Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Telematics Needs to Spread to Other Multimodal Fields to Ensure Greater Efficiencies

Chemical Company Benefits from Swiss Technology in Tank Container Transport
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – Whilst generally there has been a steady take up of telematics by the road haulage sector, the rail and container sea freight areas have been comparatively slow to utilise the technologies now available. One is tempted to think bosses may be more interested in their drivers' behaviour than in the goods they are carrying!

Now it appears change is coming, albeit slowly. AnQore BV, a Dutch manufacturer of specialised chemical products and headquartered near Maastricht, in Urmond decided it needed to adopt an integrated telematics system for all of its several hundred tank containers and tank wagons to optimise both fleet efficiency and shipment safety.

The need to always inform customers of the status of their goods, plus as the return of the empty containers also required scheduling, made this a simple decision and led AnQore on a search for the best suitable technology, which they located at a Swiss headquartered company, as Peter Kehrens, Logistics Purchasing & Implementation Manager at AnQore, explains:

“Our customers have a few days' buffer to unload the tank containers and wagons and ship them back. In the past we were only able to roughly estimate when the containers would arrive at our plant. That's why it became clear that in order to allow our fleet to operate at optimum capacity, we would need a better overview.

”Modern sensory technology opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. For example, shipments can be monitored in real-time and processes can be coordinated with customers and logistics partners more efficiently. So we went out to look for a telematics system. We found SAVVY Telematic Systems, a supplier that suits us well.”

The chemical specialist supplier has installed an ATEX and IECEx certified SAVVY CargoTracExR telematic device in each of its tank containers and tank wagons. These small boxes, which can be installed in a few easy steps, contain robust and reliable high-tech electronics. In addition to sensors for location purposes and to measure a range of variables, they contain a long-lasting battery and a module for data communication.

The latter sends encrypted data via the mobile network to the SAVVY® Synergy Enterprise platform. The private cloud platform is connected to AnQore's SAP system via an interface. The corresponding plan data for each new order, departure time, stops along the route etc. are transmitted automatically from the SAP-System to the SAVVY Synergy Portal. Using their account, employees can check the status of all transports in real-time and can have them displayed on a map overview to see where a particular shipment is located at that particular moment.

In case the incoming telematic data should for once differ from the plan data, the SAVVY Portal sends an alarm notification per email. This way, AnQore employees know immediately that something is wrong with one of the shipments, either a delay or safety-related event, such as for example a strong shock that could damage a tank container. This enables logistics planners and customer service representatives to immediately take action. Peter Kehrens continues:

“An exceptional situation during the implementation phase clearly demonstrated the advantages the new system gives us. In spite of week-long strikes in France from November 2019 to January 2020, we were able to maintain an accurate and up-to-date overview of our fleet. This put us in a position to continuously keep our customers informed and supply them with goods, where other suppliers could not.”

Due to the fact that the plant where AnQore produces its liquid goods cannot be stopped easily, it is necessary to have enough containers and wagons to fill on site. At the same time, it is important to avoid having empty wagons and containers on site for a long time. Both targets can now be met more easily by using telematic data.

As much of the company’s product is hazardous other factors come into the account. The SAVVY telematic devices are certified both in accordance with the IECEx international standards and the ATEX European standards and approved for all hazardous zones. Meanwhile the tank containers have to be in perfect technical condition, something that AnQore previously checked every six months. This process can also be improved with telematics, with records of chassis data such as mileage prompting service intervals.