A new chassis tracking system was introduced by Orbcomm during the American Trucking Associations annual conference in San Diego.

The GT 11000-CTS chassis tracking system combines the company’s GT 11000 solar battery-powered trailer-tracking device with its PS 100 proximity sensor to provide near-real time visibility of chassis location and whether or not the unit has a container mounted.

“This has been a missing link in managing port congestion,” Craig Montgomery, vice president marketing at Orbcomm, said in an interview following the announcement.

“Now, you not only know where the chassis is, but when it’s in use and when it’s not is use,” he said, which allows operators to maximize their investment in rolling stock.

The unit is powered by a tractor’s power source when tethered or by a solar-rechargeable battery within the device when untethered. The device can be mounted below the container’s frame to protect it from contact with containers as they are mounted and removed.

The PS 100 proximity device, also mounted below the chassis frame, uses a light beam to detect when a container is mounted on the chassis. This differentiates it from other devices that detect when a chassis has a container mounted, Montgomery said. He said other such devices operate with a trigger switch – when a container is mounted on a chassis, it depresses a trigger, which sends a signal indicating the chassis has a container mounted. Those types of devices are subject to a lot of wear and tear as containers are mounted and removed from the chassis, he said.

The chassis tracking system also includes the company's CargoWatch web-based application, which provides alerts on chassis location, geofence entry and exit, status change events (when containers are mounted or removed) and historical reporting.

Montgomery said the chassis tracking system allows Orbcomm to offer a complete menu of tracking solutions for transportation, from tractors to trailers, containers and now chassis.