SCT Logistics: IoT Tracking deployment driving down the cost of lost assets

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The customer challenge

As a national transport company, SCT Logistics is Australia’s biggest private rail freight operator, supported by a large road fleet. SCT has developed equipment and infrastructure that is second to none, enabling the company to operate the largest, most efficient, general freight trains in Australia –1.8 kilometers long and weighing up to 6,000 tonnes. 

With 1,500+ non-powered assets, including containers and b-double trailers, moving vast distances across the country every day, protecting assets and ensuring their efficient use is challenging and complex. It’s also an expensive business risk. With each asset valued between $75,000 to $200,000, and a potential annual loss rate of 3%, asset loss has the potential to cost the company almost $4 million each year. The scale of the risk was acutely realised by SCT’s Manager when he drove past an auto auction yard and saw a SCT container in the yard being prepared for sale. Assets are also at their highest value when being used and become costly when sitting idle at customer sites or where there are inefficiencies in the supply chain. To mitigate these risks, SCT wanted visibility of the last known approximate location of their assets.

Solution components

SCT Logistics chose Telstra Track and Monitor a scalable IoT asset-tracking solution powered by a unique combination of Telstra’s IoT networks and technology to help solve their business challenges using:

  • Track and Monitor network: LTE-M on the Telstra IoT Network: Adaption of Telstra’s cellular network to become a low-power, wide area network. The activation of LTE-M has enabled a coverage footprint of around three million square kilometres for compatible Cat M1 devices and Bluetooth Trackers for low cost, low power short range tracking around yards -the largest in Australia and one of the largest in the world.
  • Track and Monitor Devices: Telstra Track and Monitor Cat M1 Solar Tracking Units-built to withstand the elements, the ruggedized device has a rechargeable solar battery than can last up to four months between
“SCT Logistics chose Telstra Track and Monitor for the unparalleled IoT network coverage across Australia to deploy Solar charged Cat-M1 trackers on our fleet. It will allow us to locate rail wagons and containers easily, forecast delivery times and analyse data in the moment to deliver efficiencies in our business.”
Sean Atchinson – CIO, SCT Logistics

Action taken

To put the strength of Telstra's IoT networks, platforms and technology to the test, SCT and Telstra undertook a three-month project to track, analyse and protect their critical assets with Telstra Track and Monitor.

It involved SCT placing a series of solar-powered Telstra Cat M1 Solar Tracking Units on a number of their non-powered assets. 

Through the Telstra Track and Monitor web portal, for the first time, SCT were able to get a single view of all moving assets on one page. The potential of this data, SCT quickly realised, was enormous.

When SCT Logistics first opened the Track and Monitor Portal and could see the last known approximate location of their high value assets on one single page, they knew it was the solution they needed to:

  • Have visibility of their assets
  • Understand when they were idle or missing
  • Use insights to plan supply chain efficiencies.

Solution outcomes and benefits:

  1. Improving supply chain efficiency and continuously delivering a better customer experience: SCT has set up and begun conversations with major customer about setting up geozones with Track and Monitor that can inform customers when a delivery is arriving and what the delivery is. 
  2. Enabling faster data decisions based on combined location analytics and other company data: The nature of Telstra Track and Monitor allows SCT to integrate insights and data with their existing systems, rather than managing multiple platforms.
  3. Helping to drive down cost: SCT has traditionally conducted maintenance on their assets at pre-planned intervals. Using insights from Track and Monitor, including kilometres travelled, SCT will now implement a predictive and preventative more efficient maintenance program.

The project achieved its aim of reducing lost assets to zero during the project period. The proof of success for this joint project lies in the SCT board’s decision to roll-out Telstra Track and Monitor at full scale across all SCT Logistics’ non-powered assets, including trailers, containers and rail wagon. The cost for full roll-out of the project is expected to be off-set within a three-year period.