IoT Helps Freight Companies Tackle Inflation

IoT Helps Freight Companies Tackle Inflation

Companies are investing in digital transformation to fight inflation and overcome other challenges, Samsara executives said Thursday (June 2) during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

Those in such essential industries as transportation, wholesale and retail trade, construction, field services, utilities and farming are using data-driven platforms to remain competitive during a challenging macroeconomic environment.

“Our customers provide mission-critical services that keep our planet running and represent over 40% of global GDP,” Samsara Co-Founder and CEO Sanjit Biswas said during the call. “Now more than ever, they’re investing in digital technology to streamline operations and increase efficiencies — and we are here to help.”

Mitigating Costs and Inefficiencies

Samsara provides these firms with Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing. For the quarter, it reported 59% year-over-year growth in annual recurring revenue (ARR), 73% year-over-year growth in customers with ARR over $100,000 and 70% growth in the number of customers with two or more product subscriptions.

During the current inflation, rising interest rates, tightening supply chains, tight labor markets and geopolitical uncertainty, Samsara partners with customers to use data to mitigate labor inefficiencies, asset and fuel inefficiencies, insurance costs, compliance, safety and emissions.

For example, Biswas reported during the call that a trucking logistics company used the data to improve fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle idling. With the savings in fuel, the company funded driver pay increases and bonus programs that gave it a competitive edge.

Similarly, a liquid bulk transportation company used video-based safety to coach its drivers and the employees at terminal locations and reduce spend on insurance claims.

In a third example, Biswas said a manufacturer and distributor streamlined worker productivity among operations, drivers and customer service.

“It’s these kinds of cost savings that are helping our customers combat inflation and maintain competitive footholds in their industries,” Biswas said.

Achieving ESG Goals

With insights provided by IoT data, companies are also better able to achieve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

For example, a construction materials company used vehicle telematics, video-based safety and site visibility to gain data and visibility across its operations, Biswas said. The company reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by saving fuel and saw a decrease in preventable vehicle accidents.

“Small shifts in their operations can dramatically reduce their environmental impact and improve the lives of employees,” Biswas said. “With over 4 trillion data points captured last year alone, Samsara is uniquely positioned to impact our customers’ ESG goals, especially around emissions reporting, worker safety and efficiency.”

Fuel is an operating expense for companies across these industries and is very front of mind.

“Our product has been essential in terms of helping them quantify where those fuel expenses are going and finding opportunity to reduce those fuel spends by 15%, 20%, 30% in some cases,” Biswas said.

Insurance costs are rising, too, as distracted driving remains an issue and accident rates are high.

“Our customers have been very conscious around costs, so they’re looking to reduce accidents, lower their insurance premiums, exonerate their drivers, etc., and so I think our driver safety products continue to also do very well for that reason,” Biswas said.

Another current challenge — the supply chain crunch — affects the availability of vehicles and other equipment such as trailers, generators and compressors. So, customers want to keep their existing equipment running longer.

Biswas told of a customer who said they are using Samsara products to understand which vehicles need maintenance and might break down and cause unplanned downtime. With that data, they can perform maintenance when needed.

“They’re being very data driven about how do they run those assets for longer,” Biswas said. “So, that’s how they’re combating the supply crunch.”