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Reefer monitoring in container terminals

IDENTEC SOLUTIONS is having a run of success with Reefer Runner, its terminal-based reefer container management system

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DP World San Antonio, Chile has opted for IDENTEC's Reefer Runner
DP World San Antonio, Chile has opted for IDENTEC's Reefer Runner

DP World San Antonio is the first terminal in Chile to implement the latest version of Reefer Runner, and becomes the tenth customer for IDENTEC across the Americas. IDENTEC has also recently sold its first system in the UK, for Solent Stevedores’ rail operation in Southampton.

For DP World San Antonio, which has a capacity of 1.5M TEU per year, Reefer Runner is a way to reduce the workload of its growing reefer business. “The implementation of an automated reefer monitoring and management tool was important to our company because it allows these activities to be done remotely, minimising all risks related to injuries to personnel, providing information online, making operations more robust, and finally allowing detailed measurement of the consumption of each type of refrigerated cargo, which delivers us valuable information to perform carbon footprint analysis by type of load,” said Mauricio Argandoña, DP World San Antonio’s senior operations manager.

Speaking with WorldCargo News at TOC Europe in Rotterdam this month, Stephan Piworus, global vice president sales for ports and terminals at IDENTEC, said the new customers highlight that terminals still see a need for their own reefer monitoring system as carriers invest in their own remote systems on the containers themselves. In fact, the growth in smart reefers is pushing more terminals to invest in their own systems to balance the power of shipping lines that are monitoring containers inside the terminal.

IDENTEC customers have had examples, said Piworus, where they have needed their own data to respond to a claim. He added that terminals also have to consider how they will respond when a carrier asks them to address an issue detected by that carrier’s monitoring system, and having data on the terminal can certainly help in this regard.

IDENTEC has also been encouraging terminals to consider how they can leverage the data from Reefer Runner to better manage their own processes and energy usage. Responding to customer requests, IDENTEC developed software to measure the energy consumption of reefer containers, without requiring a separate energy meter. Customers are now using this to manage their power demand. Reefers can be the biggest single draw at a terminal, added Piworus, and terminals can benefit significantly from spotting behaviour such as hot loaded cargo arriving at the terminal, and boxes with leaks or machinery issues that use excessive power.

IDENTEC is also working with Siemens and ABB to incorporate intelligent switches and software into Reefer Runner to allow optimal energy management and peak shaving. An intelligent system can help the terminal to reduce its peak load while maintaining reefer temperatures within the required parameters. It is possible, said Piworus, for a terminal handling 500 reefers to reduce its energy costs by US$5,000 to US$9,000 per day by investing in power management technology to lower their peak billing rate.


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