Last updated: 11 April 2014
How often do you purchase something that was made in another country? Odds are, several times a week, if not several times per day. Have you ever thought about the path these goods took to make it to you?
Although the trend towards globalization drives an increasing interconnectedness between countries, physical separation still presents a challenge for the logistics of trade, especially when the products are perishable. The relationship is clear: more time a product spends in transit, the more likely its risk of being damaged – especially if the products are sensitive to external factors such as temperature.
A recent survey by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimated that 1.3 billion tons per year of food was wasted or lost. Much of this waste was due to inefficiencies in the supply chain. Pharmaceutical products, food, chemical products, and electronics are just a few examples of goods that can be impacted throughout the supply chain by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and light as well as shock, vibration and pressure. By tracking these factors, companies can identify and correct issues in the shipping process, detect damage sooner, and better assign liability for damage to transported goods.
M2M-enabled cold chain technology brings real time monitoring to supply chain logistics. With more off-the-shelf connected devices being deployed there is a growing opportunity in temperature-management logistics and incorporating a cloud-based enablement platform makes solutions affordable even for smaller producers.
One key driver of growth in the cold chain sector is the pharmaceutical industry. With revenues projected to reach $420 billion by 2015, and given that 25% of these products are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations, the industry cannot afford to neglect the potential of M2M to help manage quality and ensure regulatory compliance. Cold chain gives the pharmaceutical companies more reliable information when communicating with regulatory entities and reduces lost profits from damage or compromised biomedical products.
With globalization, regulation, and high-value, sophisticated products, the cold chain transport services market is projected to grow from $6.7 billion USD today to $10.7 billion by 2017. Our cold chain solution will be showcased at the upcoming Cold Chain Conference in Chicago which gives a first glance at how real time monitoring can advance this new and innovative industry.