Getting Cold Chain on the Radar in Real Time

By Carl Ford March 05, 2018

Many Companies that talk to me about Fleet Management are often focused on the exteriors and the driver. Part of this is because the regulation for Electronic Log Devices [ELDs] has made information about the person in the cab more important. Another reason is because the simple detection of location and doors reduces the threat of hijacking tremendously.

However, the requirements from the US government in the Food Safety Modernization Act have expanded the regulations considerably. This is the background information that brings us to my conversation with Philip Poulidis, Senior Vice President and GM, Blackberry Radar.

RADAR is an appropriate choice of name for this solution as it enables fleet managers to monitor things like humidity and temperature within their trailers. This of course is in addition to the standard management of fleet systems. However, the heart of the system is the advance analytics and the near real time interaction with the unit that enables companies to optimize their fleets.

BlackBerry has significant and substantial wins with Radar including Fleet Complete and Pana-Pacific as channel distribution partners. In addition, Fleet Complete acquired BigRoad, which gives owner-operators and fleets the ability to book the loads they want while ensuring quick payment and providing hours-of-service (HOS) visibility from within the BigRoad Mobile App electronic logbook. For connectivity, Fleet Complete maintains key distribution partnerships with AT&T in the U.S., TELUS in Canada, Telstra in Australia, and T-Mobile in Europe. Combined this solution represents a top - notch solution for cab and trailer.

As Philip pointed out “the BlackBerry Radar product is just one part of the company’s connected transportation initiatives and with it, what we’re doing is offering fleets the ability to achieve significant efficiencies in terms of how they’re able to mobilize their cargo and freight assets.”

The press release says: "Radar is an innovative, easy-to-install and data-driven solution that provides near real-time information such as vehicle location, route and mileage, temperature, humidity, door status, and cargo load state on a single intuitive on-line dashboard. It collects up to 100x more data than conventional GPS-based track and trace solutions, and uses this information to build a 360-degree visualization of a customer’s assets to ensure safety, security, and regulatory compliance. All data is stored securely on a cloud platform, which maintains the privacy of user information at all times.”

Besides Blackberry Radar’s easy to install device and the industry specific web analytics, the system is capable of doing upgrades and maintenance remotely making it a managed service solution.

As part of the analytics the system can provide yard checks to geofenced distribution centers avoiding walk around and other labor intensive auditing. The system can also alarm the yard when loads are idle and need to be progressed due to billing issues and other delaying factors. Given the near real time capabilities the system also can provide a Gantt chart timeline view useful for determining process issues and operational reviews.

BlackBerry has always been strong in listening to customer requirements. Candidly it took it on the chin when smart phones leap frogged the physical keyboard and showed customers a new approach. BlackBerry Radar shows that they still are listening well to requirements and detecting what the future holds.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Partner, Crossfire Media

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