After nearly a decade of volatility and uncertainty, the global economy is well on its way to a full recovery. This is thanks in part to the continued investment, and tireless efforts of the container shipping industry. Container shipping leaders, like Maersk and the Mediterranean Shipping Company, have set a course to improve performance and reduce their operating costs; others in the industry have been quick to follow their example.
To improve the performance of their container shipping fleet, and address the challenges posed by low freight rates and increased competition, leading maritime transport companies have had to invest in innovation. An example of this is when they invest in containers.
Temperature Controlled Refrigerated Containers
In recent years, trade with markets in South America and Africa has increased. This has prompted container lines to invest in more efficient, temperature controlled refrigerated containers – more commonly known as “reefers,” to address the challenges of keeping perishable cargo fresher and stable over long voyages.
Maersk Line, which boasts the largest reefer container fleet with 20 percent of the global market, purchased 30,000 additional units in 2015 alone.
Container Tracking Technology
Following a conversation with CMA CGM’s founder Jacques Saade, who spoke of the difficulties related to tracking a shipping container around the world, Michel Fallah (founder and CEO of TRAXENS) was inspired to create a container tracking solution for mass deployment. The biggest challenge facing Fallah was that all containers in a fleet needed to be smart, not just some. This meant that a solution needed to be a low-cost technology with a very long battery life, to accommodate the fact that while reefer containers are powered, dry containers are not. Today, TRAXENS’ innovative hardware can be affixed permanently inside a shipping container during the manufacturing phase.
This feature is very attractive for shipping lines. They want to know where their equipment is, especially the high-value reefer containers. And we can continue communicating with the container even without the container being powered up. – Tim Baker, Director of Marketing and Communications, TRAXENS
A container line like Maersk Line or a container leasing company can simply order a smart container, and the data tracking subscription is included. Although the hardware is designed for inclusion during the manufacturing of the shipping container, it can also be added afterward.
Investment in controlled atmosphere and other innovative technologies are helping container shipping lines capture new markets and product sectors, especially with regards to temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals and perishable cargo. Given the fact that they continue to invest, it is apparent that the world’s leading carriers are bullish on the future of reefer shipping, and ready to capitalize on it.