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The ability to verify perishable cargo condition throughout the supply chain

has huge value for producers and retailers.”

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Christian Allred, president and general manager of global sales, Orbcomm

also sense and trace—everything from temperature to humidity to atmosphere composition to shock to tampering. Optimizing shelf life for perishables is of course one of the key benefits.” Because IoT technology tracks and monitors the condition of refrigerated transport assets and their cargoes in real time, any deviation from the required temperature, humidity or other key conditions can be quickly identified. “This could be because a reefer unit wasn’t plugged in, there was a machine malfunction, the refrigeration machinery wasn’t set correctly, or the doors were left open too long during load/unload,” explains Allred. “Hand offs are frequently the weakest links in the chain.” In addition, because IoT monitoring and tracking enables companies to detect problems from afar, including remote adjustment of transport unit temperatures, damage and loss are also reduced. “Beyond shelf life, the ability to verify perishable cargo conditions through the



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supply chain also has huge value for producers and retailers who are looking to validate food quality and safety and build consumer trust,” says Allred. “And these days of course, shelf life might not even be in a retail store. “Food e-commerce and home delivery are changing the fundamentals of food logistics and online shopping, and mobile apps are breeding more educated and demanding consumers who expect greater traceability, safety and sustainability,” he adds. “IoT devices and sensors will play a key role in providing supply chain visibility right through from point of production to the end consumer.”

Overcoming Adoption Hurdles The best news for food supply chains and perishable goods is that the companies engaged with

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them have awareness of the need for track and trace and full supply chain visibility. However, it remains a challenge to fund the technology and business process changes that are needed. “Adoption today is far more a when, not if conversation for many traditional reefer transportation and cold chain players, whether over-the-road, intermodal or maritime,” says Allred. “Food logistics is being disrupted by multiple external forces, and transportation providers are increasingly aware that they must have a digital transformation strategy in place to stay competitive. The past few years have seen some very large deployments across fleets that are tens or hundreds of thousands strong, as well as many small operators.” Nevertheless, upfront costs are still a barrier in many organizations. Yet, this is an area where vendors can help, especially if they can provide flexible financing options. “Vendors can help customers by providing easy-to-use platforms, which help them modify business processes and then walk them through the creation of business value and ROI for technology investments that they are about to make,” says Tive’s Komoni. Buy-in from throughout the organization is also essential. “When companies adopt a supply chain visibility, or trackand-trace platform, they need to focus on how they can resource the project and set it as a key priority across the supply chain,” says Kathleen Marcell, vice president of customer success at FourKites, a provider of real-time visibility and predictive analytics. “If a company really wants to maximize the value of their supply chain visibility platform, they can’t just have one team using it. They need buy-in internally across the organization, including their carriers and other stakeholders, and they should focus on how the system impacts the organization as a whole. A visibility solution will uncover inefficiencies and

3/1/19 10:37 AM

Profile for Supply+Demand Chain/Food Logistics

Food Logistics March 2019  

Food Logistics is the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food and beverage supply...

Food Logistics March 2019  

Food Logistics is the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food and beverage supply...