German shipping line Hapag-Lloyd has commenced a major project on digitising its dry container fleet. By the end of 2023, most of the company’s dry containers will be connected to the Hapag-Lloyd LIVE dry digital platform.
Hapag-Lloyd has taken the first step in its major project to equip its entire dry container fleet with real-time tracking devices. The first of these IoT devices is now being installed on dry containers at the CMR depot in Wilhelmsburg, a district of the shipping company’s hometown of Hamburg. In the following weeks and months, installations will begin in other selected container depots in North and South Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Within the next year, up to 200 depots worldwide will take part in the installation of 1.6 million of these devices on standard containers. Plans call for the vast majority of Hapag-Lloyd’s dry containers to be outfitted with these devices by the end of 2023.
“We are very excited to get started now. We are the first carrier in the industry to undertake such a far-reaching step towards the digitalization of container shipping. The containers leaving our depots with a tracking device will now be fully visible to us and, in the next step, to our customers as well – whether they are in a warehouse or moving on a truck, train or barge. We believe that the increased transparency has the potential to improve the management of strained supply chains for the benefit of our customers,” said Maximilian Rothkopf, COO of Hapag-Lloyd.
The tracking devices will be able to transmit data in real-time from each container and thereby make supply chains more transparent and efficient. For example, they can supply location data based on GPS, measure ambient temperature within the container, and monitor any sudden shocks to it. The devices integrate the latest energy-harvesting technology and low-power consumption techniques to ensure that they have ultra-long service lives with high-frequency data transmission.
The container fleet is currently being equipped with devices from the established TradeTech partner Nexxiot, and devices from ORBCOMM, a global leader in IoT solutions, will also be installed starting later this year.
“Digitalising our entire container fleet will be a challenging task. We are now making the first steps of a large-scale project. In this first rollout phase, it will be important to streamline all processes together with our IoT partners so as to achieve the technology’s full potential. At the same time, we aim to make this product quickly available to our customers, as they require and increasingly expect these kinds of digitalised solutions,” added Andrea Schöning, Hapag-Lloyd’s senior director for container steering.