According to a report by CEC, food waste is a big problem in North America with approximately 168 million tons of food lost per year (1). Distribution is listed as one of the causes of food waste due to damage during transport, rejection of shipments and delays during border inspections.
The reality is, transporting perishable goods – whether food, beverages or even medicine - comes with a unique set of logistical challenges. Transportation companies have to ensure that their reefer trailers, containers and vans maintain consistent temperature levels from pick up to delivery, or risk spoilage and load rejection. This is often easier said than done when carrying sensitive cargo.
The good news is that technology advancements, particularly in the IoT space, are making it easier for transportation companies to protect perishable cargo and mitigate loss. New IoT cargo sensors are being incorporated into fleet tracking solutions so that companies can see inside their trailers and containers – and the benefits are huge.
Real-time condition monitoring reduces waste
Temperature and humidity sensors placed in each zone of a trailer can help to ensure that the right conditions are being maintained. This is particularly important when transporting mixed cargo that requires different temperature and humidity settings. Any variation in the pre-defined conditions triggers an automatic notification to be sent to the driver and dispatch so the problem can be inspected and rectified quickly.
Position and volume sensors can improve load/unload efficiency
With temperature-sensitive goods, it’s critical to limit temperature fluctuation – and having trailer doors open for longer than necessary can affect the internal temperature settings. Knowing exactly where cargo is in the trailer and how much room is available can help improve the time it takes to load and unload.
Real-time data and trip reports help reduce inspection delays
As part of a fleet tracking solution, IoT sensors provide both the real-time and historical data needed for inspection purposes. Detailed reports are automatically produced, making it simple to verify the conditions throughout a journey.
Perishable goods are essential goods
The transportation of perishable goods has always been critical to our society but it’s something that has largely been taken for granted – until the global pandemic brought to light just how essential these goods are. Transportation companies have been under great pressure to deliver food and medicine to communities on time and in good condition. With dozens of applications and variations, cargo sensors can help you get the job done with ease.