The integration of telematics data into a transport management system (TMS) can provide valuable insights to fleet managers, allowing them to optimize operations, reduce costs, and stay compliant with safety regulations. With real-time tracking and visibility, telematics devices can improve maintenance and prolong the lifespan of vehicles while also benefiting drivers, dispatch centers, and other stakeholders in the transportation industry. When choosing a telematics system, it's important to consider specific goals and needs, fleet size, connected devices, data types and volume, and level of integration with the TMS.
“It is essential to have good tools, but it is also essential that the tools should be used in the right way.” - Wallace D. Wattles
Similarly, having access to your telematics data can be a powerful tool for your business, but only if integrated with equally powerful systems.
Telematics is a method to store, receive, and send information from telecommunications devices to remote objects over a network, and its solutions are allowing easier and clearer access to industry-changing transportation data. For example, telematics has the ability to connect vehicles’ ELD (Electronic Login Device) data into TMSs (Transport Management Systems) that carriers or freight techs can view from their computers.
Why is this important? Fleet managers use telematics solutions in the logistics space to keep track of the most important details and indicators from the vehicles they manage. Location, driving speed, braking, and fuel consumption, are only a few metrics they can monitor.
Telematics data includes all the different types of data that can be gathered, transmitted, and stored from trucks or other commercial vehicles into a TMS. The most significant data is provided by ELDs, which are devices connected to the vehicle that record many types of data, and OBDs (On-Board Diagnosis), the vehicle electronic system that identifies and reports technical issues.
OBDs provide information on the state of vehicles to monitor maintenance needs, and ELDs collect and provide an abundance of information, including but not limited to real-time location, speed, fuel consumption, braking, and acceleration maneuvers, and even driver information like ID and hours of service.
Keeping track of these metrics allow carriers to optimize their operations by gaining efficiencies in key areas like fuel consumption and spending. Carriers can also save time with access to routing data and reduce the risk of accidents and unexpected repair costs with predictive maintenance.
Integrating Telematics solutions into TMSs allows this key data to flow easily and steadily from trucks to fleet managers in order to make the best decisions for their business and capitalize on all the benefits Telematics provides. Also, having this integration in place not only enables carriers to save money, but it also helps them stay compliant with driving safety regulations that aim to reduce risks and guarantee a safe driving experience for all users.
With ELDs connected to the fleet management system, carriers can have detailed information about the truck's location in real-time. In addition to keeping track of cargo location, adding other telematics devices into the vehicle’s trailer can help improve visibility into the physical state of the cargo.
With such a level of understanding of everything that happens within the truck, fleet managers can take operations efficiency to the next level and plan optimal routing that saves time and makes the best use of their assets and workforce.
Integrating telematics devices to TMSs is a simple connection that improves the transportation sector as a whole and brings transparency into many activities that happen within and around the industry.
Real-time location helps carriers know where their trucks are, and they can share that information with dispatch centers so that they know when to expect the cargo delivery. This, in turn, results in better customer service and an improved experience for all parties involved in the delivery. It also helps support activities like insurance, factoring, and other parties that use real-time data and driving information to calculate charging rates.
Telematics data can also be used to improve maintenance and prolong the lifespan of vehicles. Telematics solutions instantly report technical issues that might need immediate remediation. It can also be leveraged to build predictive maintenance models that prevent vehicles from suffering unexpected damages. This plan should include control instances, repair considerations, or improvements that could be made in advance. This helps businesses avoid high urgent costs on the route and minimize the cost of stopping a truck, leading to reduced costs and increased profitability.
Telematics data can be recorded with different types of devices including ELDs, OBDs, GPS trackers, and mobile devices. Usually, Telematics devices are connected to TMSs through APIs, but they can also use other forms of connectivity. This integration enables a TMS to receive, store and use driving data in real-time, and analyze it to get insights that can improve fleet management.
When the time comes to choose a telematics system for your business, it’s important to take into account your specific goals and needs first. Factors to take into consideration include fleet size, connected devices, the type and volume of data that you want to collect, and the level of integration needed with your TMS. Make sure you choose a reliable, easy-to-connect, and user-friendly solution that ensures the data gathered for your business is of the highest quality.
Pulling telematics data into TMSs has several advantages, especially for carriers who can optimize their operations, reduce costs and win more money. There are also valuable advantages for other stakeholders, like drivers that benefit from driving safety, dispatch centers that get more information into the location and state of the cargo, and insurance, factoring and other types of industries as well.
Overall, Telematics solutions make fleet management easier. Carriers can make efficient decisions and minimize fuel consumption and spending, which benefits not just the carriers, but also the environment. Carriers can also improve fleet performance by making the best use of its assets and reduce risks and maintenance costs by building preventive maintenance management systems.
Want to learn the easiest way to connect your TMS to Telematic devices? Book a demo and discover the powerful capabilities and benefits of TruckerCloud’s instant carrier on-boarding.