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More carriers to roll out remote reefer monitoring

ORBCOMM expects six more carriers to roll out reefer monitoring systems

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In announcing ORBCOMM’ Inc’s Q4 2018 and full year results Chief Executive Officer Marc Eisenberg said the company expects six large shipping lines to continue and/or start installing remote reefer monitoring systems across their fleets this year.


In 2018 Orbcomm delivered hardware for some 70,000 reefer containers as sub contractor to AT&T for Hamburg Süd, which is now owned by Maersk. Hamburg Süd is installing the same RCM system that Maersk uses on its fleet.


Eisenberg declined to name the six other carriers, but he did say that none of the projects see ORBCOMM participating as a sub contractor to ATT. One involves an initial delivery of 10,000 hardware devices, which has been completed. ORBCOMM expects it will continue to supply hardware for the full fleet for this customer, which totals 200,000 units, Eisenberg said.


The only carrier after Maersk that has owns a reefer fleet this size is CMA-CGM, it is believed, but when lease boxes are included other carriers come into the mix, including Hapag-Lloyd (with UASC) and MSC. In fact Hapag-Lloyd is already marketing its "new Remote Reefer Monitoring system".


The other new carriers ORBCOMM has completed evaluations with have smaller fleets, and together represent "opportunities between 150,000 and 200,000 units", said Eisenberg.


In 2018 ORBCOMM updated its complete hardware line, replacing some of its larger devices with a smaller range of more compact models that are more cost effective to manufacture and install. Eisenberg said with this work completed he is confident ORBCOMM is well placed, and will win “the lion’s share” of business from the major shipping lines that move ahead to install remote reefer monitoring in the coming year.


An intriguing point, however, is that other suppliers are known to have completed evaluations with shipping lines as well, and some there was some pretty confident talk at the Intermodal Show in Rotterdam last November. As well as the sales bluster, there was also a level of chatter about “interoperability” that suggests shipping lines are pushing for open options at the hardware level, and that some contracts might go to more than one supplier.

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