The freight industry has embraced Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT), but still struggles to translate the flood of information into actionable insight. Mergers and acquisitions are one way businesses are getting up to speed quickly.
Last week the purchase of Cadec Global, the company that introduced the first automated truck driver’s log 30 years ago, by PeopleNet, a trucking company owned by Trible, made headlines. Trimble has a history of using acquisitions to expand not only its reach, but also its expertise. Since 1978, the $2.4 billion company has purchased dozens of companies. With each deal, Trimble acquires technological know-how—from forestry logistics to marine navigation. It’s this catalyst of IT capabilities can will be most helpful to Cadec’s fleet services.
Other transportation companies are also expanding their skill sets through acquisition. Orbcomm completed its acquisition of competitor SkyWave in January, for example. The combination of the two portfolios created the largest space-based machine-to-machine company, expanding Orbcomm’s satellite reach across the globe.
According to analysts, this merger trend will continue. New research from Research and Markets names consolidation one of the most influential trends that will affect the industry in the near future. Consolidation has helped companies’ much-needed access to data, but many have yet to fully take advantage of what data can truly do.
Technology research firm Berg estimates 12 million on-board telematics units in North and South America before the end of the decade. More units equal more data. A fleet of vehicles using GPS devices alone can generate millions of data points daily. Considering telematics units can transmit information on fuel usage, location, engine statistics and more; it’s easy to see how fleet managers can become overwhelmed by it all and feel like they are drowning in data.
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