Volvo develops new vehicle positioning system

Volvo Trucks has designed a new vehicle positioning service that makes it possible for a haulier to monitor a truck’s location in real time.

The manufacturer says with Positioning+, it is possible to track a vehicle's geographic location, minute by minute.

It can also define a geographic area, a route or an entire country and allow the operator to receive messages every time a truck passes through these precise areas.

Volvo said the service is of particular benefit to transport firms that operate time-critical services or carry high-value items.

This might include warehousing operations, where staff need to know when a truck will arrive and when it leaves, so they can carry out any follow-up activities.

Johan Östberg, product specialist at Volvo Trucks, said a good example of where the service will be useful is in the concrete industry where timing is everything, down to the very minute the truck must roll up to take delivery of its load.

He added: “When mixing concrete, the mixture is individually adjusted to match the time needed for loading, delivery and casting.

“With Positioning+ it is possible to precisely determine when the truck will arrive and to prepare the concrete blend accordingly.

"If a truck deviates from its route, the system issues an alert and this creates a safer, more secure working environment, especially for drivers carrying high-value cargo.”

Operation Stack escalation imminent, warns Kent Police as Calais chaos hits home

Kent Police has warned that phase three of operation stack is imminent; a rare move that will see HGVs parked up on both sides of the M20 between junctions eight and nine.

With industrial action crippling Calais, as well as Eurotunnel services, Operation Stack phase two is already in operation, with freight traffic parked on the coast bound carriageway of the M20.

Non-freight traffic is being diverted onto the A20 from the Hollingbourne junction and rejoining the motorway at Ashford West.

Kent Police added that as a result of a build-up of heavy freight traffic on the M20, A20 and roads in and around Dover, junction 13 of the M20 is also currently closed in the direction of the Port of Dover.

“Any freight traffic heading towards Dover will need to join the Operation Stack queue.

“Kent Police and partners are working to minimise the impact of disruption on all motorists and officers are reminding lorry drivers that those at the front of the queue will get a ticket to continue their journey to the continent.

“Those who use the diversions for non-freight traffic in an attempt to get closer to the front, and who do not have a ticket, will be sent to the back of the Op Stack queue.

Any freight drivers found to be parking illegally or dangerously will be dealt with robustly,” the statement said. 

Kent Police said the port of Calais was expected to be closed until Thursday.

Matt Clarke, transport manager at Castledene Transport based in Aylesford, Kent, near junction 5 of the M20 described the situation as “ridiculous”.

Clarke said that he now faced drivers running out of time, and major delays for the operation, which runs domestically, pretty much around the clock.

“We’re not a huge fleet but we are efficient and therefore profitable. We are OCRS green and this situation will have consequences for us as a business,” said Clarke.

He added that with much of the current news coverage focused on migrants trying to board trucks in Calais the situation in Kent was getting overlooked. “Pre election there was the promise of a £50m lorry park to help avoid this but that seems to have got forgotten.”

A previous strike by French ferry staff saw migrants stowaway on freight trains travelling through the Channel Tunnel.