Smart floor panel for trailers optimises cargo fleet utilisation with real-time data
Finnish wood industry company Koskisen introduces pressure-detecting floor panels for trucks and trailers to the market. The smart SENSi panels gather data which helps to optimise cargo logistics in an unprecedented way.
“There are plenty of logistics solutions in the market for monitoring fleets or trailers, but so far the freight itself has been neglected – even though it’s ultimately the most important thing and the actual point in cargo”, says R&D Team member Andreas Strauch from Koskisen.
Indeed, while drivers have been able to follow tire pressures, cooling systems or door statuses from their dashboard, there has never been data available about the freight itself:
How much freight is onboard, is it solidly in place, and so forth. Smart SENSi panels by Koskisen are now changing this for good.
“We are now bringing the freight data to the limelight”, Strauch states.
Optimising fleet utilisation
A common challenge in freight logistics is that e.g. in Germany the trucks drive around 30 % empty. The reason is that during loading, there has previously never been a way to know how the freight is actually distributed in the trailer.
When data about the load and its placement is now available with SENSi, transport capacity can be utilised far more efficiently, from both financial and sustainable point of view.
“If on an annual level a company handles approximately a thousand transports and SENSi can help increase the capacity by even an average of 20 per cent, the financial benefit is already significant”, Strauch says.
By eliminating empty capacities, logistics companies can also optimise the size of their fleet and personnel and the related general costs such as taxes, insurance, et cetera. Optimising capacity is also environmentally friendly. Less trucks on the road means less fuel and fewer emissions - and of course less fuel costs.
“SENSi panel helps logistics companies to move towards smarter and greener transportation”, states Andreas Strauch.
Like tracking parcels in the mail
When freight data is paired with GPS location data, freight transport by road can be tracked like mail parcels, and the ETA can be informed more accurately than before.
This all becomes possible as the real-time data related to freight loading, transporting, and unloading is stored in the cloud.
“As strange as it may sound, proper tools have never existed previously that would allow informing a client exactly when their freight arrives and how much of it is on the way. In international transport, communication usually happens by phone and language problems can form a barrier between necessary information. SENSi also helps tackle these problems, while the logistics chain becomes more efficient and the customer satisfaction improves”, Strauch summarises.
The truck drivers also have access to the data: An intuitive SENSi application helps the driver to keep up to date on the status of the freight.
“SENSi also improves safety already by avoiding overload. Also, the sensors can also detect if a badly attached load gets loose and slides away from its original position”, Strauch adds.
Simple data, plenty of applications
The basic idea of SENSi panels is simple. Within each floor plywood panel are embedded smart sensors detecting pressure. They provide data on whether there is any load on the panel and how much vacant space is left in the trailer. The data is then stored in the cloud, which industry-standard logistics planning tools, freight platforms and telematic systems could use in real-time.
Andreas Strauch sees that real-time freight data already provides a lot of opportunities, and by the time autonomous trucks become mainstream, it will play a key role in the entire supply chain.
“With this data, freight platforms could automatise their processes and sell freight capacity online automatically. The data could be also incorporated in route planning or fleet management systems”, he envisions.