“ Contguard gave us actionable, real-time insight into our supply chain, filling our gaps in visibility for the first time. We can now make in the moment decisions that improve speed and efficiency, and adopt changes that directly impact the shelf life of the chilled meat itself for our customers.”
About the customer
Our Customer is an integral part of a Meat Science and Technology Center at a well-known University. As well as handling every stage of the meat production line, and selling all kinds of meat products, the center is dedicated to developing answers to the challenges around meat production and distribution, as well as animal/meat science and technology.
Chilled (aka fresh) is the preferred method for shipping meat products globally, due to superior quality, value and price in comparison to frozen meat. As chilled meat is a complex product with a short shelf life, suppliers need visibility and insight into the entire supply chain to help optimize their process for efficiency and speed. This includes all hand-offs and wait times. On top of this, the status of the meat itself in terms of temperature is essential. Chilled meat is stored in a very narrow range of temperature that should be monitored very closely. Without this visibility, shelf life could be greatly reduced, and spoiled meat could cause waste, recall, and even consumer sickness, with no way to uncover why, or stop it from happening again.
Contguard tracked containers sent by our customer from South America to Israel through our cutting-edge IoT analytics and monitoring system, which requires no installation and minimizes blind spots. Throughout the journey, including during all hand-offs and wait time, our solution had real-time information on location, as well as accurate monitoring of temperature, humidity, impacts, and potential security incidents.
1. The shipment stopped at three unnecessary places, with each stop varying between 20-36 hours. The total delays because of these detours was as much as 6 days.
2. There was a huge detour to Europe, which extended the whole journey by more than 20 days. The shelf life of the chilled meat was heavily reduced as a result of unnecessary time spent in transit.
3. There was a problem identified between the original loading warehouse and the port of loading. This was only 600km, and yet it took 8 days to complete this leg of the journey. For long periods of time, the cargo was left sitting on the pier. With insight into these delays, routes and process could be adapted for next time. In fact, Contguard’s escalation center was able to notify the customer after the first two shipments. As a result, the driving time for the remaining shipments was reduced by two thirds.
4. In some cases, the temperature exceeded the recommended range for major parts of the journey, with the worst issues occurring before the ships left the port. Problems identified included:
• Loading the meat into a hot container that was not cooled in advance
• Disconnection of electricity in the final hours of a truck journey to save on fuel
• Late connection to electricity in the destination port after discharge from the truck
• Early disconnect of power in the loading port, hours before the container was loaded to the ship
Previously unexplained differences between containers in transit, such as one being consistently warmer than the other despite both being connected to power can now be analyzed. For this customer, forensic evidence uncovered that this phenomenon occurred due to improper handling of refrigeration units, improper loading of the cargo, and bad isolation.
Customer benefits on the fly
In the short term, alerts were sent to the relevant personnel to fix problems even while the cargo was still in transit. Rather than troubleshoot retroactively with information that is out of date, handlers on the ground could fix issues in minutes.
For example, we saw that the refrigeration units had not been turned on an adequate amount of time before the container was set to leave the port. This meant that the units were not at the safe temperature when the fresh meat was loaded, risking reducing shelf life or spoilage. By sending a real-time alert to cargo handlers this could be immediately resolved, saving our customer lost income in spoiled meat.
Customer benefits continuous
Our continuous ‘insights’ help our customer with business strategy and optimization, supporting them in making longer term decisions. In this case, our customer could see that cargo remained on the pier for too long, causing unnecessary delay. The company could look into using a different warehouse or changing their shipping routes altogether. The examples for these insights are endless. If human error is causing fluctuations in temperature, additional training can be given to handlers at the ports. If theft is becoming a problem on a specific section of the route, businesses can organize for two drivers per truck so that cargo is not left unattended.
Contguard gave our customer realtime insight and analytical patterns into previous blind-spots in-transit, providing accurate information on temperature, humidity, security issues and more. With a thorough dashboard of status, handoffs, diversions and wait times, our customer could optimize their route and operations, improving the quality of their chilled meat products, increasing revenue, preserving shelf life and maximizing their cost efficiency.