GPS Trailer Tracking Systems

Modern GPS Trailer Tracking Systems: 10 Things to Know, Part II

In this two-part blog post, we’re looking at 10 things you should know about modern GPS trailer tracking systems, from buzzwords like “Smart Trailer” and beyond. Part II of the post will discuss what you can expect Intelligent Trailer Management to do for you, and how leading fleets are maximizing their profit with modern GPS trailer tracking systems.

  1. What can Intelligent Trailer Management really do for me?

When used to its fullest capacity, ITM can:

  • Provide you with data regarding your cargo loads, such as whether a trailer is fully unloaded and ready to use as reported, or if the trailer is still full of broken pallets and trash
  • Capture cargo photos to prove detention/theft/damage claims
  • Ensure trailers are utilized evenly and turn rate is improved
  • Monitor your tire temperature so that underinflated tires and excessive heat don’t lead to tire failure
  • And multiple other uses
  1. Why do fleets need Intelligent Trailer Management?

ITM provides fleets with the ability to get actionable, real-time data, tracking and monitoring capabilities that enable companies to analyze performance and make timely improvements. With the type of data and data analysis that ITM provides, fleets can analyze a number of KPIs such as landmark circulation—that is, how quickly a trailer is unloaded after arrival at various locations—as well as loads per trailer, deadhead miles and other key factors that can be used to improve profitability. And they can do this analysis over years, giving a better picture of long-term trends and usage.

  1. What’s a real life example of how a fleet is using GPS trailer tracking to improve profitability?

Pan American Express had two key challenges: detention billing and yard checks. The company was relying on manually generated, and often flawed, second-hand information that was costing the company in wasted resources, revenue and time. After a thorough needs assessment, the FleetLocate team recommended a solution that gave Pan American Express a significant increase in the real-time visibility they needed, and that their customers were demanding. Now, rather than having to wait for a third party to provide written status reports, Pan American Express Operations Manager Sal Verazzi has instant access to real-time rich trailer data. He can also provide his customers with their own logins so that they can view their freight status for themselves, whenever they need to or want to.

To improve detention billing, the FleetLocate trailer management system enables the company to track and see the actual inactive time for trailers at their customers’ locations and share this information with their customers. This has resulted in more accurate detention billing as well as minimized disputes.

  1. How can a GPS trailer tracking system help improve trailer utilization?

Pan American Express also had success with that. The improved visibility into inactive trailers benefits Pan American Express’s customers as well. “By sharing this data with our customers, they’re able to see where they’re losing money on unnecessary or avoidable detention billing,” explains Verazzi. “What’s more, we’re able to identify those inactive trailers and free them up.

This allows us to get better utilization of our equipment, be more efficient, and provide better service to meet our customers’ needs.”

All told, Pan American Express is saving more than a million dollars a year due to these improvements. Want to know more about how Pan American Express achieved this success?

  1. How will this technology continue to evolve?

Premier Trailer Leasing sees where ITM is headed. “We look out into the future where the data derived from these systems eventually becomes predictive through heuristics – ways to help humans crunch this information,” said Larry Hall, former executive vice president of sales and marketing.

“So instead of saying, ‘Hey, you’ve got 18,000 miles on this trailer, so at 25,000, you should do a maintenance inspection.’ It can say, ‘Hey, we have sensed how many times the brakes have been applied, and not only the application of the brakes, but the pressure on the pedal.’ And that information is analyzed to predict how it will affect the brake shoes, so we know that within the next 60 days, we’re going to need a brake job, or a wheel end, or more closely check the tire tread depth,” Hall added.

Modern GPS trailer tracking systems are indeed evolving far beyond the simple “Where’s my trailer?” of their origins.

For more information about how Intelligent Trailer Management can help your fleet, visit or call one of our friendly experts at 800.557.1449.

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