Xata Corporation, Minneapolis, is preparing to launch a refrigeration trailer and temperature monitoring solution that integrates the company's XataNet fleet management tools.
The new technology was previewed recently at the International Food Distribution Association Distribution Solutions Conference Oct. 19-21 in Baltimore.
According to Xata senior vice president of product management, Tom Flies, XataNet is an on-board computer and wireless technology that tracks everything that occurs with a truck during shipping operations, from the driver's activities to location and miles driven.
Flies said it's also able to connect with the engine and relay information regarding the engine's performance and efficiency. It also deals with many compliance issues, such as drivers' logs and applicable taxes.
The new reefer device simply extends XataNet back into the trailer, Flies said. It answers questions such as, when a product was delivered to a customer, if it was the right product, if it was on time and if it was shipped at the right temperature.
"It can also relay information back tracking the trailer," Flies said. "Some customers ask for that for security purposes. They want to know the location for utilization to match up with the driver and truck."
Flies said there are systems already on the market that track either the truck or trailer.
"What's unique about XataNet is that it can combine the information from the trailer with the driver and truck," he said. "It brings it all together."
Flies said Xata will be running tests of the technology with a number of customers through the rest of this year before rolling it out wide in 2010.