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TOTE invests in container monitoring technology

Fri 06 Oct 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

TOTE invests in container monitoring technology
Midnight Sun was custom-built for TOTE Maritime Alaska’s roro trade with reefer containers

TOTE Maritime Alaska has selected Orbcomm to provide remote monitoring of refrigerated containers. These telematics solutions will cover reefer containers on roro vessels and during dry modal transport across Alaska.

This is the second deployment for TOTE, following the success of the technology in the Puerto Rico reefer management system earlier this year.

It uses Orbcomm’s VesselConnect service on TOTE’s roro vessels for maritime visibility and control. This enables TOTE to receive critical data from its refrigerated containers and trailers, including reefer status, temperature and slot location. On the ships, the solution combines GSM cellular network technology with advanced monitoring software.

Orbcomm said the benefits of VesselConnect are enhanced crew efficiency and safety by eliminating the need to manually check the temperature status and condition of reefers. Any alarms are automatically displayed on a VesselConnect console, prompting an engineer to check and resolve any issues. The system also identifies non-performing equipment, so shore-based staff can be alerted in advance that repairs are required, reducing time out of service and insurance claims.

TOTE’s system also includes Orbcomm’s ReeferConnect and CargoWatch solutions that provide real-time cold chain monitoring for TOTE’s refrigerated containers. It enables remote and precise temperature monitoring and data needed for ensuring cargo protection as well as compliance with US federal Food Safety Modernization Act regulatory requirements. It also improves asset utilisation and security.

“Advanced telematics solutions will enable us to provide maximum safety and further improve the overall customer experience,” said TOTE Maritime Alaska president Michael Noone. The company provides ocean transportation service between the ports of Anchorage, Alaska and Tacoma, Washington using a fleet of roro cargo ships and intermodal connections throughout Alaska and Canada.

Orbcomm vice president Sue Rutherford recently gave Riviera Maritime Media insight into technology that is driving improvements in remote monitoring of containers and vessels.