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Reefer container IoT

Bronze Sponsor Globe Tracker share insight on successful reefer container IoT deployment planning

Successful Reefer Container IoT Deployment Planning – Food for Thought

The last few years have witnessed significant growth in the deployment of IoT devices in the maritime refrigerated container segment, and since the emergence of Coronavirus, this activity has only accelerated. The idea of an IoT equipped “Smart Reefer” is a now reality and here to stay.

At the same time the maritime cargo market is undergoing a difficult time where demand is high, availability of equipment is scarce, and freight rates are at an all time high and continue to rise even higher.  For shipping lines considering an IoT program in cold chain, the benefits are overwhelming, however the logistical task of equipping large reefer fleets in operation over large geographical areas during an all-time high demand, can be a daunting task if not planned properly.

Real-time and precise location along with new developments in smart pre trip inspection, big data and predictive analytics, the time for return on investment for the technology has never been more compelling. The digital transformation and trends toward transparency are here to stay.  Early adopters of IoT will likely see significant competitive advantages, but how do you manage the pitfalls of deploying IoT devices in this climate?

It all starts with having a pragmatic and detailed plan for both existing fleets and new reefer orders where IoT devices can be installed in the factory.   Any strategy of incorporating IoT device in new reefers containers should  be on the top of the list. There is little doubt that the most cost efficient way to outfit fleets are during new build production either on the factory floor of the reefer manufacturer or at the container factory assembly during commissioning.  Not only is this more efficient but it can result in cost savings and reduced reefer downtime.

The new build installations save you the trouble of finding and moving containers on which to install the IoT equipment. Also, new build installations, when properly done, can provide validity of data in a more timely and reliable fashion than retrofit field installations.

For existing fleets, mapping out key installation locations based trade lane analysis and on throughput is one of the fastest ways to outfit the entire fleet quickly. Working with depots and telematics vendors on installation timing is key to understanding the full scope of installation costs.  While limiting the number of installation points, fully fleet deployments may take a bit longer, but the process becomes quite manageable.

Considerations for installations in the field are more complex and require understanding the following, and having a clear understanding for the answers to the following questions: Do the telematics providers or depot partners have the right team on the ground or provides the proper support to ensure a smooth installation process in the areas you have selected for installation?

Do the telematics operators have a foolproof way of installing its devices to avoid duplicate container IDs or improperly programmed controller IDs?  Can the telematics providers validate GPS, Reefer data and cellular communications upon every installation in rapid fashion at dozens of locations globally? Sometimes limited access to clear sky can hinder 100% validation of proper installation.

Does your telematics provider have contingency plans when the installation location chosen has poor to non-existent cellular connectivity?  For certain depots in remote areas or where cell signals may be impaired by container stacks can result in inefficiencies.  Does your connectivity provider align with your commercial footprint? Both existing and future in order to make sure that its devices can connect where and when you need them to?

Once you feel comfortable with you chosen partners and installation plan, then you head toward planning rollout logistics and forecasting.

Other key considerations are what the maximum volume of installations that can be achieved by each depot per week?  

What challenges are there for delivery of telematics equipment to your chosen sites such as Customs regulations and shipping barriers? Should certain installation sites have to be skipped until all the duties and taxation questions have been answered, and does the device has all the approvals for entry into the country of your choice?  Logistics and cost of importing of IoT devices for installation can vary from country to country.

Does your telematics provider handle all the logistics shipments and installation monitoring, or do they wish to push the installations in your direction? Does your provider have tracking centralized tools to monitor many thousands of installations from multiple sites globally on a daily basis?

No IoT implementation is without risk and unforeseen issues, but by carefully considering the answers to these questions before you choose a telematics vendor and develop a pragmatic rollout strategy will not only save money but also provide a smooth path toward large-scale integration of the IoT devices into reefer fleets.  Not doing so will only increase the risk of costly issues and delays which can occur at any time during the process.

