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New Reefer Service has enhanced tracking system

The new technology gives Sea Star wireless monitoring capacities on 100 percent of its refrigerated container fleet, marine terminals, and vessels
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
August 23, 2010

Sea Star Line announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Mark-It Services in order to equip their refrigerated systems (Reefers) with both Global Positioning and Radio Frequency Identifications Systems creating the Sea Star Line Refrigerated Cargo Guardian Service.

In what has been described as “an industry first,” Sea Star Line has introduced the Sea Star Line refrigerated cargo “Guardian Service.”

The new technology gives Sea Star wireless monitoring capacities on 100 percent of its refrigerated container fleet, marine terminals, and vessels. This milestone has been achieved through the use of advanced wireless devices mounted on every refrigerated container that continually report the status of all temperatures, and other onboard conditions, back to a web-based software platform that provides Sea Star total and continual visibility and control.

Spokesmen for the company said that shippers are assured that their valuable and time-sensitive cargo is protected from origin to destination without any ‘dead spots’ along the supply chain, which could happen without such control. For example, on a typical journey from Puerto Rico to inland USA, reefers are continually in view.  Visibility is provided even when reefers are at crucial intermodal junctions from land to sea and back.

The hardware and software solution was provided by Mark-It Services of New Jersey, a leading provider of reefer protective services. The Sea Star Line Guardian Service tracks and monitors the container as it moves within the customers supply chain. Data such as real time GPS location, reefer running/stopped events, set/supply/return temperatures and USDA probe temperatures are all available at the operator’s fingertips.

Most importantly, said spokesmen, any reefer alarms that occur are pushed immediately to operator screens and sent via email and SMS so that corrective actions can be taken. Traditionally such alarms would only be visible during scheduled manual “walk around” inspections which are less frequent, more labor intensive and prone to interruption.

The Sea Star refrigerated cargo Guardian Service also provides the ability to send commands to the reefer to, change set points, start/stop pre-trips and order downloads without having to visit the unit. All these capabilities result in greater efficiencies within Sea Star and provide timely and enhance reporting to customers.

“By using advanced GPS and wireless technologies, we are going to be able to offer our customers reefer tracking, tracing and control 24/7,” said Jim Wagstaff, AVP of Operations for Sea Star Line.  “The Guardian systems will provide critical information to the customer and will lead to improvements in the delivered quality of the goods. Conditions in the reefers will be monitored in real-time and issues can be responded to in minutes electronically. This will substantially improve product integrity, security, and reduce claims which is paramount to our customers and Sea Star.”
“Sea Star Line is the only ocean carrier in the Puerto Rico trade that can provide the Guardian Service. It provides our customers with a tremendous opportunity to reduce claims while guaranteeing the quality of their delivered product - ultimately providing peace of mind,” added Wagstaff.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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