Connecting all road transport

As Europe’s leading telematics partner, idem telematics supports forwarders, shippers and fleet operators to continuously improve their core business.

idem telematics solutions are suitable for fleets and for manufacturers of any company size. The solution works very simply and independently of the transport goods and in addition with all possible partners in the process chain, resulting in increased profitability, higher quality, customer satisfaction and competitiveness.

Global Trailer speaks with Jens Zeller, Managing Director of idem telematics, and the firm’s Head of Product Management, Heiko Boch, to learn more.

Is there a core message or theme you would like to convey?

Jens Zeller: The complexity and specialisation of transport and logistics processes, with their variety of different vehicle types and numerous partners, is ideally suited for digitisation. Properly organised and networked, efficiency gains can be achieved that are crucial to success. At the same time, digitalisation is a huge step for many companies, especially medium-sized ones. With idem telematics we are simplifying entry into connectivity of fleets: with our easy-to-use portal, new hardware devices, expandable functions and a simplified handling of active units. So, deal with the future today rather than tomorrow. There is still time for it now.

What are the most important features of TC Trailer Gateway PRO? Are there any upcoming developments in this space?
Heiko Boch: The TC Trailer Gateway PRO is designed for a wide range of applications – we call it the Swiss knife of telematics. The device has got a very wide range of features for every customer’s need. For our customers in temperature-controlled transports for example, it is very important that TC Trailer Gateway PRO can interface with nearly all brands and models of reefers and temperature recorders. Furthermore, the device itself is certified according to EN12830:2018. Of course, you can interface and readout all EBS systems in the European market and beside this you can connect to the hardware device with our idem App.

You asked regarding upcoming developments. Location, EBS and temperature monitoring are important existent features. Monitoring and control of further trailer components such as tail lift or axle generator will be developed. And not to forget: logistics solutions like tour-based ETA, alarming, reporting or data forwarding and real time visibility of the supply chain are increasingly in demand. We are working on it.

What makes idem telematics technology stand out in the market?
Jens Zeller: According to our claim ‘connecting all road transport’ our telematics system processes and harmonises not only data from our own telematics devices, but also data from other telematics systems, transport management systems and other data sources – regardless of the trailer brands, the transported goods or if the vehicles are owned or rented. That’s why cargofleet is sometimes referred to as the “heart of transportation: A system that connects everything to everything, from a single source. We simply help to improve our customers business.

I’m curious to learn more about the process for fitment of telematics and TPMS monitoring at the OEM side? This seems to be a great value proposition for trailer builders and commercial vehicle manufacturers?
Heiko Boch: Since the upcoming regulation UN R141 requires trailers to be equipped with TPMS functionality this is an important topic. All trailers equipped with our TC Trailer Gateway BASIC or PRO devices are TPMS-ready. We offer rim and valve sensors. The advantage of having TPMS included in telematics is obvious: using reports and alarms the fleet manager can optimise running costs  like fuel consumption of the entire fleet – without any action needed from the driver.

The employees at idem telematics maintain a very constructive, open relationship to their customers in order to find the right solution for them.

Could you also detail the process for retrofitting?
Heiko Boch: Retrofitting requires the capability to interface a wide range of existing devices which are not standardised. That is why we offer plug and play cables for various EBS systems. And our systems are prepared to connect to several reefer and other systems. Installation can be done by any commercial vehicle workshop. Configuration and diagnosis of our devices can be handled easily with our idem app running on a standard Android phone or tablet.

How does this tech fit in with the idem cargofleet platform?
Heiko Boch: Simple and short answer: seamless. The award-winning cargofleet 3 portal is optimised for our easy-to-use telematics solutions. It’s the first telematics portal that can display and verify certified EN12830 temperatures of our TC Trailer Gateway PRO. And it can integrate the common OEM solutions and even solutions of or competitors to support our customer in their daily work.

What are the kinds of challenges that telematics helps to overcome?
Jens Zeller: I see three main challenges. First of all, the transport business needs more transparency: Where is my load? Has the load got the requested quality? Will my driver arrive at the right place in the scheduled time slot? These are questions that are typically answered by telematics. Second, all transport companies are continuously trying to optimize in terms of customer satisfaction and running costs. To optimise customer satisfaction transport management systems are essential while technical vehicle data is the basis for reducing costs and prevent downtime. Third and most challenging possibility: creating new business models by using the collected data.

How does telematics assist fleets operating in the pharma and food sectors?
Heiko Boch: Pharma and food transport heavily rely on monitoring and control of refrigeration. That is, monitoring of the transport good’s temperature. No matter whether ice cream or even pharmaceuticals – nobody wants to receive goods that were not transported in the right temperature range. And in most cases, this is even required by law. Telematics can monitor the temperature in the vehicle and trigger alarms when temperature is running out of range, or the reefer has a problem. Which could be simply that it is running out of fuel soon, but it could be also a technical problem. Telematics can help to act immediately – even if the vehicle is parked and no driver is around. For some transports monitoring and control of door locking equipment can be performed by telematics, too.

Are there any challenges that idem telematics aims to address in the future?
Jens Zeller: Our cargofleet 3 telematics platform is open to ongoing changes and we are constantly developing it further in close exchange with freight forwarders. With the increasing numbers of line fitted trailers the barrier to entry into telematics will be decreased since telematics is already there and has only to be activated and used. Additional equipment and sensor technology in the vehicles will enable us to collect even more relevant information and make it easily available to carriers so that they can concentrate on their core business: transport. And we are also engaging in projects regarding electrical and autonomous driving because these new forms of mobility will have a deep impact on both – trailers and telematics.

What is the aftersales and support like idem telematics’ products and services?
Heiko Boch: Telematics requires a deep understanding of the customers business. Implementing telematics into a transport company needs initially some support. Thus, we understand our customer relationships more like long-term partnerships. Therefore, we have an experienced support including hotline and offer trainings to customers, partners and commercial vehicle workshops. Our inhouse development offers adaptions and integration support together with our project management department.

Do you have any other comments to share?
Jens Zeller: Begin to deal with telematics. Start small and keep developing. Telematics is a journey – the destination is still a long way off – we accompany you in the process.

Jens Zeller explains how the TC Trailer Gateway family, consisting of TC Trailer Gateway BASIC and TC Trailer Gateway PRO, makes it easier for hauliers to digitalise their fleets.

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