BOCA RATON. At its annual User Conference here this week, PeopleNet announced a new partnership with PAR Logistics Management Systems Corp., a subsidiary of PAR Technology Corp. (PAR LMS). Both companies expect the full integration of PeopleNet’s onboard computing capabilities with PAR’s complete suite of trailer management technology to provide new levels of actionable information to fleets about their trucks and trailers, drivers and cargo.
“Partnerships with leaders in complimentary technologies help us provide our customers with an increasingly comprehensive array of tools they need for maximizing productivity and driving bottom-line improvements across their businesses,” said PeopleNet COO Brian McLaughlin.
PAR brings communication technologies to provide the managers of refrigerated (or other) fleets with information about their assets along the entire supply chain, from temperature monitoring, to cargo security, chain of custody, remote management and more. The tool set already includes PeopleNet’s own electronic onboard recording, vehicle and driver performance management, automated driver workflow and electronic driver hours of service logs.
“We represent everything that is untethered,” John Sammon III, president of PAR LMS, told Fleet Owner. “There are lots of issues we can address. PeopleNet users will tell us what they want to be able to do first, whether it is cargo protection, addressing mismanagement of trailer assets, monitoring and management of cargo temperature, cold chain of command custody, or something else.
“We have a two-way communications system,” Sammon said, “so we can watch an untethered refrigerated trailer sitting in a yard, for instance, and reset the system remotely if necessary using two-way command and control. People like to schedule reefer deliveries ahead. We can remotely bring empty trailers down to temperature, as required, so they are ready-to-load without wasting fuel by chilling them too early.”
PAR can also deploy its technology to help fleets meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements for engine-off operation of refrigerated trailers, Sammon noted, providing the required documentation of how much fuel was consumed when at a particular location.
“Trailer tire pressure monitoring also seems inevitable,” he added. “It has become a pretty big issue. We’ve been asked to incorporate security alerts on tires before it is a problem. In other words, the information must be actionable to be useful. The many new safety initiatives like CSA2010 also represent huge challenges and huge opportunities.”
All these capabilities can give carriers a competitive advantage, according to Sammon. “Lots of shipper demands are being forced back down through the supply chain to carriers,” he said. “McDonald’s, for instance, has a cold chain requirement for monitoring every fifteen minutes. Their auditors come in and look at the PAR data to confirm compliance. If you can already provide that visibility and documentation, you have an advantage over another fleet that has to deploy the technology and become proficient with it in order to meet shipper requirements.
“The new relationship with PeopleNet is very synergistic,” he observed. “It is a true integration.”
Sammon sees enormous potential for the long-term as well as the more immediate future. “Vendors [like PeopleNet and PAR] are increasingly becoming not only suppliers to their customers, but analysts and consultants,” he noted.