Telematics now seems to be the easiest way to gain visibility of land-based flows. 

It enables the capture of valuable data, in real-time : geolocation, routes, fuel consumption, stopping times, etc. This information is collected and analysed thanks to a solution that provides a clear and efficient visualization of the data via a dashboard, interactive maps and statistics. The IoT also offers real, granular and high-value visibility. Which technology should you choose to ensure real-time visibility while minimizing the operational burden? Are these technologies really opposed?

 3 key benefits of on-board telematics :

  • Performance optimization by detecting the best ways to go
  • Be able to react efficiently in case of unexpected events thanks to real-time alerts
  • Better transmission of information for a better customer relationship

 3 issues related to tracking with telematics

The actual operation of land transport makes the use of telematics more complex. First, the heterogeneity of the equipment is an issue. Subcontracting practice in road freight means that we do not always know who will manage the transport on certain parts of the flow and therefore whether telematics will be used throughout. 

Secondly, there is a heavy integration burden due to the time and money required for setting up such a solution and onboard the carriers  on the solution. Who will use what and when? To leverage telematics, the carrier must be equipped and know how to use the data correctly. 

Thirdly, the level of digital maturity among transporters today is heterogeneous. There are a few large ones and many small ones. The latter do not have the critical size to digitize their processes. Equipping themselves with telematics is therefore not their priority.

These different elements mean that despite the quality of the data collected, the flows are never 100% covered.

When using IoT for tracking makes sense

Telematics should not be set against IoT. Instead, these two technologies are complementary, depending on the limitations of each.

The benefits of inland tracking with IoT

– Independence from transporters: IoT means positioning trackers with the goods that are shipped, no dependence on carriers. The freight forwarder or the cargo owner can have all the data they need in real time, and on all the flows. In this case, the IoT can be a good way to cover the rest of the flows not controlled by telematics-based tracking solutions.

– Access to additional data such as condition monitoring. The recording of transport conditions allows to check the condition of the goods on arrival and, if there is a problem, to know where it has arrived in the transport chain and how to remedy it. In the event of litigation, this data, completely independent of the carriers, is reliable for the attribution of responsibilities.

Telematics is by far the most accessible means of real-time monitoring. However, the long onboarding time and the subcontracting chain do not guarantee 100% coverage of terrestrial flows. The IoT, with its independent and very granular data, can both cover more complex flows and provide high-value data. It is possible from end to end to monitor compliance with delivery windows, improve customer service or validate lead times. The physical object (the tracker) can however be a logistical constraint. This is why it is sometimes interesting to use a logistics service provider such as Safecube in order to limit the operational burden with trackers supply, reverse logistics and the management of the fleet of trackers. 


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