The cold chain logistics industry, which has developed for more than 30 years, has received particular attention in recent years. This is due to the pandemic and the increasing global consumer demand for safe receipt of cold chain products. For example, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, laboratory samples, food, beverages, and dairy products. The Global Cold Chain Logistics Market Size is forecast to reach USD 464.0 Million by 2028. It is expected to grow to exhibit a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 14.2%. (Source: Vantage Market Research) The market for temperature-controlled transportation and storage of perishable products is growing steadily. And now is the golden time to enter the cold chain industry.
However, compared with the high attention of the relevant departments, and a deluge of capital, the whole industry is highly fragmented, non-scaled, non-standardized, and low-yielding. However, some forward-looking cold chain enterprises have already upgraded their traditional operation mode with the help of GPS locator and IoT technology, thus reducing costs and improving efficiency.
I. Background of Cold Chain Industry
A. The Current Situation of the Cold Chain Industry
With the impact of the pandemic, people’s demand for fresh cold chains is getting stronger and stronger. Those cold chain logistics enterprises have also entered a stage of development based on IoT technology. And the application and upgrading of related logistics technologies are also imminent.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing development of a vaccine against the coronavirus has brought the importance of the cold chain to the forefront. The supply chain of materials can be compromised if vaccines are not stored at the right temperature. The transportation and storage of many pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and food products place very high demands on the cold chain industry. For example, some vaccines are very sensitive to temperature changes and require strict adherence to storage at very low temperatures from the manufacturing process to distribution. So to ensure that the cold chain is maintained without interruption, a tracking system that is as comprehensive, automated, and error-free as possible is required.
B. Challenges in Cold Chain Logistics
Although the demand for the cold chain logistics and transportation industry is now growing sharply, the current layout of the industry chain is not perfect. The supporting terminals of refrigerated trucks are backward, and the lack of information technology support efforts leads to the lack of cold chain transportation efficiency. Frequent breakdowns in cold chain transportation without real-time monitoring of the situation, result in a large amount of fruit and vegetables being wasted. Through analysis, now there are several challenges in cold chain logistics as follows.
1. Temperature Control Interruption
Temperature-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals, perishable foods such as meat or seafood, and even daily supplies like frozen vegetables or ice cream can have spoilage problems and safety hazards if they are exposed to temperatures outside the recommended range. This is why a stable temperature is a must.
2. Improper Packaging or Product Damage
Damaged products, inadequate packaging, and products exposed to poorly managed temperatures can cause problems. To keep it safe from these mishaps, goods tracking technology can be used to provide timely alerts and corrections.
3. Contamination problems
Cold chain cooling systems are a breeding ground for bacteria. If freezers and refrigerated trucks are poorly managed or damaged, they can lead to microbial growth. To avoid mold, companies in the cold chain need to constantly monitor their coolers and freezers.
4. Transport Delays and Breakdowns
The worst thing that can happen in the cold chain supply chain is a transportation breakdown. A transportation medium like a refrigerated truck breakdown means damaged loads, lost revenue, and wasted time and money. In addition, temperature-sensitive goods can degrade, deteriorate and fail quickly during such transition delays.
To overcome the above challenges, cold chain goods trackers have been developed.
II. Which Industry Benefits from Cold Chain Tracking?
Information technology is the nerve system of modern cold chain logistics. Based on the system information platform, it is easy to realize the strategic collaborative management of all resources of the enterprise. Thus, it can reduce the cost of cold chain logistics, enhance the market competition and improve the management level. Cold chain tracking and monitoring tools are increasingly being used as an integral part of this chain in the following scenarios.
A. Pharmaceutical Transportation
Pharmaceutical cold chain transportation is known as the top of the pyramid of the cold chain industry. Unlike the general fresh cold chain, the vaccine cold chain has a higher threshold. Vaccine transportation requires a cold chain throughout the entire process of storage and transportation, and the temperature must be controlled at a constant temperature between the limits. As we all know, the common vaccines in our life need to be refrigerated, and the general storage temperature is from 2°C to 8°C, and some need to be frozen at a lower temperature. For example, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines need to be stored in ultra-low temperatures at -20°C and -70°C respectively, while vaccines in China are stored at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C. The temperature needs to be monitored and recorded regularly during vaccine storage and transportation, which has very strict requirements for hardware, software, full controllability, and relevant certifications.
In fact, there are more biological products that have strict requirements for the storage and transportation environment, such as plasma, blood products, biological agents, etc. Some special biological products even have to be stored and transported at -50°C with dry ice. Once the temperature exceeds the limit, the quality of these biological products will have a very significant impact. Therefore the requirements for instrumentation in these fields related to life sciences are higher than in any other industry. Good tracking and monitoring of the cold chain transport process are particularly important. The Goods Tracker allows users to monitor the temperature and humidity of the transport environment in real-time, as well as to obtain transport data and know the real-time status of the goods.
