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Millions of people depend on receiving food, medications, and other medical supplies in good condition, and ports are a critical link in the cold chain. However, ports of all sizes can pose many risks to temperature-sensitive cargo.
It is essential to keep the temperature of these products carefully controlled at all times, but there are many factors that must be kept in mind when it comes to controlling container temperatures in port:
- Many People, Many Shifts, Many Tasks – At any point in time, there are thousands of people working at the port, each with their own separate tasks. The workers in charge of plugging in your container are not the same people who will stack the container or operate the forklift that carries it to the ship. Some are port employees, others are shipping company contractors, and yet more are subcontractors of a subcontractor. All this hustle and bustle demands careful organization and communication in order to avoid mistakes.
- Automation – When sophisticated automated systems are responsible for monitoring conditions, it's easy to take things for granted. In reality, all the port workers who come in contact with your cargo are busy with their own jobs and have their own tight schedules. The forklift operator will not actively check that your container was handled correctly before he received it, assuming that the automated system was working smoothly. In a busy port, even the best automated systems sometimes miss things.
- Accidents Happen – A system may go down, a shift can get delayed, or a container might even fall from the crane, causing damage and temporary chaos. Cargo may simply get lost in the shuffle and be disconnected from a power source for hours. When a container's temperature is not continuously controlled, no matter the reason, the cost of the damage can amount to millions of dollars.
- Standardized Containers, Standardized Treatment – For better or worse, all containers are treated with the same degree of care. Port personnel usually do not know if your container carries high value or life-saving goods. Malfunctions happen and people inevitably make mistakes. With so many workers coming into contact with every container in port, sometimes important details get overlooked.
To help control the risk, ZIM developed ZIMonitor, a real-time monitoring service that helps you keep track of your cargo from origin to destination. ZIMonitor controls the temperature and humidity inside your container at all times. If a technical glitch or human error puts your cargo at risk, staff on-site and at a 24/7 call center will receive immediate text message (SMS) or email alerts. Your cargo's temperature is essential, and so ZIMonitor gives you peace of mind, knowing that your cargo will arrive in perfect condition.