Refrigerated shippers and their carrier partners have been under increasing pressure in recent years due to new regulations centered on ensuring safe and sanitary delivery of temperature-controlled products.
On Tuesday, SkyBitz announced a partnership with Coretex, which provides sensor-based refrigerated solutions. The sensors, combined with Coretex’s cloud-based platform, will work in conjunction with SkyBitz’s trailer-tracking technology, giving pharmaceutical and retail customers visibility into where their trailers are located and the condition of temperature-controlled loads.
Terri Lucas, vice president of sales for SkyBitz, and Craig Marris, president of Coretex, discussed the new partnership and combined solution on Friday during FreightWaves’ Cold Chain Summit virtual conference. Both SkyBitz and Coretex are regional sponsors of the event.
Watch: SkyBitz’s Terri Lucas and Coretex’s Craig Marris discuss the company’s new reefer solution
“They had already cleared all the hurdles,” Lucas said. “As a matter of fact, they were at the table when it came to working with regulatory issues. I think bringing together these two heavyweights of SkyBitz and Coretex, it’s a huge win in the marketplace for our customers.”
“This is a really good example of where we have two really formidable players coming together in a unified way so the customer gets the best experience so we can create max amount value,” Marris noted. “Some customers had three different providers – for their ELDs, the dry vans, the refrigeration. This is bringing it together.”
The unified solution will enable customers to get all the benefits that SkyBitz has to offer with trailer tracking with the benefits Coretex’s solution offers – including product temperature monitoring and ELD services through its fleet management products.
“We’ve gone well beyond just getting the temperature inside the trailer or truck to getting the temperature of the product,” Marris said. “That’s a lot of value we’ve created for the shipper, but for the carrier, having all the hardware on the trailer, we are providing significant value for them in terms of operations.”
For SkyBitz, the unified solution – which is available through a single dashboard – fills a need that exists, opening up more avenues to refrigerated freight carriers. Customers, Lucas said, had been asking for a refrigerated solution.
“We quickly learned that a reefer solution has a full scope of different needs and concerns and industry regulations that were beyond that in the dry van market,” she said, noting that the option was to develop a proprietary solution or partner with a “best-in-class partner.”
The combined solution gives all the necessary data and insights to customers through a single solution. Among the benefits customers of both companies will see are:
- Over 50 features of remote cold chain monitoring capabilities, including two-way reefer control, monitoring of up to six doors and advanced power management to preserve reefer and telematics unit (TMU) battery life.
- Single point of access to critical and timely best-in-class trailer utilization and reefer information on one seamlessly connected platform, greatly expanding productivity and streamlining operations.
- Communication between the trailer and other connected sensors with options to expand to additional Coretex products such as its assurance solution, CoreTemp.
- An unmatched compilation of integrated driver safety, compliance and asset management tools, including the Coretex integration with trailer braking solutions and automatic tire inflation systems.
“Simply put, you can have your tracking and analytics of all your assets on the SkyBitz platform, plus, through the magic of single sign-on, have the link that takes you directly to the key, important rich command and control screens and reporting features that Coretex has in the marketplace,” Lucas said.
The Coretex solution offers two-way communication and is integrated into a truck’s or trailer’s subsystems, including brakes, tire inflation systems and lift gates, Marris said.
“The reason that is important is because customers want to understand the full cost of ownership,” he said.
Coretex has been in the cold chain business for more than 15 years and is now on its fifth generation of hardware deployment, Marris said. That important experience has allowed the company to be at the forefront of the recent changes in temperature-controlled shipping, especially when it comes to California, which is pushing for zero-emissions shipping.
“We’re making sure we are at the table helping shape this, and we absolutely want to reduce emissions at the same time that loads [are being moved] to their destination in a safe manner,” Marris said.