Satellite communications provider EMS Technologies Inc., is taking aim at the small and medium fleet market through a deal with Saskatchewan-based truckload carrier Schneider’s Trucking.
Schneider’s Trucking is outfitting its 26 trucks with the EMS PDT-100 in conjunction with the TMI Communications geostationary MSAT-1 satellite, and IP Solutions’ TransTrac software package. The system is designed to streamline dispatch coordination, offer real- time messaging, position reporting and real-time transaction records.
The key with this satellite communication system, said James McMillan, director of sales and marketing for the land mobile division of EMS, is to make it affordable for small fleets – which is an under-served market, he added.
“A perception exists in the industry that satellite solutions are too expensive for small- and medium-sized fleets. While price may have been an inhibiting factor in the past, this new solution is affordable for any trucking fleet, including owner operators,” explained McMillan. “With the stiff competition in the trucking business, fleets cannot afford not to adopt such cost-saving technology.”
Schneider’s Trucking supported that view. “The technology has increased our running mile rate. Now dispatch is able to spend more time looking for and maximizing loads instead of spending time on the phone trying to contact drivers,” said Wayne Schneider, the carrier’s president. “With the real-time messaging, [our] dispatch operators can quickly find and coordinate new loads pick ups with drivers immediately, regardless of the truck’s location. Drivers want to avoid empty trailers as much as dispatch does. The drivers have also found the system easy to use, especially the real-time messaging system.”