How to Stay on Top of Your Shipments with IoT During COVID-19

July 29, 2020

 |  Insights

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020, every domain along the supply chain has been suffering to a different extent from disruptions, and business could no longer be “as usual.”

As tragic as it could be, the unprecedented massive outbreak also taught us a lesson – the utmost importance of shipment visibility. With disruptions all over the place, “where is my cargo?” could be one of the most frequently asked questions. Realizing that the virus will probably co-exist with us for some time, supply chain professionals started to regain control by applying IoT-enabled visibility solutions, that leverage AI and IoT technology, to keep their cargo on their radar.

According to China Ports & Harbours Association, back in mid-February when the virus created massive disruption in China, about 27,000 reefer TEUs  were piled up at Shanghai and Tianjin ports. Prolonged port congestion and full utilization of terminal plugs caused vessels to be unable to unload their containers as planned, resulting in a myriad of delays. Shippers could only desperately wait for the updates from their carriers.

However, shippers may also regain control with tech-enabled visibility.

Stay ahead with technology

We are pleased to share an example of how a small food importer company owner using the shipper-view of Connected Reefer Solution could have gained more visibility and control during a recent disruption incident that actually took place in February.

Like other shippers, the food importer company owner was waiting for his frozen food shipment, which had been scheduled to arrive at China’s Port of Tianjin on February 10, so that his downstream supply chain arrangement could operate as planned.

Thanks to CargoSmart’s IoT visibility solution, Connected Reefer Solution, the owner received automatic notification as soon as his shipment arrived at the Port of Tianjin on February 10 as scheduled. He was relieved for a few hours, but soon, another problem arose – the owner received another notification that his shipment was leaving the Port of Tianjin, together with the vessel.

Act fast with enhanced visibility

Without hesitation, the owner informed the carrier of the notifications. Subsequent checking found that the Port of Tianjin ran out of reefer plugs so that his shipment was forced to divert to other ports. While the carrier tried its very best to transship the food importer company’s frozen food cargo and deliver it back to Tianjin as soon as it could, the owner immediately notified his supply chain agent to reschedule the delivery plan, and worked around the delay to rearrange his production line operation, aiming to mitigate the impact of the disruption.

The award-winning Connected Reefer Solution offers shipment visibility through a tracking service that incorporates the live monitoring information (temperature, humidity, power, location, etc.) with external data sources such as schedule information, shipment milestones, and user-defined exception parameters to reduce false alarms about exceptions, provide context around the container updates, and to provide continuously updated ETAs for improved supply chain planning.

Although Connected Reefer Solution may not root out the possibility of port congestion and other supply chain disruptions, it does provide an easy and reliable way to track your reefer shipment with ease. Learn more about our solution at: https://www.cargosmart.ai/en/solutions/connected-reefer/

Tags: visibility , COVID-19 , tracking , connectedreefer , port congestion , pandemic