With telematics technology, it is possible to obtain further specific information in addition to standard systems

By Nixon Kanali

Telematics technology is revolutionizing the fleet management industry across the world. The technology is playing a key role in reducing resource expenditure and increasing resource savings for businesses while ensuring fleets comply with prevailing norms and standards.
With telematics technology users can access location, movement and status information and metrics of their vehicles via special web-based software applications or through in-house vehicle tracking enabled business applications. In Essence, GPS Telematics systems become platforms where users collect and transport valuable mobile resources, field information and activities.
In fact, the global Strategic Business Report on Fleet Management Systems projects that the market will reach a cumulative installed base of 47.4 million units by 2022. Thais is being driven by the strong adoption of new technologies, move towards reducing carbon footprints and paper trail, focus on achieving cost-containment, and higher logistical efficiencies.
Telematics systems can help businesses optimize their fleet in a number of ways, with features ranging from basic route planning to monitoring driver behavior, integrating with packaging and deliveries, maintenance scheduling and much more. These systems are capable of analyzing the driving style and providing comprehensive feedback to both fleet managers and drivers in real-time.

Telematics evolution
Early version of telematics only provided route planning and compliance, but latest versions now come with a number of add-on features including temperature monitoring, fuel monitoring, and audio communication among others. Data instruments are fitted on vehicles, the data is then transmitted to a control and communication center. This data is in form of the location coordinates they receive from GPS Satellites, telemetric information (such as temperature, vehicle location etc.) from the connected sensor via GSM/GPRS network. The incoming information is then compiled by means of special software and recorded in a databank.
The technology is customized for the user and vehicles can be monitored 24/7 thanks to desktop, smartphones and even SMS applications, in addition to a standard web software and digital maps. Only data transmitted by the equipment is retrieved from the internet. Thus, the system operates fast and efficient and can be used without problems. The transmission of this data has been made easy thanks to the advancement in communication networks and devices which have become more reliable over the past few years. This advancement has also made it technically feasible and financially viable for companies to capture and transmit the data in real-time make their assets/vehicles more visible and connected.
Telematics technology is customized for the user and your vehicles can be monitored 24/7 thanks to desktop, smartphones and even SMS applications
According to Ruth Kang’ong’oi, General Manager at Safetrac Limited, a leading provider of telematics technology in the East African region, the evolving mobile technology is assisting businesses to have all the information they need about their fleet even while on the go.
‘’Telematics can help businesses increase productivity, lower operational costs, increase fuel efficiency, strengthen compliance and even increase customer service, the list goes on and on. It is time that businesses, especially in Kenya know about the tremendous potential of telematics and the benefits they can enjoy from the data being transmitted.’’
‘’If this rich data from telematics can help optimize one vehicle, imagine the insight and benefits businesses will enjoy from scaling up deployment to hundreds of thousands or even millions of vehicles across the country. ‘’
This telematics data can be used for predictive analytics, such as predicting traffic which can help drivers identify and avoid congested roads and potential hazard. Information on vehicle speeding, or harsh deceleration or idling without ignition off, fuel levels can be used to tell a story about what’s happening on the road. This gives fleet owners or drivers the ability to know if there are traffic jams ahead and gives them time to correctly pick an alternative route. While GPS location on a smartphone is providing speed and location information like Google Maps, combining telematics data such as fuel levels, temperature opens up other possibilities for safety such as alerting drivers on vehicle fuel levels.
Frequent reports generated from telematics are not only relevant but also present the information about your vehicle/fleet in a manner that is easy for you to consume, understand and put to use.
Businesses in Kenya and East Africa, can, therefore, enjoy massive benefits by implementing telematics technology. The technology is a great way of organizing your drivers more efficiently and can save time and money. And for small businesses where cost is a factor, having a telematics system in place can greatly improve your fleet management and help make significant savings.

Electronic Cargo Tracking System a Cost-Effective Tool in Transit Trade
Trailer and cargo tracking provides multiple benefits for the logistics industry in the global and East Africa region.  In Kenya, the sector accounts for about 8-9% of the country’s GDP and is likely to remain a major driver in the growth of the economy.
This sector has also been boosted by the improved infrastructure which has created potentially lucrative opportunities for both logistics providers and fleet management and vehicle tracking companies. In fact, industry players say the growth of Africa’s logistics market is being driven by higher trade volumes as local economies diversify and expand, domestic consumer demand goes up, global demand for natural resources escalates, and as infrastructure improves, boosting intra-African trade.
As this sector expands, the need for fleet management and cargo tracking systems also increases.  These solutions, not only does it help truck or vehicle owners to keep control of their fleets’ movements but also act as a theft prevention measure. The solutions should, therefore, be a priority for monitoring and controlling all company vehicles, including cargo, public service vehicles as well as transport vehicles.
Solutions like the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) have had a massive impact on Transit Trade in the region.  The trade is a major source of revenue for governments but again, they represent one of the greatest security threats for these same governments because they are rarely inspected, and therefore could be used for smuggling.
According to Esther Wainaina, General Manager Borderless Tracking, governments and even private companies need the capability to monitor fleets. This is where our solutions like the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) come in hand to ensure security of both cargo and the country.
‘’As a Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Licensed ECTS provider, we provide solutions that enable real-time tracking of cargo from point of loading to point of discharge.’’ She says.
These solutions, not only help government agencies enforce cargo handling regulations but also prevent theft of goods in transit and dumping of goods in transit through a given territory.
Borderless Tracking provides this cargo tracking solution to more than one thousand clients across the region.  Unlike vehicle tracking solutions, which uses just GPS and GPRS technologies, ECTS uses GPS which provides co-ordinates to give cargo location on the map, GPRS, which provides data system for sending data to the server and Rfid to provide the security of the cargo.
The objectives of ECTS are to provide cargo visibility by providing real-time location and status of the cargo and expedite clearance at loading and off-loading points. The technology enables quick inspection and clearance of cargo. It also provides ready data which helps in decision making. Borderless Tracking provides reports on the movement and location of trucks to clients which are easily accessible.
‘’The number of container goods that is lost due to theft, accidents and even damage is unfortunately increasing. Real-time remote containers tracking and monitoring with solutions like ECTS can help prevent these cases, as well as provide actionable information in order to retrieve goods or minimize damage.’’ Esther Wainaina says.
The clue of the Electronic Container Tracking System (ECTS) is to ensure end-to-end supply chain security safety. Companies using the system do not always have to worry about the security of their goods in transit.

About Borderless Tracking
Borderless Tracking is one of the nine, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) ECTS licensed vendors and also specializes in Fleet Management Systems, vehicle tracking and monitoring. In Tanzania, the company is also one of the five approved vendors of ECTS by the Tanzania Revenue Authority. Its solution is also in use in Libya, Thailand, Central America, Singapore Defense Forces among others.



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