case study Jun 02 2020

Van den Bosch Strengthens its Collaboration with Charters by Using Trimble’s CarCube On-board Computer

Since they installed CarCube in 2016, Van den Bosch Transporten has had more intelligent insight into its fleet operations. In addition, this insight had been expanded to include over 150 permanent charters that the logistics service provider uses daily by equipping them with Trimble’s CarCube on-board computer.

Van den Bosch Transporten transports approximately 2.7 million tonnes of liquid and dry bulk materials per year. The logistics service provider, whose main office is in Erp (The Netherlands), uses a fleet of trucks, trailers and containers as well as other modes of transportation such as trains and boats. The key is to find the optimal combination of road, water and rail for customers in the chemical and food sector. By focusing more on intermodal transport, Van den Bosch has succeeded in reducing CO2 emissions by no less than 20 percent over the last five years.

Foto Van den Bosch truck LR

Real-time Exchange of Transport Data

For efficient and streamlined intermodal operations, it is crucial for schedulers to be able to track the location of the trucks in real time. Will that one bulk container be at the rail terminal on time to catch the train? When will the truck arrive at the harbour to pick up the bulk container? Customers in the food and chemical sector demand reliable transport, so that their own operations are not disrupted.

"So at the end of 2016, we decided to install the CarCube in all of our trucks," said Eli Smeding, operations manager for Trucking at Van den Bosch.

The Trimble CarCube is an on-board computer that offers many features in addition to tracking and tracing. This includes exchanging usage and performance data, automatic driver identification and integrated driving times and working hours. The system is also equipped with truck navigation. Documents can be scanned and sent from the truck via an attached document scanner.

“The big advantage of the new on-board computer is being able to exchange data in real time. This means better oversight, which makes the collaboration between the drivers and schedulers easier. In addition, reading data cartridges and driver cards manually is a thing of the past," added Smeding.

Charters Also Leverage the CarCube

In 2018, Van den Bosch Transporten made the decision to also provide their 150 permanent charter vehicles with built-in CarCubes. “Initially we could only communicate with the charters by telephone. We had to call them to find out where they were driving. It got a little better when we were able to follow the charters through an app on the drivers' smartphones, but that solution was ultimately not reliable enough for our operation. Drivers can turn off the GPS feature or even their entire phone. Sometimes they are driving through areas where mobile reception was difficult, so we have no insight into the current position of the charter. Those problems have been alleviated with the CarCube built-in on-board computer," said Smeding.

Foto Van den Bosch CarCube LR

The CarCube not only leads to better communication with the drivers, it also makes the administrative work much easier. Transport documents are easily scanned and sent from the cabin of the charter vehicles so employees at the Van den Bosch office can now process transport assignments faster and more efficiently.

“Before, drivers used the photo app on their smartphone, which often resulted in photos with poor resolution and the documents were still unreadable,” said Smeding.

Improved Collaboration

Ultimately, the on-board computers also improve collaboration with the charter companies. “We don't want to waste time with discussions about invoices, hours and kilometers of trips that have already been completed.”

“We are also very happy with our collaboration with Trimble,” said Smeding. “The people at Trimble have extensive knowledge of the transport sector. This allows us to articulate our challenges and requirements easier. They actually partner with us to find solutions to meet the challenges we encounter.”

About Van den Bosch Transporten

Van den Bosch Transporten is a leading international logistics service provider. With an annual volume of 2.7 million tons of transported product, it belongs to the top 10 of bulk transporting companies in Europe. As a specialist in intermodal transport, Van den Bosch takes care of the worldwide supply chain activities for customers in the food and chemicals industries. Road, rail and water transport are combined in the best possible way to transport various types of liquid and dry bulk products to the right destination. For more information, visit: