With three hundred of its own trucks, four hundred trailers, and another hundred or so electric pallet trucks and transportable forklifts, it was becoming increasingly difficult and time-consuming for Oegema Transport to keep track of its own fleet.
The Dutch family business was in need of an affordable and user-friendly solution to track all its mobile assets, and after quite some explorations, they settled on the solution of Belgian tracking technology specialist Sensolus. The Sensolus tracking system has been operational for a year now and continues to save the company dozens of hours a day previously spent searching for their assets.
Oegema Transport has grown significantly over the past hundred years and has established itself within the Dutch transport sector as a household name. Today it employs over eight hundred people. From its Dutch headquarters in Dedemsvaart or branches in Culemborg, Geleen, and the Czech town of Brno, the family business operates internationally as a distribution partner for manufacturers and retailers.
Furthermore, the trucks of Oegema Transport are used for night transport within the e-commerce sector or deliveries for the construction industry. In addition, the forwarding department was set up to fully unburden clients in international transport—from import to warehousing and delivery.
Frustrating and time-consuming searches
As the fleet grew, it became increasingly difficult for Oegema Transport’s fleet managers to keep track of the location of the many mobile assets. Experienced fleet managers were still able to track their trailers, electric pallet trucks, and transportable forklifts using manual searches, but this was clearly a drain on valuable time and resources.
It’s easy to imagine how frustrating it would be for the drivers to have to manually locate specific trailers at the company site in Dedemsvaart – which spanned over more than twenty hectares (±50 acres).
After five years of searching for a suitable tracking solution, Oegema Transport finally found Sensolus, which specializes in the Industrial Internet of Things and connected asset management.
“Their system meets all our needs,” says Oegema’s fleet manager Erwin Jacobs. “The trackers are affordable, quickly available, and easy to install. Moreover, the digital management platform contains all the functionalities we need.”
No more manual searches
In addition to trailers, electric pallet trucks, and transportable forklifts, all kinds of portable vehicles such as aerial work platforms and reach trucks were also equipped with trackers. “Once our facility manager saw the added value of the trackers translated into practice, he wanted to roll out the system more broadly than just for our trailers,” recalls Erwin Jacobs.
“We used to have to ask drivers if they had noticed a lost forklift somewhere at our site or at a customer’s site. Now we can also track those locations. Moreover, since these vehicles have been equipped with a tracker, they are handled more carefully, and forklifts are not just taken without reporting this first.”
After a proof of concept with five trackers, soon all trailers were equipped with the Sensolus tracking technology. In full-on COVID times, the employees of Oegema Transport installed them without any on-site support. In less than a month, almost all four hundred trailers were equipped with a tracker. A piece of cake noticed Erwin Jacobs, who mounted some of them himself. “That is the best proof that you don’t need any technical knowledge to mount them,” he says laughing.
The Sensolus Track 1000
Oegema Transport uses the TRACK 1000, an industrial-grade tracker with a very long battery life that is highly shock and water-resistant. “Via the Sensolus platform, geo-zones were set up for frequently visited locations,” says Michiel Raat, Sales Executive Netherlands at Sensolus. “With just a few clicks, the fleet manager can then check whether there are enough trailers present and take immediate action if that is not the case.
Furthermore, an alarm was set for trailers that remained unused for long periods of time. This helps to avoid the underutilization of trailers and contributes to the optimal deployment of the fleet. Thanks to the correct and immediate monitoring of the various asset locations, Oegema Transport is also able to communicate more transparently with its customers and further improve their service.”
The tracking system was integrated into the transport company’s IT system using an API connection, allowing drivers to easily access the platform on their smartphones. Via the ‘Find my trailer’ button, they can instantly view the location of a trailer of choice. This prevents a lot of searching and time wasted.
To Erwin Jacobs the success is unmistakable. “For both drivers and fleet managers the trackers are an enormous benefit. Expressed in time, I’d estimate that we save our managers about four hours a month in searching for material. And for the entire fleet, we save about ten driver hours every day because they also no longer have to guess where their trailer is. That also alleviates a tremendous amount of frustration and makes their work so much more enjoyable.”
“This is a textbook example of how efficiently and effectively Sensolus’ solution can be installed and integrated. It is therefore gratifying to hear that positive results have already been achieved in the meantime,” concludes Michiel Raat.
About Oegema Transport
Oegema transport is proud of the roots of their family business in Dedemsvaart. Although they have grown into one of the biggest companies in the region and you can spot them all over the world, they have managed to retain their East Netherlands mentality. They are down to earth, solution-oriented, and “can’t” does not appear in their dictionary.