In recent generations, the world of logistics has gone through drastic changes. The industry has evolved from having limitations into something almost limitless today.
Most logistic companies’ biggest challenge back in the 1920s was fragile freight. Not only was this a big challenge, but also finding a safe way to transport packages from one location to another while still in one piece. Additional temperature sensitive cargo such as fresh food products were almost impossible to transport any distance. It was only in the mid-1930s that the idea temperature monitoring systems for refrigerated truck was realized.
Temperature-dependent logistics was then driven into a more modern era. While there were some large shipping options as early as 1880, refrigerated truck technology played a progressive part. Food and medical goods were able to take advantage of this technology. With this, it can be transported everywhere on the planet and still in a usable state upon arrival.
What are Temperature Monitoring Systems?
Temperature monitoring systems are product of technological advancements. A tool for administrators to monitor and maintain the quality and potency of products. So basically, temperature monitoring systems help monitor, track, control, and regulate the temperature of an environment.
Temperature monitoring systems also helps by reducing spoilage of temperature-sensitive products and rejected deliveries. Manufacturers and retailers save millions by avoiding losses due to spoilage with the help of these devices and systems. Not only does it help with that, but it also helps in ensuring the delivery of products still in good condition.
Elements of Temperature Monitoring Systems
- Temperature Sensors – This helps the temperature readings in deciding their accuracy and range.
- Temperature Measurement Device – This helps your shipment in measuring and recording the temperature.
- Thermal Buffer – This helps in smoothing the temperature fluctuations. Temperature fluctuations are usually caused by factors like a door opening or compressor cycling.
- Software & Data Storage – This helps you in monitoring, retrieving, reporting, and storing live temperature readings.
- Alarm– This helps in alerting you outside the defined safe limits or thresholds for temperature fluctuations.
What are the Common Logistics Problems Usually Encountered?
You might be wondering then how do we address these logistic problems? And how to lessen the risks so the quality of the products would not be severely affected? The logistics industry faces a lot of problems. Here are some of the major ones normally encountered:
Staying compliant with interstate and international rules is one of the common problems. Each product has a different temperature requirement unique to its own. It especially becomes challenging when freight has to travel through different borders. Compliance monitoring, in general, becomes a challenge to reach its final destination.
Failure to Maintain Product Quality
Failure to maintain the quality of a product is also a common logistics challenge. It becomes a challenge when you need to make sure the quality stays well during the travel. Quality directly impacts products’ effectiveness. This goes for businesses such as hospitals, clinics, food, or anything similar. Maintaining products quality should be easy. But monitoring a moving logistics vehicle could double the stress.
Product owner or manufacturing, in general, maintain a controlled environment for their product’s demand. However, it is never easy to monitor products during transit. Not to mention there will be multiple touchpoints or more shipment companies involved.
Lack of Traceability
A primary reason behind terms like “counterfeit” and “opioids” is the lack of traceability in the logistics industry. These terms especially come up in the food and pharmaceutical industries. One example is fruits grown in the Middle East. The target consumers of the fruits can be based anywhere in South Asia or Europe. The regulators and retailers face challenges when even a simple farm product lacks traceability. This makes it challenging when ensuring quality or even transparency to the customers. They would end up not knowing its manufacturing, processing, or delivery.
A logistics company has to deal with a whole lot of price risks. This includes transportation and fuel expenses, distribution taxes, cross-border regulations, infrastructure and administration costs, vehicle maintenance, and warehouse leasing costs. There is even more than the ones listed here. Because of this, failure to maintain cost efficiency without majorly impacting the cost of a product easily the biggest logistics challenge.
Solutions to these Problems?
In multiple ways, temperature monitoring systems can help you with compliance monitoring. Here are some ways to solve these issues:
Data loggers are devices that facilitate data logging. Data logging is a process where temperature monitoring systems record & store temperature data. It does this over a period of time. Data loggers collect & store data during transit in different environments or systems. They go beyond temperature monitoring and recording. They can even help you with other things like ambient light and voltage. Not to mention, the data loggers are designed to endure extreme conditions.
The devices inside have certified sensors. In addition to temperature, they can track humidity, shocks, and light. By using a barcode scanner or even your smartphone, you can take measurements. Then you can upload the data to cloud-based tracking and monitoring software. This recorded data can be used for compliance monitoring. This can also be presented as requested by regulators.
A TMS can enable you to take action immediately if the shipment’s temperature fluctuates. It does this with the help of a live feed and emergency notifications. As mentioned earlier, your team would be alerted when the temperature of your shipment fluctuates. Whether it goes below or above the optimal level or even close to a violation. This can help you make sure the shipment is still in its original state once it reaches its destination. With this, it can also save you a lot of money in product spoilage and more.
Data Storage and Temperature Sensors
The temperature of a product can be tracked by manufacturers and shipping companies enabled by the TMS. Not only that, but it can also track numerous attributes of the product, the packaging, and the environment of shipping and storage. The conditions a product was shipped in and stored can be used as a point of reference. It can be a reference whether it changes hands from manufacturer to distributor to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. In real-time, the TMS can give access to data and validate quality claims. This really brings the healthcare industry to a whole new level in particular.
Quality Tracking Predictable Costs
This is one of the most transactional logistics advantages of using temperature monitoring. Data loggers collect mountains of data that allow for predictive analytics. This can also help you save money by preventing product spoilage. As a result, this insight leads to better shipping and storage decisions. As such, it is a virtuous cycle.
With the outcomes of each decision, by identifying critical points in the process, you can optimize the shipping costs of your temperature-sensitive products.
AKCP Temperature Monitoring System
AKCP temperature monitoring systems can be deployed in logistics vehicles during transport to give real-time details on the vehicles location, temperature status and door status. This live tracking is consolidated in a centralized management software like AKCPro Server, that displays on a map all vehicle locations and environmental sensor status.
For those who do not require live updates, data logging AKCP wireless dual temperature and humidity sensors are capable of logging data during transport and synchronizing that data once the vehicle is back at the warehouse. These data loggers have an internal memory that can record days worth of data. This is a lower-cost solution than live tracking, for those who only require an audited trail of temperature during delivery.
Temperature monitoring systems are at the heart of food, pharmaceutical, and chemical transportation. Logistics and supply chains are run at extreme levels of complexity in the ultra-modern era. Elevated or drops in temperatures can lead to spoiling of food. More importantly, it can also mean drugs altering their physical properties.
Back then, a spoiled product that arrived would often lead to guessing on when it exactly started happening. Nowadays, we can acquire more accurate data on the temperature during transit, problem areas can be pinpointed with precision, issues can be resolved quickly, and negligent logistics partners are taken to task.
The world has become such a united place. We can thank temperature monitoring systems and the vast improvements over the years that cemented it to make the world even more interconnected.