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ORBCOMM promotes digitisation for container-ship supply chains
28 November 2017
ORBCOMM promotes digitisation for container-ship supply chains

Advanced communications specialist ORBCOMM was a sponsor of the TOC Europe Conference in Amsterdam, participating in a session on how digitisation can optimise performance in the container ship supply chain sector.

Technology to track containers, cargo, and transport assets on the move has been around a long time in various guises, but is slowly moving towards Machine-to-Machine (M2M) telematics devices and sensors as part of the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT).

For container ship supply chain operations, the potential is profound. Today containers, ships, and other intermodal transport assets such as chassis and gensets are mainly ‘dark, non-intelligent and disconnected’. M2M and IoT telemetry, on the other hand, is all about making assets, cargo, and shipments ‘visible, smart, and connected’, generating live, hard data that can be used in a variety of ways.

“What we are really talking about here is creating real-time visibility and control over complex container supply chain operations by fitting containers, equipment and cargo with automated locating and sensing technology,” Henry Smith, Vice President Sales – Africa at ORBCOMM comments.

This offers multiple benefits for multiple parties: from the safety, security and quality of the cargo that is being transported, to better and more cost-effective utilisation of container and other equipment fleets, to more efficient management of logistics networks and infrastructure.

The ability to track, monitor, and control intermodal equipment and shipments in real-time across land and sea is already helping early transport industry adopters improve operating efficiencies, drive down costs, increase security and safety, and comply with growing regulatory requirements.

Cold chain and temperature-controlled operations are particular beneficiaries, not least to fulfil the requirements of major new legislation such as the US Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) and the EU Good Distribution Practice (GDP) rules for medicinal products.

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