Maersk Line has announced the official start-up of its Remote Container Management (RCM) service to provide visibility on reefers’ location and internal atmospheric conditions globally.
The service will be introduced on July 24, and it will include the ability for Maersk Line’s RCM staff to manage the container, either remotely or through notifications to local technicians if a hands-on fix is required.
The technology involves a GPS, a modem and a SIM card on all 270,000 of Maersk’s refrigerated reefers. This enables location, temperature, humidity and power status readings to be continuously collected and stored. The information then reaches customers and RCM global support teams via satellite transmitters on 400 of Maersk Line’s owned and chartered ships.
Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer for Maersk Line, says: “The old days of waiting, hoping and reacting are over. Our customers can now monitor and make decisions about their supply chain as their cargo moves, as well as use the data to study and improve their entire supply chain. Particularly for our customers with very sensitive, higher value refrigerated cargo, RCM significantly raises the total value proposition of refrigerated container trade.”
RCM is expected to help identify problem areas in customers’ supply chains. For example, if a reefer is not being pre-cooled as agreed at the farm, the customer can easily see this in the temperature graph on their screen and can contact or follow up with the supplier and the farm. Likewise, if a truck driver or port worker turns off the power to the reefer, this will be visible.
In the first six months of 2017, RCM alerted Maersk Line to more than 4,500 incorrect temperature settings on customers’ reefers. In 200 of those cases, the setting inaccuracy was severe enough that had RCM not notified Maersk Line personnel which then made the necessary changes, the cargo, collectively worth several million dollars, would have been lost.
Maersk is hoping to attract customers with less robust, high value cargo who have in some cases been reluctant to deploy sea freight. For example, the global Pharma industry where air freight moves more than four times the volumes transported by sea.
Maersk Line has shipped chilled cargo since 1936.