We expect the maritime refrigerated container market to reach critical mass of installed telematics based by the end of 2023 with hundreds of thousands of devices deployed in that time. Understanding all the variables that go into a successful IoT deployment program is key to assure that deployment plans remain on time and on within budget, so that the many benefits of IoT can be realized.

For further information, visit Globe Tracker here

 

 

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Digitalisation and agrofood logistics

Our Port Partner for 2021, the Port of Rotterdam, releases a new White paper on digitalisation in agrofood logistics

Our Port Partner for 2021, the Port of Rotterdam, releases a new White Paper on the role of digitalisation in agrofood logistics. What processes can be digitalised and what are the challenges and opportunities?

Source: Port of Rotterdam

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Rescuing discarded food

Discarded food from food markets in Lima is redistributed

Photo by Ja Ma on Unsplash

The World Food Programme (WFP) is working to ensure to unsold produce from wholesale food markets is used to feed people in need. Leftover perishables such as potatoes, cucumbers, bananas, green beans, olluco tubers, spinach, basil, parsley, squash, leeks, coriander, papayas, pineapples, lemons and other products are transported to food kitchens. 

Source: World Food Programme

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How green is your food?

How green is your food? New eco-system labels to give environmental impact score

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

New traffic light eco-systems labels will score the environmental impact of food. From ‘A’ to E’, the food at a corporate cafeteria in Birmingham, UK, is now rated according to the system. Such systems are being trialed elsewhere in the UK and in Europe. Improved information to assist better food choices can only help the big drive towards food sustainability worldwide.

Source: FreshtalkDaily

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Maersk’s market update

Maerk's market update: congestion to continue and huge peak for air freight at year end

Photo by Andrey Sharpilo on Unsplash

Maersk predicts continued port congestion into Q4 and that the year-end air freight demand will be ‘one of the strongest peaks ever’. After one of the most challenging years ever for the supply chain, the year end will see a race to the finish with continued problems during peak season.

Source: Freshfruitportal.com

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Global food prices soar

Why global food prices are higher today than for most of modern history

Photo by Rachel Park on Unsplash

September 2021 saw a 33% increase over the same period in 2020. Global food price increases are reaching their highest levels for a generation. Multiple factors contribute to this increase, such as the pandemic, fuel prices and extreme weather conditions. This article published in The Conversation explains more.

Source: The Conversation

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UK hosts ‘world’s largest vertical farm’

148,000 square feet of vertical farming space being built in UK

Photo by Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash

It is the size of seventy tennis courts and capable of producing and supplying 1000+ tonnes of fresh produce to the UK. Welcome to ‘the world’s biggest vertical farm’, owned by The Jones Food Company and based in Gloucestershire, UK. Will the new farm further accelerate the UK’s position as a leader in vertical farming?

Source: Euro Fruit

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Eimskip saves 50% of reefer inspection times

Eimskip reduces reefer inspection times by up to 50%

Photo by Rinson Chory on Unsplash

Using MCI’s Intelligent Trip Inspection process, Eimskip has saved 50% of reefer inspection times. Pre-trip reefer diagnostics can be performed remotely whilst the reefer is in operation. There is no risk to the cargo integrity.  The speeded-up process is making jobs easier whilst providing good protection for shipping lines and their customers.

Source: World Cargo News

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Cosco adds EverFRESH

Shipping giant Cosco adds EverFRESH to its refrigerated cargo fleet

Photo by Andrey Sharpilo on Unsplash

Cosco has enhanced its refrigerated cargo fleet by adding EverFRESH controlled atmosphere systems by Carrier Transicold.  The technology will allow the shipping giant to “handle a broader range of perishable commodities across the globe, and confidently protect and ship them to newer and further markets for our customers,” according to Chen Yang, Manager of Sales and Marketing, Reefer Trade, Cosco Shipping Lines.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

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Dennis ALibux

MSC Netherlands gives insight on challenges facing the banana market amid Covid-19

Silver sponsor MSC gives insight on challenges facing the banana market amid Covid-19
Dennis ALibux

The Cool Logistics team speaks with Dennis Alibux – Reefer Manager, MSC Netherlands, about how MSC is helping its customers navigate the challenges facing exporters and importers amid Covid-19.

