Thermo King is offering two new features as part of its ConnectedSuite platform. The TK Notify mobile app delivers a detailed, data-rich view of units so fleets can make decisions in real-time. Connect & Share is a data-sharing service for fleets that use third-party telematics.
The ConnectedSuite platform is a package of Thermo King technology for a fleet’s connected assets that provides information in real-time. It now includes more features to help fleets operate more efficiently, improve temperature management, and comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The new features are part of TracKing, a ConnectedSuite system that integrates with fleet management systems. Fleets can monitor critical cargo temperatures, trailer locations, refrigeration unit settings and alarms through the dispatch process from pickup through delivery. Integrated information of loaded refrigerated trailers in-route allows dispatchers and planners to quickly remedy issues that may cause damage and delay load delivery decisions.
ConnectedSuite is not new, but has been rebranded from what Thermo King previously called Connected Solutions, explained Shilpa Anand, senior product manager, in an interview with HDT.
The new TK Notify mobile application does just what it sounds like – it notifies the user on “events” or alarms – but beyond that, Anand explained, it provides a snapshot of the status of the unit when that event occurs. That “snapshot” includes setpoint, return air, discharge air, sensor temperature door status, mode of operation and the location of the unit at the exact time a problem occurs, “to help a fleet manager make a more informed decision” of the steps to take next. “The manager doesn’t have to call the driver to find out what is going on,” she said.
The app also sends notifications when a unit requires maintenance.
Managers can escalate events to drivers, service technicians or dealers to streamline communication and optimize fleet performance while a repair is underway.
TK Notify is free and available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store
Connect & Share
“Some customers want to use other telematics systems with other third-party hardware installed,” Anand explained. Connect & Share is a new data-sharing service for fleets that use those third-party telematics.
Connect & Share provides data access to third-party telematics and allows fleets to gather temperature, position and operational information, without the need for third-party hardware. Fleets can send two-way commands depending on the system capabilities.
As an example, Anand cited Kroger, which only wants to know the temperature and location to plug into their own transportation management software. “So we put that data directly into their system,” using an API. It already has set up these integrations with McLeod and Trimble/TMW, and is working with other third parties to set up similar integrations.
Even for customers using third-party telematics, Anand said the way ConnectedSuite also communicates with Thermo King’s large dealer network can deliver benefits. Dealers have been able to alert customers to problems they may not have been aware of, and real-world successes Anand cited included saving a load of berries for a customer that would have been ruined due to a reefer malfunction, as well as locating stolen trailers.