PeopleNet took advantage of its fourth annual PeopleNet User conference this week in Chaska, MN, near the company’s headquarters to announce partnerships, including a newly formed alliance with Permitax Corp. and a new PeopleNet-developed product offering from partner Paccar Leasing Co. (PacLease).
PeopleNet (www.peoplenetonline.com) announced that it would be working with Permitax (www.tfsgroup.com) to offer fleet customers tax reporting services based on the data from PeopleNet’s g3 mobile communications and location system. Permitax is a unit of TFS Group based in Waterloo, Ontario. The company provides a range of tax services, including quarterly International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) tax return preparation and filing; quarterly and monthly Highway Use Tax filings for New York, Oregon, New Mexico and Kentucky; monthly and quarterly management reports by unit, division or fleet; and special request reports.
PacLease is now offering a new telematics system developed by PeopleNet called PacTrac, which is designed to reduce customer operating costs, improve productivity and enhance service in private fleet operations. According to the partner companies, the system utilizes GPS technology, a network of over 100 wireless carriers and an internet connection to deliver real-time data from customers’ vehicles. System hardware includes the PacTrac onboard computer, keyboard and handset.
PeopleNet also announced that dedicated and truckload carrier, Evergreen Transportation Inc., has begun deploying PeopleNet g3 onboard computing and mobile communications consoles to the company’s fleet of 475 power units. The AL-based carrier has been a long-time user of McLeod software, but the PeopleNet installation represents its first adoption of mobile communications and computing technology, according to PeopleNet.
Canadian company, Can-Am West Carriers, a division of the Vedder Group, is also a new PeopleNet customer. The carrier recently installed a suite of PeopleNet tracking and mobile communications products in its fleet.
PeopleNet’s three-day user conference had more than 300 participants, making it the largest PeopleNet User conference yet. The company touted it achieved over 40% growth last year, according to chairman and CEO, John Sarto.
In addition to in-depth sessions on PeopleNet products, industry experts came to share their perspectives with attendees. 2006 ATA chairman, Patrick E. Quinn, co-chairman of U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc., was a keynote speaker as was George L. Edwards, the founder and president of consulting firm, George L. Edwards and Associates.
Quinn spoke on making change in the transportation industry and on the ATA’s role in various initiatives as well as the critical role trucking plays in North America. “One complete day without trucking would lead to the beginning of food shortages, increased fuel shortages, further plant shutdowns, putting thousands out of work,” he observed. “Go without trucks for two or three days, and you would see the beginnings of civil unrest…”
He also discussed some of the industry’s biggest challenges, including the driver shortage (54,000 new drivers per year to keep pace with demand) and the imbalance between the freight tonnage that has to be moved and the capacity of the current highway system to handle it. “Tonnage demand in our industry is projected to increase 32% by 2016,” he noted. “Our highway system infrastructure is expected to grow by only three percent over the next twenty years.”
Additionally, Edwards offered guidance and encouragement for fleets to use good process analysis techniques and follow-up actions for every aspect of their operations from the customer base to the operating network, vendor relationships, maintenance, shop efficiency, safety and more. “The boss doesn’t have to know all the right answers,” said Edwards. “The boss just has to ask all the right questions.”
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