Spotlight on ... Pallets, containers, and tracking systems
Here are some recent product announcements that have crossed our editors' desks.
Hybrid wood/corrugated pallet: Startup pallet maker NextPallet has developed a new hybrid wood/corrugated pallet that supports 2,400 pounds. Weighing 26.5 pounds, the heavyweight version of the NextPallet hauls and racks like much heavier wood pallets. (To support that claim, the company notes that test results from Gaynes Labs are available at http://www.pipallet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/GaynesTesting-6-4-18.pdf.)
The basic structure is a wood skeleton with recycled corrugated material wrapped around it. The materials are bonded with an industrial adhesive, a hot-melt glue. The unit is both reusable and recyclable, the manufacturer says.
The company also offers lightweight and standard versions of the pallet. (NextPallet)
International container tracking: Project 44 has announced the addition of "ocean visibility" to its Advanced Visibility Platform. The new feature enables shippers, beneficial cargo owners, freight forwarders, and third-party logistics service providers to track North America-bound container shipments as they arrive in port for shipment, travel across the ocean, and are discharged from vessels for transfer to rail or trucks. Users have access to real-time container-level tracking from departure through arrival.
According to the company, the ocean visibility feature is a comprehensive solution for international shipments that enables next-level operational efficiency and an improved customer experience. Ocean visibility includes direct connections to over 75 ports and terminals; live vessel tracking to all containerized ships around the globe; shipment details, including location, ETA, and container status; and direct API (application programming interface) integrations to ocean carriers. (project44)
Export-grade pallet: Pallet supplier Litco International Inc. has introduced the Exporter, an engineered molded wood pallet unit-load solution for one-way and export shipping.
During the manufacturing process, the pallets are heated to more than 350 degrees Fahrenheit to eradicate insect pests and contaminants. Because the Exporter is considered "processed wood"—meaning it's approved for export as-is per IPPC-ISPM 15 (International Planet Protection Convention, International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15)—shippers avoid additional costs to heat-treat wood pallets and the need for a license stamp to demonstrate compliance.
According to the company, the Exporter contains 86 percent less moisture than new traditional hardwood pallets and has a higher resistance to mold, moisture-sensing insects, and bacteria in high-humidity, low-air-flow environments such as overseas shipping containers and tropical destinations.
Litco's Exporter pallets are available in 10 sizes and up to five different weight-bearing options. (Litco International Inc.)
Refrigerated container monitoring: Orbcomm Inc., a provider of machine-to-machine and Internet of Things solutions, has launched its next-generation solution for remote monitoring and control of refrigerated containers traveling by land, rail, or sea for uninterrupted visibility of operations, improved efficiency, and reduced costs. Orbcomm's CT 3000 series provides wireless connectivity through its ruggedized hardware and a cloud-based analytics platform and information management engine for asset management and utilization.
Orbcomm's CT 3000 series solution supports built-in and external sensors, cellular connectivity, and wireless technologies to deliver data on asset location, status, performance, cargo-area temperature, and more. The new series comes in two variants: the CT 3100 and the CT 3000. The CT 3100 can be temporarily installed to monitor assets for a specific duration while on a trip, aboard a vessel, or at a terminal, while the CT 3000 is permanently installed on an asset for continuous tracking.
This next-generation container monitoring solution connects directly to the reefer to enable real-time alerts and two-way control, allowing operators to react to discrepancies and remotely adjust temperature and humidity levels to ensure temperature compliance and minimize spoilage. In addition, Orbcomm's refrigerated container solution automates pre-trip inspections to facilitate quicker turn times, lower operational expenses, and reduce safety risks to personnel. (Orbcomm Inc.)
Portable cooling containers: Coldtainer USA, a maker of portable containers that can be used for temperature control in any transportation application, has introduced its standalone Coldtainers. According to the company, Coldtainers don't require insulated vans or trucks, reducing fleet owners' capital costs and improving resale values because non-converted units appeal to a wider range of used-vehicle buyers.
Available in front-opening or top-loading models in a range of capacities and with numerous cooling, freezing, and heating options, Coldtainers can use battery, shore, and solar power sources on vehicles and at facilities to operate on AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current) power. Equipped with refrigeration units designed to withstand vibrations related to vehicle use, the standalone containers are made from durable molded polyethylene and food-grade materials, are easy to clean, and are in compliance with health and safety standards, the manufacturer says.
All Coldtainer temperature-controlled container models feature an integrated battery monitor and a user-friendly digital display to view temperature and status, and for precise temperature set-point control. The portable cooling containers also record temperatures and have a mobile Bluetooth capability for downloading data for recordkeeping purposes. (Coldtainer USA)
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