"Information and knowledge are the defining architects of trucking's future."

Headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., Terion Inc. provides industry leading information solutions using two-way wireless communications. The company's patents and other intellectual properties include digital high-frequency technologies originally developed under contract by Harris Corp. as a nationwide backup communication system. Terion has adapted the technology to a commercial application that provides a low-cost communication alternative with comprehensive geographic coverage. The company is initially focusing its product development and business strategy on meeting the needs of transportation customers.

Over the last decade, large fleets, early adopters of our industry, have moved to satellite-based communication technology to improve truck fleet management. They equipped their fleets with expensive hardware and software to increase the amount of information available to their dispatchers.

But the technology was not industry inclusive. Smaller fleets were prohibited from entering the mobile messaging game because they could not justify the costs. They saw the complicated charging structures used by the large fleets more as management friction than useful information.

The next turn in truck fleet information management will correct that situation by providing a more intense focus on the trade-off of cost and function. It will be affordable to a much wider cross section of fleets and will allow smaller companies to compete with some of the services of the larger logistics providers.

The new approach to fleet communications is to build innovative networks of pragmatic, proven technologies that allow fleets to use lower cost hardware and simplified software. The ultimate goal is to provide solid management information while optimizing costs and bandwidth utilization. In that manner, we provide more room for other uses of bandwidth such as safety documentation, service scheduling and other customer logistics. To hold down costs, we see the use of existing wireless communication technology coupled with Internet applications. Users will have the convenience of e-mail with the dependability of transfer media such as FM radio and digital high frequency. Systems will be flexibly tuned to both wide and local area coverage as well as different usage rates.

We believe that no one company can hope to harness the power and speed of the changes in data transfer technology. The winners of the future will be those companies that have formed strategic alliances that constantly push the envelope of cost and function. They will be companies that work within a strong network of other companies to generate value by applying new business models to the challenges at hand.

Finally, communications technology in the trucking industry must be used to improve the image of our industry and the professionalism of our drivers. At Terion, we see the power of information and knowledge as the defining architect of trucking's future.