Group warns of further supply chain snarls

AT&T, a main wireless provider in the United States, will quickly be shutting down its 3G wireless engineering and that could negatively impact the freight industry, a study group recently warned.

The sunsetting is set to just take place Feb. 22. At the beginning of February, all main U.S. carriers began the shutdown of 3G networks. What this signifies is that modules and gadgets that request 3G voice and info-only expert services from the AT&T network will no extended operate.

According to ABI Investigate, a worldwide know-how intelligence organization, the shift could have a crippling effect on much more than 350,000 Course 8 cars and lots of connected cold-chain trailers.

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It is estimated that there are virtually 4 million Course 8 trucks in the U.S., with about 3.8 million of them utilized by smaller sized fleets. It is these smaller fleets that are most probable to have delayed shifting to 4G networks, ABI stated. The move necessitates Federal Motor Carrier Protection Administration (FMCSA) compliance via Electronic Logging Gadgets (ELDs).

“It is completely likely that quite a few fleets that have not still transitioned will be unable to buy, clear away, and exchange units prior to February 22,” warned Susan Beardslee, provide chain and logistics principal analyst at ABI Investigation. “This will outcome in serious compliance, safety, auto well being, and operational functionality difficulties to an sector that moves approximately 72.5 for each cent of the nation’s freight by excess weight, and for the duration of a time of rolling, vital shortages of purchaser and organization items.

Canada and Mexico have delayed shutting down 3G networks for a number of far more a long time. Having said that, ought to a truck from either country use an AT&T 3G system, it would not be in a position to transmit or obtain information involving motorists and dispatch. This will also involve linked products, this kind of as video telematics.

“Essentially, when the products no more time operate, motorists can not digitally monitor their Several hours of Assistance (HOS),” Beardslee reported. “Considering that driver tiredness tops the checklist of street dangers, this sunset seriously impacts ELD compliance and road basic safety.”

If a reprieve is not supplied, ABI noted that other possibilities could contain a temporary ELD exemption from the FMCSA, which was carried out in reaction to pandemic-related requirements.

“Longer-term, as connectivity and ADAS advance, more telematics will come manufacturing facility/line-fit/OEM-quality with the unit pre-mounted,” ABI’s statement reported. “Future scenarios to contemplate are modular hardware layouts and components upgradeability, eSIM software, and increased stock arranging in advance.”