TransCore acquires satellite technology with purchase of Vistar assets

by Canadian Shipper

TransCore, a global manufacturer of transportation-based RFID products deployed in applications such as electronic toll collection and SMART border crossings, is purchasing the satellite tracking, monitoring and global positioning system (GPS) technology assets from Ottawa-based Vistar Telecommunications, a wholly owned subsidiary of NSI Global Inc.

The multimillion-dollar deal means TransCore will be able to offer both major wireless monitoring technologies in a suite of homeland security, fleet management and supply chain products. Vistar’s technical team will remain based in Ottawa and form the core of TransCore’s Satcom Development Center.

Vistar began operations in 1994 as a dedicated business unit within Bell Canada.The company launched the satellite-based GlobalWave system that allows users to monitor, manage, track and communicate with remote and mobile assets from a Web site interface.

With six ground control stations providing service to five continents, the GlobalWave network supports more than 20,000 users worldwide, such as the U.S. Department of Defense and Volvo Penta of the Americas.

“The addition of satellite communication technology is a vital element of our strategic vision to provide end-to-end visibility for commercial and government applications," said John Worthington, TransCore’s president and chief executive officer. "By integrating RFID and satellite technology we create a powerful market differentiator.”

Combining RFID and GPS systems will allow TransCore to offer fleet, rail/intermodal and shipper customers a complete supply chain visibility capability, as well as bring an all-encompassing secure chain-of-custody solution to the homeland security market.

The company says it will be able to offer its nearly 28,000 trucking customers new services such as automated fuel tax reporting and remote equipment monitoring with two-way communications through its Linktrak service offering. In addition, TransCore now has a means to approach the ocean transport and maritime fleet markets and will be able to compete with other companies developing satellite-based tolling.

Currently, coalition forces in the Middle East are using GlobalWave MT2000 satellite data communication terminals to track the transport of critical supplies. The terminal uses a built-in GPS receiver for precise tracking and supports two-way data transmission via geo-stationary satellites.

The GlobalWave system provides on-demand remote monitoring of information such as load volume, temperature, pressure and voltage; produces reports on location and speed; and triggers a variety of alarms when sensor thresholds are exceeded.

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