WAM Technologies LLC, provider of wireless M2M solutions for remote management of refrigerated, intermodal, and other transportation assets, has released VesselConnect, a GSM-based tracking system to monitor and control refrigerated containers aboard container and related ships.
As the latest addition to WAM’s M2Connect suite of wireless telematics and cloud-based asset tracking systems, VesselConnect offers a low-infrastructure, cost-effective alternative to older power line modem (PLM) technology for remote reefer monitoring, which requires ships to be fitted with cables and other control hardware.
Launch of this application means that for the first time, GPS/GSM-enabled reefer containers and other assets can be seamlessly tracked all along the supply chain, with visibility across road, rail, water, and intermodal connections.
VesselConnect uses on-board GSM infrastructure to create a wireless local data transport network on the ship, enabling reefer and other containers fitted with GPS/GSM modem devices to continue to report while the vessel is on the water. The system automatically initiates after passing out of reach of terrestrial GSM networks, such as those at the port terminal. VesselConnect can be installed in less than a day and works on multiple ship types including container liners, barges, ConRo, and RoRo ships.
Data from reefer containers fitted with GSM modems are captured by the VesselConnect application software, which runs on a server installed on the vessel. A real-time display shows the status and location of all reefer containers, which report every 15 minutes to an hour, depending on user requirements. Alarms are displayed immediately on the VesselConnect monitor, enabling prompt action to be taken by crew. As the software runs in the cloud, information can also be viewed remotely on any Internet-connected device.
VesselConnect allows authorized users—on the vessel or elsewhere—to remotely adjust reefer set points, as well as to conduct pre-trip inspections (PTIs), on-board, reducing the amount of time needed for equipment preparation on land. The system also provides the precise temperature monitoring and records needed to perform cold treatment, a process required by the USDA and other food regulation agencies to prevent insect infestations in certain fruit.
A key benefit of VesselConnect is enhanced crew efficiency and safety, by eliminating the need to manually check status and condition of reefer containers. If an alarm occurs, it will be automatically displayed on the VesselConnect console and an engineer can be sent to check and resolve any issues. As the system identifies any non-performing equipment, shore-based staff can also be alerted in advance that repairs need to be undertaken, allowing parts and repair staff to be prepared before a vessel arrives into port. The GSM network may also be used to enable crew cell phone calls and text messaging.
Access www.wamcentral.net for further details.