MiX Telematics, founded in 1996, is a global provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions. The company offers fleet management and driver safety solutions for customers across diverse industries, such as transport and distribution, bus and coach, construction, and rental and leasing.
In January 2016, MiX Telematics signed a grant agreement with the Logistics Innovation for Trade (LIFT) Challenge Fund in committing to the design and development of an integrated transport management platform that will act as an efficient and effective End-to-End Solution (E2ES) to aid accurate traffic/cargo movement as well as data sources. This platform will enable the transporter to proactively monitor and manage congestion points and traffic volumes with the movement of cargo from point of entry to point of exit, or final destination.
The platform will provide the functionality of an electronic container lock with full compatibility with traditional and/or standard seals by containing a physical ‘intelligent’ hardware container lock that facilitates efficient loading and dispatching of vehicles carrying ‘in-transit’ cargo, via fitting tracking devices on the container locks and therefore allowing the trucks to be monitored remotely. The incentive for trucking companies to fit the locks would be that they would be free to travel unhindered across their route-way from a recognised point of entry to the final destination. The revenue authority will be able to confirm the contents of the truck before they reach the border point, and if the digital lock has not been tampered with, there will be no need for time consuming load monitoring inspections. The platform will incorporate the required Global Positioning System (GPS) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) – mobile network data – capability to support all the telematics and telemetry data necessary for tracking and movement management, making it easier to identify vehicles deviating from the proposed routes/corridors, leading to improved vehicle turnaround times and thus improved asset utilisation (this is a ratio used by business analysts to determine how well a company is using its available assets to generate profit), therefore alleviating unnecessary traffic and congestion on the secondary routes.
The platform will allow government revenue authorities to improve their revenue collection as they will be notified of any unauthorised leakage of container contents (cargo) on route to its final cross-country destination. Small and medium trucking enterprises (SMEs) along with larger transport organisations will therefore be empowered to operate more efficiently, thus improving their own individual revenue. In addition, there will be reduced traffic congestion on local and national routes as well as better planning and management of congestion at the various entry and exit points at the border point with the use of the platform. The platform will also act as a smart device application by providing the necessary bridge between technology and the critical human interface and related manual activities, therefore addressing the inefficiencies that are largely paper based. This will also result in additional jobs having to be created at departure and final destination points, such as ports and border posts to undertake the cargo and load audit at closure and opening of the electronic container locks.
“The impacts of our product will be numerous, the benefits being felt at one end of the user chain by our transport company customers, who will be able to protect their operating margins and profitability through the virtual elimination of the siphoning off of transported goods, while the revenue collection authorities throughout the East African Community will see a substantial increase in tax collection due to wholesale adoption of our system.”
– Steven Sutherland, Sales Director MiX Telematics