piece to our homes."