FMCSA Approves Smartphones, Other Devices as Transponders
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced that a whole host of new tech devices, including smartphones, tablets, fleet management GPS systems and onboard telematics devices, are now approved for use as transponders in weigh scale and inspection site bypass systems.
Now that the FMCSA has cleared these devices it opens the path for states to set up their own bypass networks to screen trucks with similar devices. Specifically, the state screening device would signal the mobile transponder via GPS signal and exchange credentials via Web connection over cellular data networks, then issue the traditional red or green light response.
The FMCSA is hoping this new technology will inspire more states to participate in the bypass program, especially since states could add additional screening sites with no infrastructure-related costs. Costs for carriers to participate would also be minimal because the program allows them to use the devices they already have as transponders, and carriers will also be able to shave more costs and leave a smaller carbon footprint due to less congestion, idling and emissions at the inspection sites.
The bypass program also improves carrier safety as FMCSA inspectors and other law enforcement personnel would be better equipped to screen ‘high risk’ carriers by allowing more trucks to be checked without stopping.
Bimbo Opens Ecological Depot Featuring Clean Energy Fleet
Once again Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo is making another big investment in sustainability, announcing in late July new plans to build a 20 million pesos ($1.6 million) distribution center in Mexico City called the “Ecologic Depot.” Using wind-derived electricity from the wind farm project Bimbo launched a year ago, the new distribution depot will feature six dozen electrically powered vehicles using engine technology developed by technicians from the bakery company.
“Less than a year ago we inaugurated the Piedra Larga Wind Farm, and today we are using that renewable energy source to power the operation of emission-free vehicles, closing the operations sustainable cycle and collaborating with the mobility in this very important area of our city,” said Daniel Servitje, chairman and chief executive officer at Grupo Bimbo, at the announcement.
On top of the emission-free vehicles, the Depot will also feature rain collection systems, complete water recycling for vehicle washing, a wind turbine, green walls, solar cells and efficient lighting mechanisms.
Cold Storage Project at Port Manatee Draws Interest
When the Port Manatee Authority announced their intentions to build a new state-of-the-art cold storage warehouse on Port grounds (located on Florida’s Tampa Bay) through a public-private partnership, they were hoping it would draw interest from some serious suitors in the private sector.
When both Nordic Cold Storage and Logistec Corp. responded the Port got what they were looking for, according to its executive director Carlos Buqueras, who confirmed the two companies are “interested in exploring opportunities.”
The Port recently accepted a $5.4 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and has earmarked it as matching funds for the warehouse construction.
Nordic, the second-largest cold storage operator in the Southwest and eighth-largest in North America, recently opened a $30 million cold storage warehouse near the Port of Savannah. Logistec, a Montreal-based company, already has a presence in the Port where they store perishable products.