| Written by Mark Buzinkay

In order to improve reefer monitoring, it is crucial to track and monitor temperature data in real-time. This can be done using various technologies such as IoT sensors, RFID tags, and GPS tracking systems. Access to this information allows businesses to quickly identify potential problems with their refrigeration units and take action before any product is lost. 

Reefer monitoring with real-time data

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The ability to monitor and track temperature data in real-time is essential for businesses that rely on reefers, which are refrigerated units used to transport perishable goods. This type of information can help identify potential problems with the equipment quickly and allow business owners to take action before any product is lost. This blog will discuss how companies can use technologies such as IoT sensors, RFID tags, and GPS tracking systems to improve reefer monitoring. We will also cover the importance of having a comprehensive maintenance plan, training staff members on the use of refrigeration monitoring systems, and implementing robust reporting and analytics solutions for reefer performance.


After pandemic-related declines during the past years, Europe's leading ports recorded increases in cargo and container throughput in 2021 - also in temperature-sensitive shipments. Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg, the busiest European ports, report general container traffic increases (2,2% to 6,6%). The share of reefer container volumes is between 8% and 15% of the total container traffic in these ports.


How to Improve Reefer Monitoring with Real-time Temperature Data

In order to effectively monitor temperature data in real-time, businesses should employ a variety of technologies such as IoT sensors, RFID tags, and GPS tracking systems. This information can provide visibility into potential problems within the equipment and allow business owners to take action before any product is lost. Furthermore, these technologies can help reduce human error when it comes to maintaining reefer temperatures and provide insights into operational efficiencies.

One key benefit of using real-time data for reefer container temperature monitoring is that it enables businesses to respond quickly to changes in conditions. For example, suppose there is a sudden drop in temperature or an unexpected rise. In that case, businesses can take immediate action to adjust the environment within their reefers and preserve the quality of their products - thanks to remote monitoring. Additionally, this information can help businesses assess their energy use more accurately and make adjustments to their reefers as needed. Overall, this helps businesses avoid costly product losses and keep their refrigeration units running at peak efficiency.

Learn more about the development of sustainable ports.


Implementing a Comprehensive Maintenance Plan for Refrigeration Units

One of the most critical components of effective reefer monitoring is a comprehensive maintenance plan for refrigeration units in container terminals. This plan should consider preventive and corrective maintenance measures to ensure that all containers are consistently monitored and maintained. One way this can be achieved is with the use of the above-mentioned monitoring systems. These technologies allow businesses to manage individual containers and their temperatures in real-time, giving them access to data such as temperature readings and other relevant information so they can quickly identify potential issues. These technologies also enable businesses to set up automated alerts when certain conditions arise, allowing them to instantly address any problems before any product is lost or damaged.

Aside from using technological solutions for monitoring and maintenance, businesses should also provide a proper maintenance plan that includes regular inspections and repairs of the equipment. A maintenance plan identifies potential issues before they become more severe and involves personnel inspecting and manually maintaining containers. This could involve carrying out regular checks on all refrigeration units to identify problems and take corrective action.

Finally, companies should have processes in place for responding quickly when issues arise with their reefers. This could include establishing protocols for identifying problems quickly and taking prompt corrective action, such as sending repair technicians or calling an emergency service provider if needed. This kind of structure can help businesses reduce losses related to spoilage or product damage due to inadequate monitoring or delayed corrective action.

Typical symptoms of malfunctioning reefers are temperature problems, power issues, lighting problems, ice buildup inside the system and unusual noises.


Training Your Team on Reefer Monitoring Systems

Once a reefer monitoring system has been established, it is important to ensure that your team is properly trained in its use. This training should include how to properly install and configure the equipment, as well as how to interpret data from the sensors. Additionally, it is also useful for team members to understand best practices for preventative maintenance of refrigerated units. By having this knowledge, businesses can avoid costly repairs by catching issues early and creating plans for regular maintenance. Training employees on reefer monitoring systems also allows businesses to identify any areas where procedures could be improved or automated with technology, such as automatically setting alarm thresholds or making adjustments based on current conditions. A well-trained team will help businesses get the most out of their reefer monitoring systems.

To further ensure that reefer monitoring is effective, regular testing of the system should be done to check for accuracy and reliability. This could involve regularly testing sensors and adjusting, if necessary, as well as running simulations with different temperature settings to ensure the system functions correctly in all scenarios. By taking these steps, businesses can rest assured that their reefer monitoring systems are functioning optimally and protecting their products from spoilage or loss.

An intuitive system keeps training at a low level and can be personalized for the container terminal's needs.


Utilizing Robust Reporting and Analytics Solutions for Reefer Performance

Utilizing robust reporting and analytics solutions can help businesses gain insight into reefer performance monitoring. These solutions provide detailed, real-time data on temperature, humidity levels, air flow rate, outlet temperatures, door openings, and more. This data can be used to identify potential problems before they become serious issues. Additionally, it can also help companies optimize their transportation and storage operations by providing them with information about the most efficient ways to transport and store their products. By understanding how refrigerated units are performing in the field, businesses can make changes to improve performance or quickly address any problems that arise. With the use of these powerful reporting and analytics tools, businesses can stay on top of their reefer performance at all times (learn more about automated reefer management).

Besides reporting and analytics, keeping records of running and past reefer activities is essential to push back unjustified damage claims from cargo owners. A reefer monitoring system should provide you with historical data for each reefer in your park, independently of the manufacturer, owner or cargo at any given time.

Learn more about the concept of a reefer temperature monitoring device


reefer monitoring: Takeaway

In conclusion, having access to real-time temperature data is essential for businesses that use reefers for their operations. Companies can improve reefer monitoring and take action before any product is lost by utilizing various technologies such as IoT sensors, RFID tags, and GPS tracking systems. Furthermore, having a comprehensive maintenance plan and staff training on reefer monitoring systems is key for efficient operations. Lastly, implementing robust reporting and analytics solutions can provide visibility into operational efficiencies and help businesses make informed decisions. Eventually, a reefer management solution provides the records to refute unjustified damage claims. By taking advantage of these tools, companies can ensure that their refrigeration units are running efficiently, safely, and cost-effectively at all times.

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