Today, ports are a critical logistical hub in the cold chain. Regardless of how large or small a port is, the risks for refrigerated cargo are many. When millions of people depend on your high-value cargo for food, medications and medical supplies, controlling its temperature is vital.
What are the things that can go wrong when your valuable goods are at the port waiting to be loaded to the ship?
- Many people, many shifts, many tasks – at any point in time, there are thousands of people working at the port, each assigned a different task. The workers in charge of connecting your container to an electrical source are different from those who stack it, and from those operating forklifts to carry it to the ship. Some of them are employees of the port, others are contractors of the shipping company, and yet others are subcontractors of a subcontractor. In such hustle and bustle, virtually anything can go wrong.
- Automation – regardless of the sophistication of the systems that ensure that containers are properly monitored, port workers each have their own monitoring device and their own task and schedule to follow. The forklift operator in charge of taking your container to the ship doesn’t really know whether it was connected to the power source or not while waiting to be moved. Even with the best automation, each task is completely independent from another.
- Sometimes things do go wrong – a system is down, a shift is delayed, a container falls from the crane creating a major accident. Cargo may simply get lost in the shuffle and be disconnected from a power source for many hours. Unless its temperature is continuously controlled, losses could amount to millions of dollars.
- All containers are created equal – for better or worse, all containers are treated with the same degree of care. Port personnel do not know if your container carries high value and/or life-saving goods. Malfunctions happen, human error happens; or one of the three daily shifts may have accidentally overlooked your container and failed to monitor its temperature.
On the premise that what may go wrong will go wrong, ZIM developed ZIMonitor, a real-time monitoring service from origin to destination. ZIMonitor is equipped with a computer that controls temperature and humidity inside your container at all times, alerting workers on the ground and at call center manned 24/7 via SMS or email alerts when a technical issue or human error puts cargo at risk.
ZIMonitor gives you peace of mind that your cargo is safe and under the adequate temperature at all times.