As the demand for perishable commodities rises, the need for efficient and effective transportation of these items increases. Even minor variations in temperature and humidity levels can have a major impact on the quality of perishable products that are being transported.
This is why there is a dire need for real-time smart technology in offshore reefer container monitoring and control. It helps to ensure the safety and quality of perishable goods during transportation.
These solutions can also help reduce carbon emissions and other environmental impacts, making the transportation of perishable goods more environmentally sustainable.
In this article, we will examine the emerging trends in smart technology for offshore reefer container monitoring and control, as well as how it can aid in the shipment of perishable products.
Smart technology and its potential benefits for offshore reefer container monitoring and control
Smart technology, in the logistics context, refers to the integration of sensors, processors, and communication systems to monitor and control various aspects of a reefer container. Thus, making it possible to monitor a reefer container’s temperature, humidity, and location in real-time. This helps to optimise the container’s performance, reduce the risk of spoilage, and improve overall energy efficiency.
Key components of smart technology for offshore reefer container monitoring and control
Temperature sensors and automated temperature control
Temperature control is one of the most vital aspects of shipping perishable goods.
Temperature sensors are used to monitor the temperature inside the container.
Subsequently, automated temperature control mechanisms can then use the sensor information to adjust the temperature if needed. Therefore, ensuring that goods remain within the required range and do not get spoilt.
Real-time GPS location tracking
GPS location trackers are used to track the location of the container in real-time. This information can be utilised to optimise the shipping route, reduce transit time, and ensure timely delivery of the goods.
A microprocessor controls the fresh air exchange rate
A microprocessor is used to control the rate of inflow and outflow of air in the container. This ensures that the perishable goods receive the required amount of fresh air, preventing them from getting spoilt.
A data logger is used to extract and rewrite information from the container, such as supply air temperature, return air temperature, ambient temperature, cargo temperature, and humidity levels. This information can be employed to monitor the container’s performance, detect any issues, fine-tune its operations, and carry out proactive maintenance.
The use of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence techniques can be exploited to analyse the data collected by the sensors and provide insights into the container’s performance. This can help in detecting any issues and taking corrective action proactively.
Predictive maintenance and using sensors and data analytics
One of the most promising trends in smart technology for offshore reefer container monitoring and control is the use of predictive maintenance techniques.
This involves utilising sensors and data analytics to monitor the condition of the container in real-time to predict when maintenance will be required before a failure occurs.
By identifying potential issues before they become major problems, predictive maintenance can help to reduce downtime, improve container reliability, and lower maintenance costs.
It also enables shipping companies to proactively schedule maintenance and repairs, ensuring that containers are always in optimal condition and minimising the risk of spoilage or other problems.
Real-time tracking and monitoring of container temperature, humidity, etc
The ability to measure and monitor container temperature, humidity, and other critical parameters in real-time is a key development in smart technology for offshore reefer container monitoring and control. Advanced sensors and telemetry systems that provide continuous, accurate data on container conditions make this possible.
Real-time tracking and monitoring enable shipping companies to rapidly identify and respond to any changes in container conditions, thereby reducing the risk of spoilage and other problems. In addition, it provides greater visibility into container operations, enabling businesses to optimise shipping routes, reduce transit periods, and improve supply chain efficiency overall.
Remote control and management of container operations using telematics and artificial intelligence (AI)
Another important trend in smart technology for offshore reefer container monitoring and control is the use of telematics and AI to remotely control and manage container operations.
This includes everything from setting and monitoring temperature and humidity levels to controlling the fresh air exchange rate and other critical parameters.
By using telematics and AI to automate container operations, shipping companies can reduce the risk of human error, improve container performance, and increase efficiency.
For example, AI can be used to automatically adjust temperature and humidity settings based on changing weather conditions or other factors. This helps to ensure that containers remain in optimal condition throughout their journey.
Integration of smart technology with other systems, such as port and logistics management systems
By integrating smart technology with other systems, such as port and logistics management systems, shipping companies can gain greater visibility throughout the entire supply chain.
For example, from the time a container is loaded onto a ship until it arrives at its ultimate destination.
Such advanced integrations allow transportation companies to optimise their supply chain operations, reduce costs, and increase overall productivity.
In conclusion, the deployment of smart technology in offshore reefer container monitoring and control is critical to the success of the industry.
By utilising advanced monitoring and control solutions, businesses and reefer operators can ensure the safe and efficient transportation of perishable goods whilst reducing operational costs, and improving environmental sustainability.
By using sophisticated sensors, telemetry systems, and artificial intelligence, shipping companies can now monitor and control container conditions in real-time. This, in turn, helps in optimising supply chain operations, reducing costs, and enhancing overall efficiency.
And as technology continues to advance, we can anticipate even more fascinating innovations, from more advanced machine learning for predictive maintenance and real-time tracking to remote control, administration, and integration with other systems.
Check out the range of DNV-certified offshore reefer containers available at MGS Icestorm that come with completely automated temperature monitoring systems, real-time GPS tracking, microprocessor control and other advanced features!
A graduate (Business) from KDU, Jason Tan, is the current Business Director (Sales) for MGS Icestorm and has been associated with the company for the past 10 years.
With over 13 years in the shipping industry, he has had a significant contribution to Malaysia’s oil and gas industry in the engine and boat supply sector.
His expertise includes managing offshore catering business, offshore reefer containers, AI technology, offshore gas tanks, A60 pressurized cabins, etc. His contributions have helped establish MGS, in partnership (joint venture) with Thermo King and Honeywell to produce state of art Offshore Reefer Container products.