Thursday, October 1, 2015

New Technology in the Shipping Industry

The shipping industy is very important and huge industry that many people don’t think about too often. When you go to the store and buy the goods that you need, the one thing you might think about is where it’s made and where that product came from. The one thing most people don’t think about is how it got to you.

There is a huge industry behind the scenes that most people don’t think about and that is shipping. One way that companies ship their product is through container shipping on large tankers. The biggest company in the world for this is Maersk Line. This company, “moves around 850,000 containers each year across the world”(Paris 1).  With all of these containers it can be hard to keep track of them all, and even hard to keep track of are the refrigerator containers, or also know as reefer boxes. The problem with this is if you are shipping the containers in a refrigerator box from China to the United States, a lot could go wrong in that long trip.  You may not know that many of the boxes refrigeration systems have shut down or stopped working until you get to the destination and by that point that product is ruined. Due to this many profits are lost and Maersk could lose a lot of money.

They have come up with a great solution to this problem. Maersk is now teaming up with AT&T to track each and every reefer box. What AT&T will equip the containers, “with a temperature SIM card, a GPS unit and a radio antenna”(Paris 1). About 290,000 containers will be equipped. With this technology Maersk will be able to detect the reefer boxes if they are malfunctioning and they will be able to fix it right away. With the Sim card it will tell them if the temperature is wrong and the GPS will tell them exactly where the box is. The GPS is very important because on any give ship there could but up to, “18000 containers”(Martin 1) on a boat that is, “1,312ft long”(Martin 1).  Finding a container on this boat would be like finding a needle in a haystack, however with this technology they will be able to pinpoint the specific containers that needs maintenance.

A comforting thought is that AT&T has proved to the world that they are a reliable company that knows what they are doing and can help your company benefit along with themselves. They have previuos experience in, “smart meter management, connected vehicles, smart city street and traffic lights”(AT&T 1). With all this previous experience Maesrk knows that they can trust AT&T to do the job right.

One of the great things about this is that refrigerated products are, “traditionally moved by air. New refrigeration technologies keep items fresh for a longer period, and they can be moved at a fraction of the price charged by cargo planes”(Paris 1). With this it could potentially lower the cost of the goods in retail stores, which will be great for the consumers.

Personally I love this idea. It makes shipping more efficient and lowers the cost for the companies that make the products, the companies such as Maersk that ship the product and the consumers who buy the product. It is a win, win, win and who could complain?

Works Cited

1)       "Maersk Teams with AT&T to Track and Monitor Cold Shipping Containers |AT&T." Maersk Teams with AT&T to Track and Monitor Cold Shipping Containers |AT&T. N.p., 29 Sept. 2015. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.
2)       Martin, Jack. "The Triple-E Maersk Container Ship Will Be the World's Largest Ship and the Most Efficient." The Triple-E Maersk Container Ship Will Be the World's Largest Ship and the Most Efficient. N.p., 21 Feb. 2011. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.

3)       Paris, Costas. "Maersk Line to Track Refrigerated Containers With AT&T Technology." Digits RSS. N.p., 30 Sept. 2015. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.

1 comment:

  1. This was a very interesting article. I think that it bodes positively for Maersk, AT&T, and other companies similar to these two. Adding a GPS and a monitor to the shipping boxes is very smart, because it reduces the risk greatly. I think the next step would be to eliminate the shipping via boat and large crate. These are big objects, and, as you said, things can go wrong while at sea, so it would be best if Maersk and other shipping groups looked into better ways to ship altogether. Overall, a very important topic for the very commercial world we live in.


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