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Web-enabled fleet management

Boxmeer, Netherlands: Verdijk International Transport, a pharmaceuticals carrier, uses Thermo King’s TracKing telematics to improve energy and operational efficiency and sustainability by saving fuel, reducing maintenance and improving load protection.

“We are able to remotely monitor things such as the temperature in the hold, set-point and air emissions. That brings peace of mind,” says its director, J Hafmans. “We are now able to respond proactively. We are able to step in before a cargo is exposed to any temperature fluctuation.”

Verdijk International Transport uses TracKing to respond proactively and step in before a cargo is exposed to any temperature fluctuation

TracKing sends an alarm to notify users about any temperature fluctuations that fall outside set parameters. “This is a real improvement. In the past, we had to wait a week for a printout. At that point, it is too late to react. Furthermore, because there is two-way communication with the refrigeration unit, we can step in at any stage with regard to the temperature settings, starting the defrost processes, cancelling any alarms, etc.”

Hafmans says the company rarely experiences situations where the alarm goes off. “Although it is always possible that something can happen,” he says. “These loads are expensive; TracKing provides us with an excellent monitoring system which enables us to keep our customers happy. We can track the entire logistics process in real time.”

Verdijk’s new warehouse is a cross-docking site containing 250sq metres of refrigerated space with the remaining 1,500sq metres kept at 20 degrees Celsius. “As a result, we meet all European requirements. It is logical that when loads are at risk, we want to ensure that the cargo is transported under optimal conditions and at the right temperature.”

Verdijk’s drivers are trained at handling both the refrigeration unit and TracKing. “In my opinion, the role of the driver is sometimes underestimated, even though they make a considerable contribution to our service quality,” he says.

“Customers request that our drivers are able to speak several languages. It is also important to maintain low turnover amongst drivers, otherwise we are continually training new people.”

Before the implementation of TracKing it was the drivers who had to react to any issues encountered with refrigeration. And there were times when it was too late. “Today we can all monitor the system and act before the temperature changes too much. As a result, the driver has less responsibility, team spirit improves and everybody is more involved in the logistics process.”