Is South America the next boomtown for fleet management?

Fleet management software that uses GPS tracking to make commercial vehicles and their drivers more efficient, productive, as well as safer are well established in North America.

There are several reasons for this including:

  • Effective GPS coverage – It is not surprising that North America has complete GPS coverage considering it was originally built by, and for, the U.S. Department of Defence. Good GPS coverage depends on having three or more GPS satellites in clear line of sight to triangulate the position of an object, and with at least 6 appearing at any given time this isn’t a problem in the U.S.
  • Good cellphone networks – A fleet management program relies on GPS devices (or PNDs) being able to communicate with a cellphone network so they can communicate their position and other details to a central server, or dashboard. This is known as a connected device. While the unit can still work while in a cellphone shadow, they work best when there’s good coverage.
  • Detailed map data – The U.S. enjoys some of the most detailed map data of anywhere in the world. Not only does this allow dispatch operators or drivers to route to just about any destination, it also means fleet operators can take advantage of a whole range custom map layers (or GIS data) to fine tune their routing, whether it’s road restrictions, sewer lines, fire hydrants or power poles, it can all be mapped and navigated to.
  • Provider infrastructure – There is a growing number of fleet management system providers around the country, backed up nationwide installers who, together, can fit out any size fleet and deliver a customized solution, setup and ready to go in a short space of time. Often providers can be found at fleet conferences around the country or simply Google fleet management software to find a range of established companies such as Telogis® offering total package solutions to fleet operators.

What about South America?

While the infrastructure in South America is not quite at the same standard as the U.S. it is making great strides in developing a more reliable cellphone network to facilitate the use of fleet management software.

There have been some efforts in the past to develop the fleet management industry in South America, but now there we are seeing real progress for trucking firms and other fleets in South America to have the same access to leading edge technology to drive their operations.

In a recent press release, the director of Chilean based Tastets Systems stated: “We evaluated software solutions throughout the world. In terms of breadth and sophistication of offerings, no other company approached Telogis. Our local presence combined with Telogis’ software will raise the bar of fleet offerings in our region.”

The deal further builds on Telogis’ recent growth with enterprise fleets throughout Central and South America, including in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.

Tastets works with more than 1,500 companies in Chile and abroad to provide fleet data via GPS technology. The partnership between Tastets and Telogis brings the depth of location-based intelligence provided by Telogis Fleet™ to Tastets’ customers in industries ranging from mining to utilities and construction.

Good for American companies too

The recent developments in the South American fleet management industry are not just good for business south of the border. It’s good for businesses based here in the states that are multi-national, allowing them to use a single fleet tracking system to work seamlessly both here in the states and abroad.

It will be interesting to see how the industry grows and develops to match pace with their North American counterparts. What predictions are you making for the South American market?