Maersk Container Industry (MCI) will launch a reefer digitalisation service in 2019, looking to provide reporting data to container operators wherever their reefers are located in the world.
Named Sekstant Global Guidance, the system aims to enable new levels of automation and data collection, changing the way how operators can manage their reefer transport chain.
According to the manufacturer, Sekstant represents the company’s most significant technological breakthrough since the introduction of its Star Cool reefer.
Anders Holm, global head of sales and marketing at MCI, said: “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,” he added.
The plan is to start trials in the second quarter of 2019, with basic packages of the systems becoming commercially available in Q3.
Although the devices are not technically limited to Star Cool, they will initially only be used on Star Cool reefers.
MCI entering the connectivity market marks the first time a reefer original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is offering a system of this kind directly to its customers.
Regarding competition with existing suppliers of connected devices, Holm told CM: “We believe we have a unique position in this field because we have the domain knowledge about the reefer container, we have the machinery and also the Controlled Atmosphere (CA) system.
“We have been working for this for a decade and now with the operations data, we think that we can really provide much more value to our customers.”
The system stays online using centralised cloud architecture and is enabled by a Smart Edge device that includes wide-band 4G LTE modem connectivity with global coverage.
Using the Linux OS platform, the device features Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth for mobile communication.
Holm added: “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.”
The Sekstant system is available to reefer operators from US$0.99 per container per month for the basic package.
Depending on the range of services requested, the standard functions like GPS location, temperature readings and alarms can be expanded to include G-shock recording, ITI diagnostics stamps, replacing manual pre-trip inspections (PTI’s) and potentially automated government approvals, as well as remotely activated trip preparation.
Data capturing is used to support warranty handling while remote CA readings, sensor alarms and temperature control protect product quality.
To optimise fleet management operations, Sekstant will also offer opportunities for geofencing, equipment condition status and reefer lifetime reports.
Holm added: “We will be releasing a base range of functions in 2019, but we have plenty more in the pipeline. Additional functions will be developed in close cooperation with our customers, which will enable us to provide data-driven packages to support specific customer requirements.”