Marc Pégulu from Sensing Products on how best to keep track of your box shipments.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a booming ecosystem of technology companies solving challenges and making the world better. Whether it be managing soil levels in remote farms to yield better harvests or connecting the appliances inside our homes – this technology is everywhere managing, tracking and locating all sorts of things.
However, the IoT relates largely to land-based activities, despite the fact that 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. Our oceans are used to transport goods across the globe, but monitoring applications in the world’s oceans is limited and historically extremely challenging.
The World Shipping Council’s 2020 report estimates there are on average a total 1,382 containers lost at sea each year. Couple that with the unexpected slow down on arrival times and transport of the parcels from the factory to the cargo ships to the fleets and into the store shelves in good condition and on-time. This is an ongoing industry problem and what does it mean for the suppliers when these scenarios happen? Most simply, unhappy customers and drastic loss of sales.
LoRa® devices and the LoRaWAN® standard provides businesses and individuals looking to leverage the IoT with long range, low power solutions that are flexible, scalable and easy to implement. Leveraging LoRa for wireless sensors with precise geolocation enables companies to monitor many variables while vessels are at sea, including the status of shipping containers and the condition of machinery, fuel efficiency, environmental metrics and cargo.
This data can even be used to conduct preventive maintenance.
The sensors are placed in shipping containers and can detect when a container is opened and / or closed, monitor the temperature of heat-sensitive cargo (as needed), and provide end-to-end tracking of each container. The information captured by the sensors is passed to gateways using LoRa that transmit the data to a network and application server for processing of the information. Sensors utilizing LoRa deliver real-time information and automated alerts on the cargo status to both merchants and port personnel via a computer or mobile device. The real-time data continuously ensures that should a container go overboard, the fleet’s captain will be alerted in real time and can potentially mitigate the loss of any more cargo.
IoT solutions like long range, low power technology are not only scalable and easy to implement, but are also filling the technology gap of cellular and Wi-Fi/BLE-based networks that require either high bandwidth or high power, or have a limited range or an inability to connect to land networks. Additionally, these sensors do not require GPS and use batteries that can last up to 20 years making it extremely cost-effective, easy and efficient for customers, port officials, buyers and suppliers.
Key Features of LoRa Devices and LoRaWAN Standard:
Long Range: Unlike other connectivity protocols, LoRa can provide access even in the most remote areas, as well as indoor coverage. The range of LoRa can be upward of 15 to 30 miles without losing connectivity, ensuring that sensors are always connected and capturing data.
Low Power: The LoRaWAN standard delivers the ultimate battery life, up to 20 years depending on the application.
Geolocation: Enables tracking applications without additional GPS module or unnecessary power consumption; while ensuring pin-point accuracy.
Open Standard: The global LoRaWAN standard delivers interoperability among applications, IoT solution providers and telecom operators unlike any other solution available.