Emerson has introduced a real-time tracker designed to curb thefts, with an emphasis on security of imported goods.
The GO Real-Time Secure Tracker uses GPS tracking technology and security measures that are compliant with the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program that expedites certain loads through customs. A steel locking bolt guards against theft while shipments are on the road or being shipped on the water, according to a news release.
The GO Real-Time Secure Tracker will alert users if a container door has been opened or if shipments diverge from a programmed course.
“This latest innovation from Emerson was developed to enhance supply chain security, reduce the financial loss from stolen cargo, and assist law enforcement in the recovery of high-value items,” Frank Landwehr, vice president and general manager, said in the release.
Bananas Shelf Life
Big benefits to the banana supply chain are being provided by the RipeLock system, according to company officials at AgroFresh of Philadelphia.
The proprietary system couples 1-MCP technology with unique micro-perforated bag packaging to slow ripening and reduce spoilage. The net result is better shelf appeal and ripeness, providing 4 to 6 days extension in banana yellow life.
The RipeLock system was developed in the past five years and has been commercially deployed for about two years. It is a post-harvest solution slowing the ripening process for bananas and keeps the bananas from turning brown too quickly.
The modified atmosphere bag is packaged at the source and continues through the supply chain.
The bag can easily be used at shipping point, since bananas are typically packed in a liner anyway. The modified atmosphere packaging has to be securely sealed with a knot and a rubber band to make sure the exchange of gas will work as planned.
The bag also keeps the right level of oxygen and carbon dioxide so the bananas are fresh and healthy all the way through the supply chain.
When RipeLock boxes arrive at a distribution center, the active ingredient is applied to the fruit, which acts to extend the yellow shelf life of the bananas up to 6 days.
The systems also reduce fruit weight loss.
The modified atmosphere packaging prevents the bananas from dehydrating during the supply chain.
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There are numerous factors that must be considered at all times to properly maintain the temperature sensitive products being transported. Successful cold chains require planning, communication, and the right technology at every step of the journey, according to an article in the online publication, Fresh Fruit Portal.com.
People are continuously searching for a better (and often more cost effective) way to safely transport temperature controlled items around the world.
This stems from a combination of globalization, increased safety regulations, and growing customer demands. Customers in northern regions are coming to expect the availability of fresh tropical fruit all year long. As the world shrinks, so too does the idea of “seasonal produce” and “regional products”.
This trend has led to increased maritime transportation of temperature sensitive products. Perhaps not the most recent invention, but certainly one of the most popular resources used in temperature controlled shipping are refrigerated containers. In fact, in 1980 only 33% of refrigerated capacity was containerized, whereas in 2010 this share was up to 90%, according to a study from Hofstra University.
Thanks to these containers, temperature controlled products can withstand longer transit times without spoiling and consumers around the world can experience exotic foods and goods – perhaps for the first time – without leaving their local grocery store.
For an industry that’s constantly improving, the question soon becomes: “What’s next? How can we improve refrigeration technology for the changing industry?” The answer is not necessarily in improved cooling abilities (although that certainly plays a role), but rather on the supervision and reporting capabilities of reefers.
Today’s technology offers a variety of tools to not only keep products at the right temperature, but to better monitor the load – from temperature sensors and GPS tracking to self-reporting alerts for computers and mobile devices. Smart refrigerated units even help monitor the location, temperature, humidity, and motion of shipments in real time.
Advanced tracking abilities give relevant parties advanced warning of any changes or malfunctions with the equipment. These types of notifications can help ensure necessary maintenance is performed regularly or even secure alternate capacity before a load is compromised. Unfortunately, this type of technology can be costly. Until the price tag comes down, it’s important to weigh the benefits you’ll receive with the expense involved.
Whether or not you decide to employ the latest technology, it’s important to remember other tried and true methods to protect your temperature sensitive freight. From clear communication to process improvements, it is critical to encompass all involved parties in any changes. At a minimum, this should include carriers, vendors, providers, and receivers.
Like the rest of the transportation industry and the world at large, temperature controlled shipping is changing. Technology plays a large role in the dynamic changes we’re already seeing and will continue to see for many years to come. It wouldn’t be surprising if in the near future there will be the ability to regulate the temperature of refrigerated equipment from mobile devices as easily as changing the thermostat at home.
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Logistics software specialist Roadnet Technologies has introduced a new service allowing users to check arrival times by text, e-mail or phone.
Active Alert, the latest addition to Baltimore-based Roadnet’s MobileCast vehicle GPS tracking software, provides customers with instant notification of projected and actual arrival times, according to a company news release.
Customers who sign up for an alert through a website application or smartphone app are automatically notified via text message, e-mail or phone call of an impending item or arrival of a mobile worker.
“Delivery and service time schedules represent critical pieces of information in the logistics industry, as it sets into motion a sequence of events and activities that impact the operations of a company,” Len Kennedy, Roadnet’s chief executive officer, said in the release.
“Recognizing its importance, we have engineered this Active Alert system that accurately projects estimated times of arrival and eliminates the need for costly back-and-forth communications between logistics providers and delivery recipients,” he said.
Roadnet’s research team found that it costs about $19, in customer service representatives’ time, to answer a single call about a delivery.
Active Alert users will be able to cut customer service costs costs and provide automated, instant notification to their end-users, according to the release.
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