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Everyone’s probably heard about the supply chain issues currently plaguing the world at large. It’s undoubtedly impacted your business in some way. Running a business with any kind of success hinges on analyzing logistics, solid communication, and great relationships with suppliers. But even if all of these are going well, there are still some inherent challenges in moving cargo along different supply lanes. Whether there are temperature issues, delays, infrastructure challenges, poorly planned routes, or other challenges, there are some tools that can help organizations overcome anything the supply chain throws their way. Indeed, logistics should be a key concern for most managers. Here are five of the best logistics tools to use for your business.
Some products require cold temperatures to prevent spoilage as they’re transported. These items are transported along the cold supply chain using refrigerated trucks and cargo holds. From the food people consume every day—including meat, seafood, and dairy products—to our pharmaceuticals, time-temperature control is an integral aspect of supply chain logistics. Keeping trucks maintained and refrigeration equipment in top condition can prevent breakdown, but one of the best methods for mitigating temperature damage is using temperature indicators with your cargo. Temperature indicators are designed to gauge temperature changes over periods of time. As the sensor indicates the shifts in temperature, it changes color to indicate the time frame.
This provides a useful benchmark for determining if exposure caused any damage and if the items ever fell into the temperature danger zone (typically ranging between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit). What happens when foods fall into that zone? Spoilage, bacterial growth, and frostbite for starters. Bacterial growth can lead to illness and other adverse health effects, not to mention ruining otherwise edible food. When it comes to medicine and other vital medical transport, it could be a matter of life or death in some cases. So, it goes without saying that maintaining your refrigeration equipment, performing regular inspections, and utilizing tools such as temperature indicators are critical to ensuring the viability of any cargo traveling along your cold supply chain.
In tracking, radio frequency identification tags (RFID) are used extensively. RFID is an exceptionally accurate system for real-time monitoring of cargo. RFID can provide real-time information about everything from inventory to movement along a route. For shipping containers, RFID tags can be installed on the container and read by another device to pinpoint the location. This aids in tracking the movement of certain cargo and other assets at your organization. Delivery optimization and damage prevention are simplified with RFID tracking tags. RFID has plenty of other uses as well, making it a very versatile technology for logistics management. The ability to track things so quickly and conveniently can lead to less damage, fewer instances of theft, and ultimately make everyone’s job much easier in the long run (not to mention making customers happy along the way!).
When cargo is shipped over long distances, the potential for damage steadily increases. Damage from impacts and shocks can happen at just about any point along a shipping route. Using one-time use impact recorders is the single best method for preventing tampering and mishandling while monitoring your shipments for damage. Damage doesn’t always show itself right away, so an impact recorder will log the force of the impact (within a threshold of 2 – 75 G-forces), the time (within 0.5 ms), and the duration of the impact. Industry leaders at Spotsee know how to engineer and design an impact recorder that gets results. Their ShockWatch 2 is one of the most popular and powerful options for impact recorders in the industry today. If you want to save time, money, and effort with an awesome visual deterrent, then an impact recorder is the way to go.
There’s nothing worse than a heavy, moist feeling in the air that makes everything seem like a swamp. High humidity (the amount of water vapor in the air) is generally the cause of this feeling, but humidity does more than make us feel uncomfortable in the summertime. It can be a big problem for shipping cargo. To understand why humidity is an issue in shipping, you need to understand how moisture and condensation affect cargo. Temperatures can change as freight moves along its route.
The longer the route, the more likely moisture, humidity, and condensation can cause damage to the cargo. Preventing exposure to moisture is near impossible but reducing the amount of possible moisture and exposure can be accomplished with certain tools. Condensation happens on a cold surface when warm air hits it, giving it a “sweat” effect. Moisture damage accounts for around ten percent of all damaged goods that are shipped in containers.
hat’s a lot. So, it behooves any company to find ways to reduce exposure to moisture. Using humidity sensors can help, since they’ll indicate the humidity levels in the air and can give you an idea of the potential for moisture build-up or condensation to occur. Then it’s merely a matter of making an action plan and doing your best to reduce any potential damage to your cargo from moisture. Taking precautions and using tools to assess transport conditions is an integral part of any well-designed logistics plan.
Just like impacts, vibrations can cause damage to shipments. In some cases, they can be much more severe, leading to damage that might be less obvious or noticeable upon initial inspections. Using vibration monitors to check for vibration levels and patterns can really help you make informed decisions about shipping your cargo. Setting a vibration logger to a certain threshold or choosing to have it monitor an entire trip, helps you understand where vibrations and shocks might occur along the route. This information becomes incredibly useful for implementing new shipping procedures and pinpointing the causes of damage along your routes. Using vibration loggers in conjunction with impact recorders and other tools will generate a better picture of how to keep your shipments problem-free for a long time to come.
Thank you for reading!