The oil and gas industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world regarding safety because of the potential harm that can be done to people, the environment, and property. The offshore sector requires safe equipment to operate in a potentially hazardous environment.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the offshore industry in many places has generally required that equipment comply with the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU. This is because compliance means that the equipment has been designed to a much higher standard from the point of view of integrated explosion safety.
Thermo King has unveiled its innovative BlueBox Lite telematics device. This new edition promises to boost the connectivity of vehicle-powered refrigeration units.
The advent of the BlueBox Lite provides a more economical solution for customers to procure not only temperature and positional data, but also key information from the control system of the vehicle-powered refrigeration units.
Such information may encompass setpoints, alarms, or operational hours. The device is equipped with 4G connectivity, enabling easy access to data through the Thermo King TracKing™ web portal, TK Reefer, or integration with a third-party platform or back-end system.
Key features of Thermo King’s BlueBox
Thermo King’s BlueBox Lite boasts several noteworthy features:
Access to near real-time data is made possible by a five-minute logging interval, which aids in improving response times.
It is a plug-and-play solution, thus reducing installation time and eliminating the need for a separate DataLogger to obtain temperature data. Unlike other telematics solutions that require temperature probes, the BlueBox Lite can be easily installed and directly connected to the refrigeration units’ controller.
It is an EN12830 compatible solution when paired with the optional TouchLog datalogger.
A 2-way command for SetPoint change enables remote control of the load temperature.
Improving cold chain efficiencies
“Connectivity is something not to be missed for companies looking to improve the efficiency of their cold chain operations,” said Mike McEnnis, Portfolio Leader Product Management.
“By introducing the BlueBox Lite telematics device for our V-Series, VX-Series and B-Series range, we want to make it easier for our customers to take advantage of the data and make their operations smarter. The BlueBox Lite is a plug-and-play, 4G solution that gives them a cost-efficient and easy way to receive real-time intelligence on the operation of their refrigerated vehicle.”
Two in five (41%) logistics firms are offering more flexible working hours to try to ensure they have enough employees to fill each shift, according to research by Indeed Flex, the online staffing platform for temporary work.
Since the pandemic, staff shortages have been a persistent problem for the warehouse and logistics sector. Two in five logistics firms (39%) say their biggest staffing challenge is ensuring enough employees to fill each shift.
Since 2019 there has been a 43% rise in the number of job adverts for warehouse staff, with the most significant increase in the North East where demand has nearly doubled, previous analysis of ONS data by Indeed Flex showed.
Companies previously reluctant to think outside the box
Over a quarter (28%) of professionals in the warehouse and facilities management industry surveyed by Indeed Flex said their biggest staffing challenge is recruitment, while 23% said retaining permanent and contract workers is their biggest problem.
But while firms continue to hunt for staff, it forces many to think outside of the box when filling positions daily to ensure their operations can continue as planned.
Historically, some companies in the sector have been reluctant to offer flexible working hours. Still, competition for staff with other industries that offer such flexibility may lead to a change in attitudes.
The same proportion of companies also turns to temporary workers to pick up the load. Although the company does not directly employ temporary workers, they can still work regular and consistent shifts for the business. Two in five firms have also increased wages.
How logistics and warehouse companies are filling vacancies
Way of filling vacancies
Percentage of companies doing it
Using temporary workers
Offering flexible working hours
Upskilling the workforce
Making the work more engaging – i.e. gamification
Introducing non-financial perks
Novo Constare, CEO and co-founder of Indeed Flex said: “Not having enough staff has a massive impact on the logistics sector. Deliveries go out as normal but the cost for the employer rises as limited numbers of staff work overtime to ensure the job gets done. This often leads to burnout for employees, meaning more absences and even more positions to fill.
“The fact that two in five logistics firms are turning to temporary workers and increasing wages is a real sign that they are struggling to attract people. Crucially, temporary staff still work regularly and consistently for the same employers meaning they can be an important part of hiring strategies.
Different methods to recruit staff
“Companies are also using other methods to recruit and retain staff. While the sector has traditionally shied away from offering flexible hours to staff, they are competing for workers with other sectors that are offering much more flexibility over working hours.
“This is leading to a change in attitudes in the sector, as employers realise flexibility is becoming increasingly important to staff and can differentiate them from other companies in a very competitive industry.”
ORBCOMM advances cold chain telematics with temperature monitoring solution
ORBCOMM, a leader in cold chain telematics, is set to revolutionise the European cold chain industry with its advanced temperature monitoring solution, the RT 8000. This innovative solution, expected to be available this summer, aims to enhance visibility, compliance, and cargo integrity for refrigerated vehicles operating across the region.
The RT 8000 solution automates operations for customers, offering improved connectivity, faster data access, and wireless sensors that enable digitisation of cold chain decision-making. It caters to various sectors such as food distribution, retail logistics, and pharmaceuticals, empowering operators to track and monitor their temperature-controlled cargo effectively.
As part of a comprehensive cold chain telematics package, the RT 8000 incorporates sensors, connectivity, and the state-of-the-art ORBCOMM platform. It facilitates comprehensive temperature monitoring, fuel management, preventative maintenance, remote control, and more, to reduce the need for frequent field replacements.
Shippers and carriers can make informed decisions in real time by leveraging real-time and historical data and event-based alerts, improving operational efficiency and ensuring regulatory compliance. This safeguards cargo integrity and minimises claims related to loss or damage.
Cold chain traceability
The RT 8000 boasts enhanced connectivity, increased memory, and three embedded SIMs, enabling fleets to collect reefer data at higher speeds and cost-effective rates. Its future-proofed technology enhances reporting reliability and longevity, while improved compliance ensures adherence to the European standard supporting cold chain traceability.
With multiple new interfaces, the solution offers customers versatility in supporting various visibility, usage, productivity, security, and EBS/TMPS applications. Wireless sensor support for temperature and door monitoring and Tractor ID integration for automated tractor/trailer pairing simplifies installation and facilitates seamless upgrades to cold chain management.
No need for external power
Designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions, the ruggedised RT 8000 carries an IP67-rating and includes an internal battery backup for reporting without external power.
Christian Allred, ORBCOMM’s Executive Vice President of International Sales, expressed excitement about the RT 8000’s forthcoming launch in the European cold chain industry. He emphasised that the solution would provide refrigerated fleets with enhanced visibility, compliance, and operational control.
The improved connectivity, interoperability, and bandwidth of the RT 8000 enable fleets to access more data, make quicker control decisions, and reduce the risk of cargo spoilage, ultimately driving improvements in their bottom line.
High-value perishable goods require absolute proficiency while in transit to save on product waste – indeed, the global Cool Chain Association (CCA) claims supply chains are not a “hospital for inefficiencies”.