Blackberry on trucking’s radar

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Blackberry has improved the ability of its Radar trailer tracking system to detect trailer cargo capacity.

It uses flight sensors to detect very precisely – to 99.9 accuracy – the amount of space remaining in a trailer. Philip Poulidis, senior vice-president of Blackberry Radar, said the capability helps fleets better utilize trailers and recover charges for unauthorized trailer use.

“We have a customer that suspected its customer was using its trailers for linehaul, but it was charging storage rates,” Poulidis related. “They wanted to verify this was the case.”

The system identified trailer movement as well as door openings and closings at various locations, in addition to cargo loading and unloading, which proved the trailers were being used for freight transport.

“They were able to charge $120,000 per month across their entire fleet,” he said.

The improved cargo sensing can be uploaded remotely.

“Instead of giving a binary loaded/unloaded status, we can actually give a percentage,” Poulidis said. “It’s useful for LTL carriers that want to know exactly how much capacity is remaining inside a trailer. They can maximize their loads en-route.”

Blackberry has made significant progress in being recognized as a player in the trailer tracking space, Poulidis said.

“When I joined Blackberry seven months ago, I had heard of Radar, but I knew it wasn’t well known in the industry,” said Poulidis in an interview during Truck World. “Over the last six months, we have been very focused on getting the word out that Blackberry is serious about this space. We’ve improved our presence at shows like this. We have new channel partners like Pana Pacific and Fleet Complete. Through those partnerships, we think we are more well known in the industry.”

The company is also targeting new segments, including ports. Because of its antenna strength, even loaded container chassis can deliver a signal.

“We are very committed to this industry and we’re investing a lot of money in this,” Poulidis said. “The very best hardware engineers that were working for 20 years with Blackberry on their very popular Blackberry devices have been retained in Waterloo to work on Radar. We have a very strong team in Ottawa working on the back end. I don’t think anybody is doing it as we are in terms of the level of investment in technology, and the innovation that’s going into it. A lot of companies out there take hardware off the shelf from third parties. We have a design team internally, we have an antenna designer dedicated to antenna design. We have one engineer focused on battery optimization.”

Poulidis added the attributes Blackberry devices were famous for – long battery life and security – have been carried over to Radar.


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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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