Orbcomm Chief Pledges Vantage Tracking Will Continue
September 20, 2000
Orcommm Global, the satellite company based in Dulles, Va., claims its Vantage Tracking Solutions subsidiary will continue to serve trucking customers despite a recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
“We have a commitment to that segment and we’re going to, through Vantage, serve it,” said Orbcomm Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott L. Webster.
Vantage Tracking Solutions was first to market with a national trailer tracking system based on Orbcomm’s constellation of 35 low-earth-orbit satellites in late 1998. Orbcomm and seven subsidiaries, including Vantage, filed for protection on Friday, Sept. 15.
“Vantage will continue, is continuing now,” said Webster. “We’ve had to reduce staff, but the core people and the core intellectual property and a substantial amount of good working inventory is on hand. And as we go forward, we are entertaining really two options.”
The first option for Orbcomm is to find a buyer for Vantage, said Webster. The second is for Orbcomm to continue operating Vantage.
“As you can appreciate, we’re in financial restructuring right now. We haven’t got the financial wherewithal to move forward as we had hoped to with installations for at least for the next month or so, but we expect in the fall to recommence that activity when we emerge stronger, better focused and fully financed,” said Webster.
Early Vantage Tracking adopters included Schneider National of Green Bay, Wis., North America’s largest truckload carrier.Webster said Vantage work at Schneider was on hold, but that he hoped to resume installations.
“For the moment – I can’t blame them – they’re taking a wait-and-see posture with respect to our financing,” said Webster of Schneider. “But I think it’s fair to say that if we show that we’ve fully funded the business and able to delivery quality work and product that they’ll be interested in picking up where we left off.”
Webster said was not aware of any major service cancellations as a result of the bankruptcy filing or the well-publicized layoffs that preceded it. He also said Vantage had no intentions of changing its rate structure.