Gustavo Ladeira, Pointer: Security, the basis of LatAm fleet management
While monitoring driver safety and optimizing operational efficiency are key to vehicle fleet management, security is the foundation of the service in Latin America, according to Pointer chief business development officer in the region, Gustavo Ladeira.
Here is our latest one-on-one with the executive which took place at the 2019 Global Fleet Conference in early June. Mr. Ladeira is also one of the newest Fleet Latam advisory board members.
What is the difference between Pointer Telocation and Pointer Cielo?
Ladeira: Well, Pointer is the brand name with Pointer Telocation being the parent company which is headquartered in Israel. In Brazil, the company is known as Pointer Cielo and this is due to the local acquisition of truck telematics company Cielo.
What are some of the services Pointer offers?
Ladeira: We operate via four verticals. The first two, which are more related to automobiles, are fleet management which involves optimizing safety, productivity, logistics and others, and connected cars which involves telematics and other vehicle connectivity services.
The other two are asset tracking which includes different types of assets (e.g. trailers, engines, and generators) and our IoT services which includes Hubs, GSM, and blue tooth sensors to measure temperature, humidity, lighting, energy, among others.
From what I know, you are already operating in the larger markets of Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. Do you have any plans to expand in Latin America?
Ladeira: Sure, from Brazil, we are preparing new operations in the neighboring countries of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Peru. And from Argentina, we are also planning to expand into Uruguay and Paraguay.
Due to demand from our international clients, plans furthest ahead are those taking place in Colombia, Chile, and Peru. We are wrapping up our final agreements and operations should start shortly.
Vehicle theft is of concern for companies as well as private car owners in Latin America. How does Pointer deal with this?
Ladeira: Yes, companies considering fleet management in Latin America need to understand that the region is a bit different than other parts of the world such as Europe. Things such as safe driver management are important, but security is really the foundation of fleet management in Latin America.
We offer driver identification to turn on cars and other features related to detection, alerts, and blocking. Keep in mind, if you do not retrieve your vehicle within the first two hours after being stolen, it will be very difficult to get your car back.
Car theft at gunpoint occassionaly occurs in Latin America (source: Shutterstock)
What about armored cars. Are they necessary?
Ladeira: Well, I have one, and my car was actually stolen fairly recently. Three men, each armed with guns, stopped me in my car while I was on the road.
Armored cars are meant to withstand gunshots from particular types of guns but not all guns. I am not a gun specialist, so I just handed the car over to them.
Although armored cars do give an added protection, you don’t want to take a chance, especially if you have a family with kids. I have Pointer though, so I did get the car back.