How Well Protected Is Your Cold Cargo . . . Really?

October 12, 2015

For players involved in the cold supply chain—which includes food, pharmaceuticals and even some chemicals—regular and consistent temperature control monitoring is vital to product protection.

The last thing you want to hear is that all or even a portion of your shipped cargo is no longer marketable because it spoiled or was damaged due to a failure in temperature control while sitting in a warehouse yard for an extended time period. Worse yet is having no record of—or at least a hard time pinpointing—when the temperature control failed, especially in the case of an audit or recall issue.

According to the Food Policy Research Center at the University of Minnesota, about 40% of America’s food supply is either lost or wasted annually. And improper temperature control of perishable cargo is one of the contributing reasons that food is wasted in the cold supply chain.

Tracking Aging Fleets of Reefers

Because of the sensitive and perishable nature of their cold cargo, reefers ideally require temperature and fuel monitoring checks every two hours. And while new reefers come complete with built-in satellite-based tracking and recording technology that provides real-time data updates, there are vast numbers of older reefers in fleets nationwide for which it’s not economically feasible or possible to embark on such a technological upgrade.

With so many reefers across the nation in the latter half of their expected 15- to 20- year lifespan, there now exists a lack of continuity in the industry to correctly address such a vital data monitoring issue from a technological perspective.

As a result, companies often fall back on manually monitoring and recording temperature and fuel check data using paper forms and clipboards. The data records are then placed in a traditional file, only to be retrieved when required for historical analysis.

Hybrid Approach Will Be the Mainstay

In such cases for older reefers, 4SIGHT Logistics Solution offers a module that will help to automate the necessary data monitoring and record keeping process (even though temperature and fuel level readings still need entered manually) using a laptop computer or mobile tablet, both of which are can be integrated with bar code scanning and/or RFID sensor technology. Your temperature and fuel level data is then recorded and tracked via a very audit-friendly system.

Companies moving toward converting their fleets to newer equipment that incorporates a satellite-based data monitoring system also find themselves requiring a solution such as 4SIGHT to automate manual data monitoring, record keeping and tracking for those older reefers in their fleets that can’t be upgraded to satellite-based monitoring systems. So for the time being, this hybrid approach will be the mainstay for reefer fleets.

If you’re company is still manually monitoring, recording and tracking reefer temperature and fuel data, but needs to upgrade to a computerized, easy-to-use, audit-friendly data monitoring, recording and tracking solution, call 4SIGHT at 1-866-691-1377 to schedule an online demonstration. We’ll show you first-hand how 4SIGHT can help add an extra layer of protection to your valuable, yet perishable cold cargo.

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Most users see an ROI with 4SIGHT within 12-16 months. However, some users have seen an ROI as quickly as 6-9 months.