T-Systems Multimedia Solutions worked with Telekom Deutschland to design and develop a brand new front and backend for the portal, based on M2M technologies. Existing interfaces to third party systems were retained. This would make it very easy for users – fleet managers, schedulers, carriers and shippers – to switch over to the new solution. The modular nature of the system also means that Schmitz Cargobull can upgrade the portal as they wish. The brand new system architecture makes the portal very user friendly and far quicker than the previous version.
One of the new functions that has been integrated is “trailer sharing” – transport companies can use this to hire trailers and semi-trailers as required, on a pay-per-use basis. The portal underwent testing relating to functions, source code, penetration, load and usability to ensure that it would run efficiently and reliably, and be secure and easy to use from the moment it went live.
Thanks to new telematics controllers with an integrated WLAN module, the smart trailers can now also be monitored from the driver's cab using a smartphone. The vehicle's driver can use the beSmart app to control all the trailer's systems, such as cooling units, drive systems, brakes, tyres, locking systems and the interior temperature. The driver can even use the app to trigger a printout of the temperature report from the on-board printer so that they have it to hand when the vehicle is unloaded. The app can also control the cooling unit target value, and trigger an alarm should it fail. So drivers no longer need to climb out and check and change the values manually, but have everything within easy reach on their smartphone. The same applies to the trailer's electronic locking system, which is easily controlled using the app. A particular challenge, here, was the communication between the smartphone and the telematics unit: based on the principle of the Internet-free terminal, the driver remains connected to the WLAN and the wireless network.
As the driver's app can be used to automatically and continuously monitor trailers, transport companies save costs, as delays are avoided by using the app to make checks and adjustments. This means that the drivers themselves are an active part of the digitisation strategy for the first time, and they benefit directly from the entire fleet being intelligently connected.
The functionalities of the telematics service portal 2.0 and the smart driver app have created a unique selling point for Schmitz Cargobull which the trailer manufacturer can use to reinforce its market leadership and set it apart from its rivals. The logistics provider can also help generate excellent customer satisfaction with these additional services.
Schmitz Cargobull Telematics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schmitz Cargobull AG. With an annual production of over 58,000 trailers, a workforce of almost 5,800 and revenues of 2 billion euros, Schmitz Cargobull AG is Europe's leading manufacturer of trailers, semi-trailers and truck bodies for temperature-controlled freight, general cargo and bulk goods. With many thousands of telematics systems installed, Schmitz Cargobull Telematics has led the European trailer telematics market for over a decade. The company received the “Best of” award in the “Telematics for Trailers” category at the 2016 German Telematics Awards.