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Locus Traxx monitoring helps companies deal with the unforeseeable and unexpected

Jupiter, FL-based Locus Traxx promises to help shippers keep an irrefutable eye on loads in transit, maintaining complete records of the journey of any shipment of produce via its proprietary monitoring systems.

However, the process sometimes has unintended benefits, according to John Hennessy, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Locus Traxx’s proprietary system keeps track of every step of a truck driver’s journey. It Locus-Traxx-3Troy Balakhan, Chris Lafferty, Maria Miller, Elvin Matthews and John Hennessy of Locus Traxx in Jupiter, FL, at United Fresh in Dallas in May. (Photo by Chip Carter)also constantly monitors load temperature and any deviations.

The system has been around since 2005 and has had ample opportunity to prove itself, though the company continues to make daily advancements in technology.

“What we’re doing is giving people a tool to protect their investments,” Mr. Hennessy said. “Instead of having zero chances to save a shipment that might have a cold-chain problem, every couple of minutes — at more than 700 points per day — this system will alert drivers to changes, and if the driver doesn’t make the adjustments, will alert the whole central service center to any potential problems with a shipment. The active RFID in the device is amplifying that signal and sending it along, then you add some alerts and you’ve got something pretty cool.”

Some shippers view Locus Traxx as an extra cost. For the time being, Mr. Hennessy conceded, they may be right.

“Nobody’s going to jail for not monitoring shipments — today,” he said. “We’re still an extra cost for the people who decide to go to us. But once they save a shipment, they realize pretty quickly that they can’t do without it.”

The Locus Traxx system has yielded some compelling — if unintended — results for customers.

One shipper told the company, “Locus Traxx saved Valentine’s Day,” after monitoring detected temperature problems in a $200,000 shipment of floral goods.

As the truck left Florida heading for lovebirds in the Northeast, the Locus Traxx system detected rising temperatures. The driver could not correct the problem on the road so was diverted to a nearby service center for repair. Disaster averted, and Valentine’s Day was rescued.

The Locus Traxx system can also detect anomalies that might otherwise go unnoticed. Monitoring the tracks of a cross-country route that passed through West Texas, the system noted a consistent 12-mile diversion from the optimal route. It turns out the driver knew of a terrific little barbecue joint a few miles out of the way that he was loathe to pass in his travels.

Another client installed Locus Traxx equipment in his entire fleet of trucks. The owner told his drivers about the new monitoring system and explained how it worked.

A few days later, before the system was actually even activated, the owner called Locus Traxx and reported that drivers were completing their routes in about half the time they had previously done so.

“And yes,” Mr. Hennessy confirmed, “he still had to turn the system on and pay for it.”

Sometimes Locus Traxx protects companies from nefarious employees.

“There was a shipment that was found to have 100 pounds of, shall we say, illicit herbal cargo. A review of the trip records showed within feet exactly where and when the door was opened and the extra cargo was added,” Mr. Hennessy said. “The broker assured me that the added cargo was and is not part of any margin-enhancing program.”

Sometimes, Locus Traxx protects employees from spurious charges.

“One of our customers had a driver who looked like someone who committed a crime and was being sought for questioning,” Mr. Hennessy said. “The location data from his shipment showed that he was several states away when the crime happened, thus clearing him. Clearing the innocent is not a core feature but it’s nice to know we can offer it.”