Sales of Volvo Truck Corp.'s Dynafleet system over the past year have confirmed that the transportation industry is "eager to embrace the benefits of information technology," says Karl-Erling Trogen, president and CEO of the Sweden-based global truck builder.
Dynafleet was first introduced in Europe in 1996. Dynafleet 2.0, launched last spring, features several technically advanced systems including satellite navigation to pinpoint vehicle position and a mobile phone network to transmit and receive text messages.
The Windows-based program is integrated into a fleet's network. Dispatchers have instant access to a set of updated maps on a computer screen showing the exact location of company trucks and can send text messages to the trucks. Shippers can monitor the progress of their cargo via the Internet, using the same type of map the dispatcher uses.
More than 1,000 Volvo trucks operating in Europe are equipped with Dynafleet and Trogen said they've sold 5,000 units this year.
An independent business unit within Volvo Truck is responsible for development of Volvo Transport Information Systems and has staff throughout the world. The American organization, ITS America, estimates world sales of IT products for the transportation market will reach $400 billion within 15 years.
"The transport industry is growing away from competing via products to competing via IT solutions," says Wergeland, head of Volvo's IT development. "Customer are seeing that there is immense potential for increasing efficiency by reducing the number of intermediaries in the transport chain and by automating several stages of the process. Our task consists of integrating the truck in the logistical chain."