Telematics article for Thermo King media
17th February 2012
VTS H. Verdijk International Transport in Boxmeer, The Netherlands, is a versatile and high-quality transport company which boasts clients from the pharmaceutical industry amongst its customer base. Director J. Hafmans explains, “We are a major player in this sector; we offer many combined services.” For these clients, VTS H. Verdijk International Transport travels throughout Europe.
To meet these demands, the company has a fleet of 90 combination trucks. All of their trailers, without exception, are equipped with refrigeration units from Thermo King, a manufacturer of temperature control systems for a variety of mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand.
“We have been a Thermo King client since the 1990s and for us there is no one better at what they do; the most important thing for us is that the refrigeration units need to be reliable,” says Hafmans. At VTS H. Verdijk International Transport, their multi-temperature trailers are equipped with Thermo King SL, SLX and Spectrum refrigeration units to quietly provide the consistent reliable temperature management needed for transport.
However, ever since Thermo King introduced TracKing, an industry-leading web-enabled fleet management system that gives users an overview of their transport fleet, operations management has become even more reliable at VTS H. Verdijk International Transport. TracKing enables users to improve energy and operational efficiency and sustainability by saving fuel, reducing maintenance and improving load protection.
“We are able to remotely monitor things such as the temperature in the hold, set-point and air emissions. That brings peace of mind,” explains Hafmans. “We are now able to respond proactively. We are able to step in before a cargo is exposed to any temperature fluctuation.”
TracKing sends an alarm to notify users about any temperature fluctuations that fall outside set parameters. “This is a real improvement. In the past, we had to wait a week for a printout. At that point, it is too late to react. Furthermore, because there is two-way communication with the refrigeration unit, we can step in at any stage with regard to the temperature settings, starting the defrost processes, cancelling any alarms, etc.”
Hafmans admits that they rarely experience situations where the alarm goes off. “Although it is always possible that something can happen,” he added. “These loads are expensive; TracKing provides us with an excellent monitoring system which enables us to keep our customers happy. We can track the entire logistics process in real time.”
VTS H. Verdijk International Transport has a new and ultra-modern warehouse which fulfils all requirements. The building is not simply a storage unit; it is a cross-docking warehouse containing 250 square metres of refrigerated space with the remaining 1,500 square metres kept constant at 20 degrees Celsius. “As a result, we meet all European requirements. It is logical that when loads are at risk, we want to ensure that the cargo is transported under optimal conditions and at the right temperature.”
VTS H. Verdijk International Transport drivers are trained at handling both the refrigeration unit and TracKing. “In my opinion, the role of the driver is sometimes underestimated, even though they make a considerable contribution to our service quality. Customers request that our drivers are able to speak several languages. It is also important to maintain low turnover amongst drivers, otherwise we are continually training new people.”
He points out that before the implementation of TracKing it was the drivers who had to react to any issues encountered with refrigeration. And there were times when it was too late.
“Today we can all monitor the system and act before the temperature changes too much. As a result, the driver has less responsibility, team spirit improves and everybody is more involved in the logistics process.”
For more information, please contact Heidi McGuire.