Why Group-GTS took the next step in tracking their trailers

Being active in national and international transport services since the eighties, Group-GTS has grown to become an internationally respected company. The Belgian group consists of three different entities, GTS, TDS, and Van Aerde. Each with their own specialty ranging from reefer transport to transporting construction materials. In an increasingly IT-oriented transport landscape, they want to ensure their trailers, semi-trailers, and container chassis are always visible and connected to the internet.

Key numbers:

  • Only 5 minutes of installation time needed per tracker
  • 450 (semi-)trailers and container chassis equipped with trackers within one month

Before using Sensolus, Group-GTS already had a solution in place to track their (semi-)trailers and container chassis. This solution works well but still, a couple of challenges remained to get full visibility on what happens to their trailers. Challenges that can be solved by connecting their trailers to the Internet of Things. As Dominic, Application Manager, states “in an increasingly IT-oriented transport landscape, we want to be ready for the challenges that lie ahead of us.”

“In an increasingly IT-oriented transport landscape, we want to be ready for the challenges that lie ahead of us.”
– Dominic, Application Manager at Group-GTS

Why Sensolus is a good fit

Earlier on in 2018 Benny, General Manager at TDS Logistics already looked at two providers who presented their asset tracking solution. But both solutions did not fit the expectations of the group. At some point, he ran into Sensolus. Our approach was a confirmation for Benny that a good balance between pricing and functionalities is possible. Group-GTS started testing the solution for three months in a row, equipping a trailer and a chassis trailer with a tracker.

Trailer from Group-GTS ready to pick-up a container

During the test period, they looked at the battery use of the tracker and how sustainable this would be. Besides this, geozones, geographical zones you can define yourself, and custom alerts were set-up for their most important customers. Every time a trailer entered a geozone, email alerts would be sent out. Comparing the tracker data with the planning in their Transport Management System, Benny could easily see if everything was going according to plan.

Visibility on decoupled trailers

The trailer tracking solution Group-GTS already had before using Sensolus is attached to the truck. One challenge that remained here, was gaining visibility on the trailers when they were decoupled from a truck. It is crucial for the group to have visibility on their trailers.

First of all to know what is happening to a trailer when it is at a customer site. Secondly to know whether a customer is using the trailer in a rightful way. Thanks to installing Sensolus’ autonomous trackers, there’s no need for an external power source. The tracker on the trailer itself can communicate about location and usage.

“It is key for us to know what’s happening to a trailer on a customer’s site and whether the trailer is used in a rightful way.”
– Benny, General Manager at TDS Logistics

Keeping track of contract compliance

If a trailer leaves one of the sites at Group-GTS, it can be gone for several weeks. From time to time, a trailer would come back damaged. If you have no data on what happens to a trailer during this period, it is almost impossible to find out what caused the damage and who is responsible for the damage. With Sensolus, Group-GTS is able to track contract compliance and rightful use of their (semi-)trailers and container chassis.

Group-GTS trailer driving over a bridge

Next to clarity on who is responsible for damage, Group-GTS can now be more flexible in adjusting their invoices. If a trailer remains at a customer site longer or shorter than expected, the equipment rental pricing can be adjusted. This creates transparency on both sides and provides Group-GTS with proof of billing their customers correctly.

Timely communication with customers

Without an accurate data set in place on where a trailer is, it can be challenging to give your customer an idea on when a trailer will arrive. Benny mentions that with Sensolus they “ know when a trailer will arrive at a customer, so we can communicate this well in advance.” This can definitely make a difference since the consumer buyer experience has shaped the expectations for B2B services. Customers expect to be informed at all times. Sensolus tracking data can enable you to anticipate on this.

“We now know when a trailer will arrive at a customer, so we can communicate this well in advance.”
– Benny, General Manager at TDS Logistics

Thanks to insights in over- and non-usage of (semi-)trailers and container chassis, scaling up or down is fairly easy for Group-GTS. Perfect for an improved cost control. Overall, Sensolus helped Group-GTS succeed in creating visibility and transparency on their whole fleet with a configurable energy-efficient solution suitable for their business.