- Simple and cost-effective, the technology aims to ease the problem faced by maritime companies in supply chain.
- The solution will provide faster transportation of goods and greatly reduce the transit time.
Tyre manufacturing company, Michelin is planning to launch the commercial version of its intercontinental supply chain solution this September. With the help of it, any company can locate and track its shipments worldwide. The solution, called “Safecube,” had been developed in partnership with Sigfox, the wireless-network operator and industry consultancy firm called Argon Consulting.
An inexpensive option
Intercontinental container tracking has been a major problem in the supply chain. “From an industrial point of view, maritime flows are probably among the most complex and the least controlled within the supply chain. Some of the key challenges are poorly optimised routes, a lack of visibility, and administrative complexity linked to a large number of players in this space.” said Fabrice Bonneau, CEO, Argon Consulting.
A lot of third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) implement their own track-and-trace systems to face such challenges. These platforms get restricted by the high cost and technical regulations of commercial data networks.
Safecube offers an alternative technique in which inexpensive, reusable trackers get attached to the door of each container with strong magnets. The trackers function as an Internet of Things (IoT) network that transmits small bursts of data over a wireless system. After the arrival of each shipment, users can then detach the tracker and attach it to a new container.
“Safecube does not require real-time updates every minute and large amounts of data. To control your logistics and improve the supply chain, you don’t need much data or connectivity; you just need a few data points: precise location a couple of times a day and real-time updates on specific events.”
Michelin has already been using Safecube for its clients and other supply chain partners in helping cut transportation costs and transit times. This had led to an improvement of 40 percent in estimated time of arrival (ETA) and brought a 10-percent reduction in delays. All this allowed a reduction of approximately 5 – 6 days from routes that take 6 – 7 weeks to complete.
According to Cheaib, every day counts in an industry where a single container can hold more than a thousand products (automobile tires), and such improvements can be decisive in keeping Michelin’s clients working at top capacity.