How have you seen Covid-19 affecting the banana market?  

The impact of the pandemic has been widespread and, as well as affecting people’s health worldwide, it has had a well-documented impact on the supply chain. As people have become more focussed on health and wellbeing as a consequence of the pandemic, the fresh fruit and vegetable market has also seen an increase in demand, putting additional pressure on the supply chain.  

Whereas under normal circumstances we’d expect to see exporters exploring new markets, we have instead seen a focus on maintaining ‘normality’ for customers, delivering the volumes demanded and ensuring goods arrive regularly and in good condition. 

What are the current challenges for importers and exporters in the banana market

Competition is high in the market – margins are constantly under pressure and customers are always trying to find new ways to increase operational efficiencies. Bananas are a popular fruit year-round, and we did not see the drop in volumes earlier in the year that we did with some other commodities – in fact the total banana market in Rotterdam increased in 2020 vs 2019, and we expect this trend to continue.  

This means that banana exporters and importers are under pressure to deliver quality goods all year round, and are counting on their partners in the transport industry to help them move their cargo efficiently and reliably. MSC has formed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers across the cold supply chain and are constantly working to mitigate against the challenges our customers are facing, providing support at every stage of their cargo’s journey. 

How has the banana market changed in the past few years? 

Thanks to major advancements in refrigerated container technology global demand for fresh fruit shipped by reefer container has grown by as much as 40% over the last decade, as exporters become less reliant on traditional methods of transport and have started shipping their goods from A to B. 

Advanced technology like Controlled Atmosphere solutions mean that perishable goods can spend longer on their journeys whilst still arriving at their destinations fresh. This has opened up a new world of options for importers and exporters of bananas – which are a very delicate commodity.  

How has MSC responded to this? 

MSC has responded by implementing direct services from key fruit markets such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, and has expanded its shipments of refrigerated containers year on year – in 2020, we transported more than 1.9 million TEU of reefer cargo topping our previous record of 1.8 million in 2019.  

We have been expanding our reefer fleet for temperature-sensitive cargo, notably by adding 15,000 Star Cool units in 2020, and we now have one of the newest reefer fleets in the world. We have also invested heavily in Controlled Atmosphere solutions, and have established dedicated teams of over 1,000 reefer experts, available 24/7, across the world, who are continuously trained to meet the growing reefer market demands and to ensure our customers’ cargo is in safe hands at every stage of its journey – enabling us to deliver global solutions, locally. 

How will MSC continue to support the refrigerated supply chain in the future? 

Reefer container shipping is expected to continue its rise for the foreseeable future, and MSC is committed to offering new opportunities for all participants in the refrigerated cargo supply chain, from producer to consumer. 

However, it’s not only about physical infrastructure; MSC is also focussed on the digital future of the supply chain.  We have been investing in developing digital tools to make shipping safer, more efficient and more sustainable, and we are taking steps to drive digitalisation across our industry. 

A few years ago MSC launched myMSC – a secure and user-friendly online tool that makes it easy to manage every stage of the shipping process. Customers can use myMSC to place bookings, track their shipments, view their order history, get online quotes, see draft Bills of Lading and more.  

Most recently, MSC has launched its electronic Bill of Lading (e-BL) solution, replacing the traditional paper Bill of Lading with a digital version, enabling shippers and other key stakeholders of the supply chain to receive and transmit all trade-related documents electronically. The application is available for shippers, importers and traders of all industries and sizes worldwide and requires no additional IT infrastructure or operational change.  

MSC’s Global Chief Digital and Information Officer, André Simha, will be discussing the advantages of eBL at this year’s Cool Logistics Event as part of a case-study panel, revealing how this new technology has helped our customers save time, reduce costs and mitigate the impact of trade disruptions on cargo flows during COVID-19. 

Sign up to hear André Simha speak via the Cool Logistics event page using this link here 

Find out more about MSCs refrigerated solutions here

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