COOLBOXX Purchases WAM-R
Mark-It Services is pleased to announce that WAM-R is being deployed in Europe for use on land and short sea routes. After a successful and comprehensive 18 month pilot proved that significant ROI could be achieved with the implementation of WAM-R, Coolboxx purchased the WAM-R solution from TraSec, an exclusive distributor of Mark-It's WAM product suite in Europe.
Below is a screen shot of a trip trace during the pilot period from WAM-Central, the website used to manage and monitor WAM-R.
In this issue of the newsletter is an article that appeared in a Dutch publication and announced the purchase by Coolboxx as part of its innovative strategy for temperature-controlled shipping.
Trailtrac gives Coolboxx tight control over temperature
With a special reefer container for intermodal transport Coolboxx is going to compete with temperature conditioned trailer transport throughout Europe. "Following many innovations to develop specialized 45-feet/33-europallet reefer containers, there was only one thing lacking - remote tracking and control of the reefer during transport", says Danny King, technical manager at Coolboxx.
Innovation is part of the daily job for Danny de Koning and General Manager Sjaak Melissant of Coolboxx. Coolboxx is a joint venture between transport company Visbeen and Post Cogeko, and the shipping company Samskip, and is specialized in the transport of temperature sensitive products (see www.Coolboxx.nl).
"Since 2004 we have been refining our technical concept further and further" says Melissant and de Koning. Most innovation was focused on getting the maximum interior space and the lowest weight possible for the 45 foot reefer container. The reefer also should be easy to handle in all three modes; sea, land and rail. The main focus was on getting 33 euro pallets in the container which is the same amount as in a trailer but where the container excels in a more environmentally friendly solution according to Melissant and de Koning.
That may seem simple but is difficult to achieve. For example: the weight of the container was reduced by 500 kilogram using special, low weight high strength material, the cooling unit was mounted half inside and half outside the container for maximum inner space and the cold air is blown inside the reefer at the bottom and the hot air is returned just below the ceiling of the container. "This is done to avoid freezing of the products on the first pallets" explains de Koning. The reefer also has a flat floor and a pallet guiding system and rail in the ceiling for hanging meat. Over the last years Coolboxx has proven their formula and increased their fleet of reefers "In order to go a step further into competing with temperature conditioned trailers we also must show that we are able to control the temperature in the reefer during its travel" states Melissant and de Koning.
By means of its partners Visbeen and Post Kogeko, Coolboxx had already the necessary experience with tracking systems. "The antennae of these systems proved to be very damage sensitive which was experienced during a test on our reefer", says de Koning. "Also the existing systems offered little possibilities for good temperature control while underway". According to de Koning there is only one proper way to control the temperature and that is via two way communication with the cooling engine. "No system in the market could offer that capability until we came in touch with TraSec" says de Koning.
1) Control: "The Trailtrac sends us the exact location of the reefer, the temperature inside the reefer and gives us the ability to change the temperature settings on the reefer", according to Sjaak Melissant and Danny de Koning from Coolboxx.
2) Installation: The Trailtrac is mounted inside the control panel of the Carrier and therefore it is difficult to see if a tracking unit is mounted on the reefer.
3) Two way communication: Via the Trailtrac web application the planning department can change the temperature settings of the reefer and receive a data download of the temperature data recorded during the trip.
4) Multi modal: The 45 foot reefer developed by Coolboxx offers a good alternative for the temperature conditioned road trailers.
TraSec (www.trasec.nl), an exclusive distributor of the WAM product suite by Mark-It Services, markets WAM under the Trailtrac brand in Europe. The new Trailtrac V (WAM-R) consists of a compact unit with a GPS receiver and a GPRS modem. "The Trailtrac V is mounted behind the front panel of the Carrier cooling unit" says De Koning. "From the outside it is not clear that a tracking system has been mounted. There is only a small, flat antenna next to the on/off toggle switch". "Unique to the Trailtrac V system unit is the ability for the customer to have two way communications between the web interface and the reefer's microprocessor" says Siebe Borger from TraSec. Thanks to the interface with Carrier, Coolboxx receives all data from the reefer during its travel. The data is presented on the web interface and shows the temperature set point, ambient temperature, supply and return temperatures and the reefer location on a map or even on a Google Earth map. The interface also shows if the power supply is plugged in, if the engine of the Carrier is running and even shows diagnostic information on the performance of the reefer such as alarms. "This system is much more detailed than any other systems especially if it uses its own, separate installed, sensors" according to Danny de Koning. "If the temperature inside the reefer becomes to low or to high then Trailtrac communicates this to us and we can modify the temperature setting using the web interface and the Trailtrac V. In this way we are really able to master the temperature in the reefer container which offers us numerous advantages. Coolboxx also receives diagnostic information from the reefer microprocessor.", says Melissant. "It happens quite regularly that a terminal calls us and tells us that the reefer is not working properly. Instead of sending a service engineer immediately, we can now check by means of Trailtrac if the reefer is functioning normally or not. We can prove when the problem is not with us but that the unit is not plugged in or the power connector is damaged for example. It is very useful and practical to have this detailed diagnostic information from the microprocessor which allows Coolboxx to send a service engineer to the dock with the right spare part when the ship is just arriving in the port. Because the cargo remains frozen or cooled for a long time, thanks to the excellent isolation of the reefer, the quick response with the right spare part ensures that the effect on the cargo is minimal" says Melissant "Also, the Trailtrac V enables Coolboxx to look over the shoulder of the terminal operator to see whether the booked arrangements are being met" says Melissant. Even if a reefer is not plugged in on time, the Trailtrac V still reports its location and condition on a user configurable schedule.
PTI and Data Download
A very important function of Trailtrac V is also that Coolboxx can start a pre-trip inspection remotely as well as a full data download. Rather than send someone to the reefer to do a manual download we can request a data download via the web interface and receive the full report via email within 10 minutes. Melissant and de Koning indicate that the two way communication between Trailtrac V and the reefer is an important advantage over standard temperature controlled trailers. "We now have full control regarding the temperature inside our reefers during use and a very efficient way of proving to our customers that our control goes much further ensuring maximum customer satisfaction".
First appeared TTM magazine June 2009