Maersk Line is the world’s largest container shipping company, known for reliable, flexible and eco-efficient services since 1928. Today, with a fleet of 639 ships which sail every major trade lane in the world, they provide end-to-end transport solutions to every corner of the globe. The leader in sustainable shipping already offers the lowest Co2 shipping in the industry and are committed to reducing Co2 emissions by 60% by 2020.
Around 12 million containers shipped every year to 343 ports around the world, to meet the growth in market demands and strengthen the global supply chain, it was crucial to change the existing shipping culture and leverage technology.
Let’s have a look at the
technological initiative they took:
With billions of euro worth of goods shipped daily, it is no surprise that their highest priority was to make sure the containers, especially the refrigerated ones, are safe and working with maximum efficiency.
To achieve this Maersk Line came up with a Remote Container Management (RCM) system that uses the Internet of things (IoT) to keep a track of containers. The platform consists of three different components including a GSM antenna, a 3G SIM card specially designed to work in extreme conditions, and a GPS unit to track its position at any given time.
The Integration of completely new RCM technology was not an easy task, it took them 3 years to install the system on all the cargos.
While most of the containers shipped electronics goods and accessories around the world, there was approximately 3 lakhs refrigerated containers, also known as ‘reefers’, that contained food and needed to be kept frozen or chilled at all times.
Apart from keeping track, Remote Container Management gives control of the reefer directly in the customer’s hands. It allows the customer to monitor and control the temperature of the cargo as it moves!
We are aware of how the rough and extreme weather conditions affect the cargo. With boxes going from one of the coldest places on the planet, such as Alaska to some of the hottest ones in Latin America, the effect of weather on the reefer can be severe. For example, extremely rough weather could severely damage a reefer’s power supply, therefore preventing food from being refrigerated.
It was difficult to identify whether the reefer containers were working properly and keeping the shipment at the right temperature when a ship was out in the ocean, Maersk identified this issue and develop a device that can work and handle the pressure that the equipment goes through.
RCM technology would connect each of its reefer containers to IoT, which was capable to provide accurate data about the conditions of the cargo and alarm the control team when the container needed maintenance.
Not just for preventing damage, with RCM, real-time control can be given directly to the customers who can take charge of their goods while the cargo is moving. This has helped in improving transparency, safety, cost efficiency and providing better service to the customers.