Case Study: Fleet tracking solutions

How FMS and Iridium solved Kuwaiti KGL TC's fleet-tracking problems.
KGL TC provides logistical mission support to military forces operating in Iraq. Courtesy of AFP/Getty.
KGL TC provides logistical mission support to military forces operating in Iraq. Courtesy of AFP/Getty.

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When it comes to safe, reliable and cost-effective movement of goods in the Middle East, KGL Transportation Company (KGL TC) is a leader. With a workforce of more than 1000 and a fleet of more than 2500 trucks, the company has built an impressive 25-year track record for providing the fastest transit time by road within the region to both government and commercial organisations.

The US military is one of KGL TC’s prominent government customers. The company provides logistical mission support to the coalition forces and their vendors from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait – including transportation between Kuwait and Iraq. To ensure it could support the military’s uniquely stringent requirements for near-real-time information, asset and driver safety and availability, KGL TC turned to Fleet Management Solutions, Inc. (FMS), an Iridium Value Added Reseller (VAR), to enhance its fleet tracking capabilities.

FMS provides complete mobile asset tracking and management solutions for multiple industries in more than 60 countries. Combining the latest global positioning system (GPS) technology with advanced Iridium two-way satellite-based communications and the FMS Web-based Fleet Central application, FMS delivers a turn-key system that provides its customers with measurable improvements in asset utilisation and labor productivity, while reducing the risk of theft and cost of recovery.

“We selected FMS because they had the most innovative solution that could meet our needs,” said Philip Sordian, vice chairman and COO of KGL TC. “The FMS system gives us the visibility and information we need to increase efficiency, allowing more accurate billing, outstanding asset management and reliable mission completion.

"And, because it uses the Iridium satellite network to transmit data, it provides connectivity 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no matter where our assets may be. This near-real-time information is critical for driver, truck and load safety," Sordian continued.

In addition to being much more efficient and reliable than the manual tracking methods, such as the radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and cellular phones previously used to keep in touch with drivers, the FMS system demonstrated a swift return on investment. Deployed in mid-2008, the system helped KGL TC identify asset usage they were previously unable to track and allowed them to recover lost revenue within the first week of implementation.

“The FMS system is helping us achieve our goal to be the most competitive, highest quality transportation provider in the region,” added Sordian. “Not only has it helped us maximise revenue available under existing contracts, but when it comes to competing for new contracts, the competitive advantage has exceeded our expectations.”

The system deployed at KGL TC consists of two main devices, the MLT-400i, which is placed in the tractor, and the TLT-400i, placed in the trailer. The two devices send data back to the FMS Network Operations Center, which provides complete data security and reliable uptime.

KGL TC administrators and customers can access the Fleet Central application from a standard Web browser from any location with Internet connectivity. KGL TC customers will only be able to browse the information relevant to their specific logistics missions. Information transmitted includes everything from details about the load and driver, to the route, time of departure, time of arrival, driver speed and even vehicle maintenance requirements.

When KGL TC receives a request for logistics support, the company can quickly identify the location of all assets, determining which are available for mission assignment and dispatch or reroute as needed. With devices in both portions of the tractor trailer, KGL TC even has the flexibility to separate a tractor from a trailer to pick up a more urgent load and return later to pick up the previous trailer.

“The FMS system helps us stay on the cutting edge of transportation support in the Middle East with a standard solution that is top-notch and the ability to customise it to meet our clients’ needs,” stated Pete Swift, project manager of Strategic Government Services for KGL TC. “Equally important, the company’s local team has been an excellent resource and given us the high-level of support we and our clients require.”

KGL TC began their deployment of the FMS system to support a specific military logistics contract. Based on the positive results seen to date, they plan to rollout the solution to other military customers as well as to the commercial sector in 2009, extending the benefits and cost savings of the system to the non-military side of KGL TC business.

Looking ahead, Sordian commented, “The opportunity for quality transportation providers in the Middle East is wide open. By consolidating our position, solidifying our infrastructure, hiring the right people and putting our systems in place, we’re poised to accomplish our goals and objectives for Middle East expansion. The FMS system will play an important role in helping us secure our position as the number-one transportation provider in the region – it has the flexibility to address the specific needs of government and commercial sectors alike and raise the bar for quality services.”

Founded in 2002, FMS is headquartered in San Luis Obispo, California, and has customers and distribution partners in more than 60 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.fmsgps.com.
 

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