May 14, 2019
Brian Straight, FreightWaves
Coretex making a name for itself in U.S.
Article originally published in FreightWaves.
Coretex may not be a familiar name to many in the United States, but it may be by the time 2019 ends. The company, which dates back to predecessor companies in New Zealand and the U.S., started in the early 2000s, has worked extensively on building solutions for commercial transportation.
One of its signature products is a platform in New Zealand that collects vehicle mileage and weight data and collects the appropriate taxes (New Zealand doesn’t have fuel taxes, but rather charges vehicles a per-mile tax and a weight tax) from its customers and makes the proper payments. In the U.S., the company has been busy signing up companies for its refrigeration monitor system, and now offers an electronic logging device (ELD) solution as part of its comprehensive fleet management system.
“When I came to the United States, I realized there were companies that specialized in cabs, there were companies that specialized in trailers, but there were few that did the whole vehicle,” Craig Marris, executive vice president of mixed fleets for Coretex, told FreightWaves at the National Private Truck Council’s (NPTC) 2019 Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Coretex’s platform, which integrates with leading transportation management systems (TMS), offers live tracking, remote management, geofencing, driver behavior monitoring, camera integration, alerts and dashboard and reporting options. Marris said that it can integrate with almost anything that has a sensor, which is what the platform does for trailers. It monitors temperature set points, door opening/closing, humidity and even trailer brake monitoring and tire inflation events.
Marris said the company now has over 70,000 units in the U.S. operating and has added 20,000 just since January as it makes a big push to sign up fleet customers.
One of its recent major efforts has been around ELDs, and the conversion from automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRD), which must be turned off as of December 6, 2019. Coretex has produced an e-book offering tips on how to make a successful transition before the deadline.
“The ones who are really going to do well out of this are the ones that use this as a ‘reboot’,” Marris said, and evaluate their total system needs.
The Coretex solution uses an intuitive, app-based interface that works on Android devices. Marris is hoping that fleets needing to switch to an ELD will consider adding a more robust management solution. Coretex’s platform can also integrate with video recorders and provide live feedback to drivers.
The conversion from an AOBRD to an ELD is not easy, he said. The e-book spells this out:
“Having helped numerous smaller fleets embrace ELDs and now in the process of migrating larger AOBRD fleets, we must confess that it is a more difficult task to transition an existing AOBRD system than to deploy an ELD system from scratch. It is frightening to unplug everything and not really be sure what will be affected during the move,” the book states.
The good news, it reads, is that the costs to move to ELDs are significantly lower than the initial costs to deploy AOBRDs, and the power and opportunity for benefits greater.
Coretex advises to look at the entire operation, not just at the AOBRDs in the trucks.
“Drill down to find out which features of your existing system are most important to each department,” according to the book. “This process includes discovering the different types of reports being run, how often and who is receiving them. It is helpful to develop a flow chart for each report. The most common mistake we see is the corporate infrastructure not taking the time to precisely understand the reports that are needed at the terminals. Developing comprehensive requirements will alleviate challenges post-deployment.”
Coretex notes that not all ELD providers may meet the technical requirements of the rule – there are over 200 devices listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Self-Certification list. Even those devices that do meet the technical requirements may suffer from a lack of customer service support, so explore and ask questions of providers.
An often-overlooked aspect of a conversion, Coretex said, is integration with existing systems.
“It is imperative to find out which of your existing integrations in place will work with the new ELD system,” the book reads. “There may be some features that are not compatible, such as availability, driver workflow, personal conveyance, yard move and driver edits.”
This point is made in the e-book: “An ELD solution should be as user-friendly for drivers as any application that can be downloaded onto a smart phone. Intuitive user-interfaces eliminate the need for lengthy user guides and days of training.”
Marris is hoping that fleets look beyond the ELD, though, and consider adding management solution like those offered by Coretex.