Qualcomm unveils OmniExpress

System aimed at regional and local fleet operationsQualcomm Inc.'s newest communications and data transmission system OmniExpress has been developed specifically for regional and local fleet operations. Based on the same hardware used by Qualcomm's OmniTracs two-way satellite communications system for over-the-road fleets, OmniExpress uses Sprint's PCS land-based cellular phone network for data transmissions

System aimed at regional and local fleet operations

Qualcomm Inc.'s newest communications and data transmission system OmniExpress has been developed specifically for regional and local fleet operations. Based on the same hardware used by Qualcomm's OmniTracs two-way satellite communications system for over-the-road fleets, OmniExpress uses Sprint's PCS land-based cellular phone network for data transmissions between drivers and dispatchers. Voice communication is also available as an option with the new regional service.

Using land-based cellular connections provides a lower-cost wireless voice and data system for regional and local fleets that don't need satellite coverage to communicate with drivers, according to Ken May, senior director of business development for Qualcomm's wireless business solutions division.

Qualcomm is targeting several different fleet niches with its OmniExpress package: LTL, utility, retail, food and beverage, oil and gas delivery, and courier, as well as service and repair fleets. Among the specific niche tools already developed are preformatted messages that drivers can use to transmit key information back to headquarters, containing basic information such as the date, time, and type of delivery or service performed. The company has also signed a joint marketing agreement with Descartes Systems Group to develop dispatch and route optimization systems for the new regional wireless service.

OmniExpress is currently being tested in about 100 vehicles and will not be commercially available for several months. However, Qualcomm is offering special deals - such as free installation, software and training - to fleets that sign up to use the system by September 15.

Visit www.qualcomm.com for more information.

Hookup.com, a trucking industry provider of e-commerce services, has teamed up with Taylor & Martin, which remarkets trucks, to start a 24-hour online truck and equipment auction. The first auction is scheduled to hit the Internet at 8 a.m. July 11 and run until 5 p.m. July 13. Afterwards, new items will be put on the auction block on every Tuesday and Thursday.

Most of the trucks featured in the auctions will be Class 8 tractors, with some Class 6 and 7 trucks, as well as trailers and other heavy equipment. Winning bidders can inspect their trucks within five business days of the sale, with completion of the transaction dependent upon their acceptance of the truck's condition. Sellers pay a listing price of $50 per truck, putting the vehicle on the block for two auctions. If, after that, the vehicle hasn't sold and the seller wishes to relist it, an additional fee is charged.

Anyone registering as a qualified bidder by July 4 will receive $250 in "Bidder Bucks" that can be used toward each winning bid in the July 11-13 auction. Anyone placing a bid during the July online auction will be entered in a drawing in August to win a truck.

McLeod Software of Birmingham, Ala. will hold its annual User Group Meeting at the Sheraton Birmingham Convention Center from September 20 to September 23. Visit the company's web site at www.McLeodSoftware.com for details.

Started by Pittsburgh Logistics Systems, eflatbed.com is an online transportation exchange just for flatbed shippers and carriers. The online service also handles shipper invoicing and carrier payments, as well as freight searches and scheduling. Monthly carrier subscription fees are currently being waived, according to the company.

Celadon Group has launched an overseas sister-site to TruckersB2B.com, formerly known as TruckersCo-op.com. TruckersB2Beurope will focus on providing cost savings on various products and services purchased by small- to medium-size European trucking companies and private fleets.

Freightlist.com has launched a new Internet-based freight and truck inventory management and posting site. The site combines software-based logistics management programs with Internet-based freight and truck posting services.

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