Maersk Container Industry (MCI) has become the first reefer container manufacturer to offer its customers a remote reefer monitoring service directly, with hardware installed on new reefer boxes at the factory and a cloud platform for managing the reefer data. MCI is marking this services as the “Sekstant Global Guidance System”.
The new service uses MCI’s own remote monitoring modem with cellular connectivity and cloud architecture for managing the data. Sekstant marks a major departure for the reefer industry, where reefer container manufactures have so far stayed away from offering remote monitoring so as not to interfere with any preference customers have regarding suppliers, hardware and data services.
The result is that so far only Maserk Line has invested in a remote monitoring system. Speaking with WorldCargo News, Anders Holm, Global Head of Sales and Marketing at MCI, said MCI wants to move the industry forward with the adoption of the technology, which has significant benefits for both the reefer owner and MCI as the manufacturer. In fact MCI believes Sekstant is “the company’s most significant technological breakthrough since the introduction of its Star Cool reefer”.
MCI is emphasising that Sekstant provides valuable data, as well as cargo protection.“Whether on high seas on board a container vessel or inland carried on a truck, the data can be visualised on the shipper’s desktop and seamlessly integrated into their IT systems. This is a great leap forward in transparency and optimising utilisation,” said Holm.
The reefer modem itself is a “state-of-the-art Smart Edge device” with wide-band 4G LTE modem connectivity with global coverage. It shares one power supply with the reefer controller. and uses the Linux OS platform, with Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth for mobile communication. “All data transmissions are secured and encrypted. At the same time, the machine data MCI receives can now be processed and transmitted to Star Cool reefer users to give them previously unseen levels of transparency and guidance,” said Holm.
With regard to ownership of and access to the data, Holm explained that both MCI and customer will have access to the data. MCI is being very upfront about the fact that wants to leverage the data to improve its own products and services, and the low base price of $0.99 per month in part reflects the value that the data has to MCI. Where the container owner is a leasing company an agreement will need to be reached with the lessee on data access.
The “basic” package of services that starts at 99 cents per container per month (US$) includes GPS location and temperature readings and alarms. That can be expanded with options that include G-shock recording, ITI (Intelligent trip inspection) diagnostics stamps, replacing manual pre-trip inspections (PTI’s) and “potentially automated government approvals, as well as remotely activated trip preparation”, said MCI.
More functions will be released in 2019, including monitoring Controlled Atmosphere (CA) readings, sensor alarms, geofencing and equipment condition status and reefer lifetime reports.