Transporting refrigerated and other sensitive goods over long distances can prove a difficult, expensive and logistics-intensive task. Large industries today rely on the cold chain to transport essential merchandise like agricultural produce, food and pharmaceuticals over stretches that span continents.
But what we take for granted (we consume medications every day but rarely ask ourselves where they were manufactured and how they got to the local pharmacy) involves many hazards. In fact, any problem on route, at any of the handoff locations and human intervention are a source of risk to valuable cargo.
- Changes to set-point temperatures – this can happen on the ground, at the port and on the ship. A malfunction of the refrigeration system, a technician that inadvertently modifies the set point, power cuts, generators that do not kick in, shifting of containers that leave some disconnected – all these can effectively ruin entire consignments. With hundreds of workers at each handoff point, forgetting to connect a reefer or deficient monitoring are not that unusual.
- Deviations from the planned route – in many countries, road trips to the point of loading take hours. A driver that takes a wrong turn and prolongs the journey beyond schedule, an accident on the road, or even a stop that takes longer than originally planned can wreak havoc to essential goods like food or medications.
- Security and safety – malfunctions that put the security and safety of valuable cargo demand close monitoring at all times. Realizing during a cursory visual inspection that the container’s door was open may be too late for sensitive or dangerous cargo, as are high levels of radiation or humidity.
Recognizing that cargo is a company’s most precious resource and that the cold chain has many risk points, ZIM puts at the disposal of its customers ZIMonitor, a real-time service from origin to destination that gives them peace of mind. Equipped with a GPS that monitors route deviations and a computer that controls temperature and humidity at all times, workers on the ground and at a call center manned 24/7 receive SMS or email alerts when a technical issue or human error puts cargo at risk.
In today’s cost-conscious market, where billions of people depend on refrigerated cargo for food and other vital goods, ZIMonitor collects real-time data to prevent risks, reduce insurance claims, enhance security and reduce costs. After all, a good monitoring solution will always be more economical than having to dispose of an entire shipment.