C. Steinweg - Süd-West Terminal, Hamburg

When starting its business over 150 years ago, the C. Steinweg Group committed itself to providing the best possible service quality. As we fast forward to present times, an increasing number of valuable goods travelling worldwide inside containers needs to be managed more efficiently. As such, the company has opted for digitising its reefer container management to maintain the proud over century-long legacy of first-rate performance. Consequently, a hi-tech monitoring system, developed by IDENTEC SOLUTIONS, has come online at the Group’s multipurpose Süd-West Terminal operating in the Port of Hamburg.

While the digital revolution has already changed how the majority of modern industries operate, among other things, automating a substantial portion of the work, when it comes to container management many processes are still carried out manually. Moreover, there are at least three additional things that distinguish taking care of refrigerated containers from their standard counterparts: connecting/disconnecting them to/from the power supply, as well as carrying out scheduled monitoring.

Traditionally, the terminal’s staff needs to check the reefers at specific intervals of between four and 12 hours. The checklist includes operation testing and manual recording of temperature, humidity, and various other parameters.

This time-consuming process can be nowadays fully replaced by automated systems, like the CTAS Reefer System from IDENTEC SOLUTIONS. The system, once the container is at the terminal, will assign the upcoming tasks, such as connecting or disconnecting the reefers, to the staff, but maybe more importantly – it will automatically monitor the boxes. During the whole stay of the container at the terminal, the system will record, notify, and process all the data in real-time in close coordination with the terminal management.

Data automation

Since the end of 2016, every reefer coming to C. Steinweg’s facility in Hamburg has been equipped with a wireless monitoring device. This tag is fixed magnetically and produces an automatic link to the container’s controller. “We are happy to say that the CTAS Reefer is compatible with all current models of reefer containers from manufacturers such as Daikin, Carrier, Starcool or Thermoking. Unlike the usual power-line modem solutions, this system is completely independent,” Stephan Piworus, Global Vice President Sales for Ports & Terminals, IDENTEC SOLUTIONS Germany, noted.

Once connected to the container, the tag constantly and immediately forwards relevant reefer data to the terminal operating system (TOS) by using a radio signal. In case of any discrepancy, an automatic

alarm signal is generated, allowing for a prompt response. Linking the containers to the TOS has enabled the reefers processes to integrate fully into the terminal’s operations. While the tag is removed when the container leaves the terminal, the recorded data remain archived and can be later retrieved in the event of enquiries or insurance cases.

“The use of CTAS Reefer facilitates substantially the reduction of labour-intensive manual monitoring as well as the need for documentation,” Piworus explained and further added, “Manual data input becomes unnecessary, virtually eliminating any risk of errors in data recording. C. Steinweg not only has a continuous record of the status of any reefer during their stay, but with the cargo being checked uninterrupted also raises customer satisfaction and safety.”

No pain, extra gain

Since the installation of the CTAS Reefer about one year ago, the system has been running steadily without any failure whatsoever. This service improvement has already paid off for C. Steinweg by attracting three new container customers without additional personnel expenses. However, as the company’s client base grew, the operations at the Süd-West Terminal had to be tweaked in order to manage smoothly the increasing number of reefers. “We gave special attention to how to organize an optimal service for reefer containers,” Rainer Fabian, Managing Director of C. Steinweg (Süd-West Terminal), said. “Automated high-frequency data collection enables us to guarantee maximum safety and security for sensitive reefer cargoes. Instead of going unnoticed, defective reefer aggregates or discontinuation of power supply are quickly reported and can be rectified immediately. Our trained expert staff looks after handling, connection and settings of reefer containers,” he added.

The efficiency of the system and the reduction in manual labour have already given a good return within the first year. In the coming months, C. Steinweg is going to expand the CTAS Reefer by adding a new software module for energy monitoring. The add-on will be able to determine the reefers’ electricity consumption without the necessity of adding even a single extra device.

CTAS Reefer is the first system of this kind to be installed at the Port of Hamburg. However, because the solution is customisable to fit a business of any size and scale, and thanks to various modules that can be individually combined, a number of companies across the world have incorporated it to boost their processes. This includes such distinct markets as the Netherlands, the US, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Pakistan, Argentina, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Colombia. Furthermore, CTAS Reefer

has been successfully installed on board an inland waterways vessel and was also tested on a container ship during a pilot.


IDENTEC SOLUTIONS AG was founded in Lustenau, Austria, in 1999. Today, the company has additional offices in Australia, the US, Norway, and Germany. Over the years, IDENTEC SOLUTIONS has grown into a global provider of wireless solutions, guaranteeing visibility that in turn improves efficiency as well as safety and security in challenging industrial operating environments. IDENTEC’s sector-specific applications, based on robust RFID radio technology, are used in the oil & gas, port/terminal, tunnelling/mining, automotive, and chemical sectors.

For more info please visit www.identecsolutions.com

Steinweg (Süd-West Terminal)

Steinweg has been operating its universal cargo handling Süd-West Terminal, located on the Port of Hamburg’s Kamerunkai, since 1858. The facility specialises in stevedoring and warehousing (ISPS-certified) services of various general cargo – containerised (incl. refrigerated), metals, coffee, cocoa, paper, and project. Other services provided at the terminal include checking goods, sampling, re-packing, inspections, fumigation, and customs formalities. For more info please go to www.hamburg.steinweg.com

Press contacts

Elke Kocevar
Tel.: + 43 5577 87387-16
E-mail: ekocevar@identecsolutions.com

Steinweg (Süd-West Terminal) GmbH & Co. KG
Rainer Fabian
Tel.: +49-(0)40-78 95 01 14
E-mail: r.fabian@de.steinweg.com