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  • 2017 July 26 11:51

    Maersk Line launches Remote Container Management for customers

    Maersk Line announces launching of Remote Container Management for customers. By providing visibility of a refrigerated container’s location and atmospheric conditions inside throughout its journey, Remote Container Management (RCM) gives customers shipping refrigerated cargo an unprecedented understanding of their supply chain. 

    For every refrigerated ‘reefer’ container on the road, at sea or in a port somewhere in the world, there is a customer in the dark, forced to run their business without valuable information about the condition and location of their products.    

    For customers of Maersk Line and the Maersk family of container shipping lines, that ends on 24 July with the commercial launch of the “Remote Container Management” system, RCM.

    With RCM, both customers and Maersk Line have complete access to the reefer’s current location, temperature and atmospheric conditions inside as well as the power status, at all times and no matter where it may be in the world. Meanwhile, Maersk Line’s RCM experts are to manage the container, either remotely or through notifications to local technicians if a hands-on fix is required.

    RCM has the capabilities that our customers have wanted from us for a very long time. It is going to insert an unprecedented level of visibility and reliability into their supply chains that will make their business better,” says Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer for Maersk Line.

    “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.”

    If the impact of RCM is powerful, the technology behind it is relatively simple. A GPS, a modem and a SIM card on all 270,000 of Maersk’s refrigerated ‘reefer’ containers enables location, temperature, humidity and power status readings to be continuously collected and stored. That information then reaches customers and RCM global support teams via satellite transmitters on 400 of Maersk Line’s owned and chartered ships.

    With clarity about the location and condition of the cargo at all times, not just during the ocean transport but throughout the journey of the container, RCM will help identify problem areas in customers’ supply chains and ways to improve them.

    For example, if a customer’s 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. RCM ensures the customer has the information they need to improve their processes.

    In the unlikely event that the container malfunctions and local technicians are not able fix it, RCM’s automatic notifications give our customer time to notify their affected customers and plan alternatives such as unloading the container at an earlier port for a discounted sale.

    In the first six months of 2017, RCM has 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 to our customers—would have been lost.

    Maersk Line has shipped chilled cargo since 1936 and has been a market leader in the reefer segment for many years, shipping a range of perishable cargo from bananas and other agricultural products to fish, meat and pharmaceuticals.

    These types of commodities in particular are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations which can be caused by any number of human or technical errors at any moment in a long supply chain which can drastically reduce the shelf life and final sales price of the product.

    “Our customers have always wanted to know where their products are and if they are being properly cared for from the very beginning to when their customer receives them. Now with RCM, they will always know,” says Anne Sophie Zerlang, Head of Reefer for Maersk Line.

    “We expect we will see an increase in our traditional perishable reefer volumes like agriculture as a result of RCM, but also new opportunities in sectors like pharmaceuticals where there is also a need for the kind of supply chain integrity RCM provides. As we receive feedback and learn more from our customers, we will look for ways to improve and expand the value of RCM.”




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