Maersk to use NFC to track the status of refrigerated shipping containers

TRACKING: Maersk Sekstant will give insight on refrigerated containers wherever they are in the world
TRACKING: Maersk’s Sekstant will monitor refrigerated containers wherever they are in the world

Shipping giant Maersk is to introduce a new service that will enable refrigerated container (reefer) operators to efficiently monitor the status of their goods-in-transit wherever they are in the world, using an NFC-enabled tracking system that supports GPS location, temperature readings and alarms, optional G-shock recording and the potential to automate a range of government approvals.

“Available to the market in 2019, Sekstant Global Guidance will provide reporting data to container operators wherever the reefers are located in the world,” Maersk explains. “Drawing on many years of involvement in reefer connectivity, Sekstant provides container operators with accurate data at any point along the transportation chain.

“The key to the concept’s effectiveness is that it stays online, using a centralised cloud architecture. The system is enabled by a state-of-the-art Smart Edge device that includes wide-band 4G LTE modem connectivity with global coverage.

“Everything is incorporated into a single device and sharing one power supply with the reefer controller. Using the robust Linux OS platform, the device features near field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth for mobile communication.”

“Data capturing is used to support warranty handling while remote Controlled Atmosphere (CA) readings, sensor alarms and temperature control protect product quality,” Maersk adds. “To optimise fleet management operations, Sekstant will even offer opportunities for geofencing, equipment condition status and reefer lifetime reports.”

“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,” says Anders Holm, global head of sales and marketing at Maersk Container Industry (MCI). “This is a great leap forward in transparency and optimising utilisation.”

“All data transmissions are secured and encrypted,” Holm adds. “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 as little as USD 99 cents per container per month for the basic package,” Maersk says. “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.”