IoT boosts cargo and vehicle tracking in Brazil

Caminhão com telemetria na estrada
Sheila Zabeu -

October 14, 2022

Telematics solutions for trucking fleets are gaining traction in Brazil to address safety, security and driver management issues. According to a recent Frost & Sullivan analysis, carriers and insurers are investing in risk management and adopting telematics systems for trucks carrying dangerous or high-value goods.

This market is expected to reach 2.59 million units in 2027, up from 1.12 million in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate of 15%. Telematics is generally understood as remote communication systems based on IT services and telecommunications networks.

“Over 62% of freight transport in Brazil is by road. This highlights the importance of truck fleets in the country and the pressing need for using telematics to reduce the total cost of ownership. Furthermore, although the telematics market in Brazil is still focused on tracking solutions, other segments such as driver and vehicle management are growing in demand,” says Ingrid Schumann, Frost & Sullivan Mobility Industry Analyst.

According to the executive, the commercial vehicle sector in Brazil will increase in the next decade due to the expansion of agribusiness and e-commerce. This should positively impact the telematics market, with these new vehicles opening up opportunities for telematics service providers (TSPs), equipment manufacturers and startups.

In particular, TSPs should invest in solutions optimising fuel consumption, such as vehicle and driver management. Those working with last-mile deliveries should invest in solutions, calculate estimated delivery time and check the orders’ status. For these types of solutions, it is essential to invest in logistics integration, according to the survey.

The Brazilian transport matrix is highly dependent on roads, therefore, digitalising the activity is essential and has excellent impact power. According to data from the National Logistics Plan 2035, 66.21% of the Tonne Kilometre Useful (TKU) and 83.25% of the Value Kilometre Useful (VKU) were concentrated in road transport in 2017. Despite being necessary, the digitalisation process took a while to hook into the segment and only gained more strength from the pandemic. This is a vast market, which is being changed by the digital solutions of Logitech. The result benefits truck drivers and shippers and may even positively affect the economy.

The National Logistics Plan 2035 highlights that, besides playing a considerable role in transporting large volumes, the road freight modal is mainly responsible for transporting goods of high added value for much of the demands. In the field of data and visibility, Internet of Things solutions, Advanced Analytics, Big Data and AI are great allies in monitoring cargo and truck drivers. Startups already use these technologies to increase freight security, transparency and predictability. These technological solutions are also indicated as industry trends by the National Logistics Plan 2035.

It is estimated that this set of applied technologies should raise vehicle utilisation rates by 3.15% in road transport and 5% in other modes, reduce vehicle maintenance costs by 18.9% in road transport and 30% in different ways, and reduce road transport costs by up to 5% due to more efficient routing, estimates the document.

Where does IoT come in?

Essentially, anything considered part of the vehicle-related Internet of Things can fall under telematics. Today, telematics has become so commonplace in many areas of the automotive industry that we no longer consider it when we use GPS systems to drive, for example. Still, with the growth of the Internet of Things, telematics has gained a significant ally.

In extensive fleet management, IoT can, for example, help predict maintenance issues and improve vehicle efficiency. Fleet managers can also use IoT solutions to track driver behaviours and ensure the safety of their teams behind the wheel – this issue, in particular, is closely related to the cost of insurance policies.

The attractiveness of solutions involving telematics and the Internet of Things is highlighted at a global awards ceremony held for the third time in 2022. This year, the competing projects came from 24 countries, and this year’s winners were announced on October 9 in Dubai in 12 sectors, some related to fleet management:

  • Transcorp International, a provider of IoT solutions for cold chains in the UAE, in particular last-mile delivery, is chosen by global companies such as Amazon and Carrefour. The company has achieved an average success rate of 98.2% for guaranteed next-day deliveries, while the industry standard rate is 70%. In addition, it has recorded no road traffic accidents in the last 5 months since the implementation of the solution which relies on features to track driver behaviour. Transcorp makes 15,000 punctual deliveries a day.

  • SuKarne, Mexico’s largest exporter of beef, pork and chicken, with a fleet of 2,800 vehicles, was looking for a solution to prevent cargo and truck theft. The telematics solution, it saved more than one million dollars by detecting attempted robberies and acting immediately, considerably increasing the chances of recovering vehicles and products.

  • A leader in the timber sector has a fleet of over two thousand vehicles and was looking for an efficient system to monitor fuel consumption. Today, the telematics solution has helped prevent fuel theft, as previously drivers could overestimate consumption figures by half.

  • Nord Tranzit specialises in freight transport in the Arctic and was looking for ways to improve transport safety in remote areas where weather conditions are extreme and GSM coverage is low. In the event of an emergency, drivers can even risk their lives. The telematics solution allows drivers to send calls for help and also enables video monitoring if drivers are violating safety rules.

  • Thailand Post Distribution Co provides transport and distribution services and was looking to raise fleet performance. The new telematics system is helping to tackle unauthorised use of vehicles and reduce instances of theft. By monitoring how drivers drive vehicles, it is also being possible to reduce fuel consumption.