B. Food Transportation
Most of the low-temperature frozen products in food transportation are agricultural and sideline products with strict seasonality and freshness period. Due to the high-quality requirements for logistics timeliness, constant temperature, and diversity, there are serious losses in all aspects of the cold chain such as transportation, storage and distribution, and processing. In logistics, this huge loss of food resources can not be compensated, and the existing software and hardware facilities of the food industry can not meet the requirements of the “more varieties, less quantity” consumption model. Therefore, the tracking and monitoring of the cold chain transportation process are particularly important.
The development of information technology and system, especially the rise of traceability technology, has provided a feasible way to improve the level and quality of cold chain logistics. Whether in the storage, handling, sales, or distribution stages, realizing real-time logistics tracking and establishing information tracing and information sharing mechanisms have become the key to effectively solving the logistics traceability problem in the current food cold chain.
III. How MOKO G Trackers Can be Used in Cold Chain Logistics?
Reliable cold chain temperature monitoring systems ensure the safety and compliance of cold chain assets in storage and in transit.
A. Goods Tracker for Cold Chain Logistics
MOKO’s G-Series trackers combine motion sensors, light sensors, temperature and humidity sensors, and GNSS tracking to ensure that critical assets are always secure while in transit. Our tracking systems are designed to meet the unique needs of your operation – from temperature, humidity, and moisture monitoring, to indoor to outdoor asset tracking, detailed fleet management, and driver behavior reporting, as well as providing real-time theft recovery solutions to track asset retrieval.
Our G-Series trackers provide high-accuracy positioning through global connectivity and flexible configurations to locate and track the data most important to your operations. Report and manage data using GPS and temperature monitoring systems designed and engineered to work in the harshest environments without compromising efficient and reliable data.
B. How it Works
G series device can be configured locally via a USB port and remotely through a command from the server. Below are the main functions of the G Series Tracker.
1. Location Reporting Function
The default configuration is to obtain location information every hour and report it to the platform. When GNSS positioning fails, the base station or WiFi Positioning will be started as an auxiliary. If the device doesn’t detect the network, it will store the data, and the device is in a sleep state till it is reconnected to the internet.
2. Temperature and Humidity Monitoring
Periodic reporting: Collect temperature and humidity once every ten minutes, and report to the platform every hour by default;
Triggered reporting: When the device detects abnormal temperature and humidity, it will trigger an alarm on the platform.
3. Light Density Monitoring
Periodic reporting: Obtain light information on local goods every hour and report it to the platform by default;
Triggered reporting: When the light density exceeds the threshold, it will trigger an alarm to the platform
4. Motion Detection
Periodic reporting: Obtain motion and vibration information every hour and report it to the platform by default. At the same time, the platform will record and judge the motion state of the device.
Triggered reporting: When the device detects the violent vibration of goods and reaches the preset reporting conditions, the alarm reporting platform will be triggered.
5. Local Storage
Support local storage and supplementary transmission in the blind areas.
6. Low Power Alarm
The platform analyzes the reported battery voltage data. A low battery alarm will be displayed if the battery voltage is too low.
7. Electronic Fence
When the device enters or exits a preset fence, the platform will trigger an alarm.
8. Remote configuration&OTA Upgrade
Support remote configuration and OTA upgrade.
IV. What Makes the MOKO Goods Tracker Different?
A. Capture Critical Data
Monitor and record location, movement history, trailer temperature monitoring, humidity, moisture, door open/close, and more with our versatile and rugged line of GPS tracking devices for the cold chain management. Custom geo-fencing tracks the movement of your cold assets and sends alerts when an asset enters or leaves a specific location. Devices can also be customized using location-based behavior. Preventive maintenance alerts, impact detection, and theft recovery reduce the cost of loss and operational inefficiencies.
B. Track more with BLE
Some of our devices combine GNSS and BLE to not only track location but also report on nearby Bluetooth beacons and sensors to collect critical environmental data such as temperature and humidity, as well as data from vehicle components and other onboard assets.
C. Security and Compliance
Maintain security and compliance with a complete cold chain tracking solution. Real-time refrigerated trailer tracking devices provide the data you need when you need it. Cold chain storage and truck temperature monitoring solutions require meticulous attention to detail to ensure security and compliance to prevent damage to assets that require sensitive temperature regulation and reporting, such as food and pharmaceuticals.
D. Risk Reduction
Each stage of the cold chain process provides opportunities for risks that can be avoided and managed with goods trackers with temperature sensors to ensure the integrity of products and assets. With the power of real-time data provided by Goods tracker, the safety and reliability of cold chain equipment and assets can be monitored and preventative solutions implemented in the event of equipment failure or temperature loss.
E. Vehicle and Equipment Monitoring
Vehicle temperature monitoring systems for refrigerated trucks and trailers not only provide temperature monitoring reports but also provide data related to driver behavior and safety, which can also help with theft recovery through GPS tracking capabilities.
F. Reduce Paperwork
Reliable record keeping ensures goods are properly managed and temperature monitoring sensor for transport and storage ensures compliance. Users can manage records in detail with Goods Tracker. And these reports will be digitally sent to the software platform of your choice, which can reduce record-keeping complexity and errors.
In conclusion, cold chain tracking is very important for the whole cold chain logistics and transportation industry. If you have requirements of improving your business, contact our professionals to customize your own tracking solution.