Hapag-Lloyd's new live-tracking will help supply chain managers better manage their reefer units. Source: Shutterstock

Hapag-Lloyd’s new live-tracking will help supply chain managers better manage their reefer units. Source: Shutterstock

Can real-time data help Hapag-Lloyd differentiate itself in the supply chain?

SUPPLY CHAINS are changing quickly, with technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more accessible and 5G finally making a debut in some parts of the world.

The pace of change is exciting and creates new opportunities for key players along the supply chain to add value in new and interesting ways, earning better revenues for itself in the bargain.

Recently, Hapag-Lloyd has announced that it will be adding near real-time monitoring of its reefer containers to its product portfolio.

Reefer containers, short for refrigerated containers, usually transport medicines, livestock and agricultural produce, and chemicals, among other things, and are a critical component in the ‘cold chain’.

Hapag-Lloyd is working on fitting about 100,000 of its containers with monitoring devices and hopes to be able to offer the feature to a select group of regular customers before rolling it out to others.

The data that can be viewed as a result of this initiative includes actual temperature setpoint, supply and air return temperatures, location information, as well as container track & trace events.

Dubbed Hapag-Lloyd Live, the feature is intended to complement the container operators’ customer experience dashboard launched late last year.

“‘Hapag-Lloyd Live’ significantly increases the reliability of the global supply chain and the accountability of all parties involved. We are committed to the highest level of transparency by making data available unfiltered and untampered,” said the company’s Global Commercial Development MD Carlos Duk.

According to specialist media, Hapag-Lloyd expects to work closely with its customers during the initial trial and hopes to receive feedback that will enable the company to optimize the solution to provide better support.

The available data and the features in the basic product line might also be expanded in the coming months to provide customers with information that they can, in turn, use to make better decisions themselves.

Clearing and forwarding giant Kuehne + Nagel is among the first of Hapag-Lloyd’s customers to benefit from the new capability being rolled out for reefer containers — and the organization is excited.

“It is encouraging to see Hapag Lloyd Live being introduced to the reefer fleet. For Kuehne + Nagel as well as our customers, transparency of the supply chain is critical to deliver cargo in the best possible quality,” said Kuehne + Nagel VP Global Reefer Trade Benjamin Kaiser.

“The collaboration on the product at this early stage enables us to shape the product to our customer’s needs.”

If Hapag-Lloyd’s solution is effective, it’ll definitely provide the company with an edge in the market and help win over customers who are keen to use data to create their own insights. Competitors need to get on board with the idea and ensure they provide customers with support as more segments of the global supply chain go digital.