- MSC will equip 50,000 dry van containers with Internet-connected devices that track location, temperature and humidity, shock and vibration and door opening and closing, the company said in an announcement. The Traxens devices bolt on to existing dry van and reefer trailers,
- MSC joins CMA CGM in using Traxens technology to connect containers to deliver real-time data on container position and status throughout the journey.
- In addition to improved visibility into container tracking, Traxens expects connected containers will facilitate customs clearance for shippers.
Container shipping lines are investing in smart technology for containers and vessels to supply greater visibility into shipment status and location.
By connecting containers to the Internet, importers and exporters will for the first time have real-time visibility throughout a container's journey. MSC sees real-time container tracking as the future of the shipping, Diego Aponte, president and CEO of MSC, said in the announcement.
"While shipping lines should, of course, compete on service, we will achieve better results for our customers by working in a more harmonized way on technology and innovation," he said. "Smart containers are a perfect example of where we can cooperate according to industry standards to make our services truly comprehensive."
MSC joins CMA CGM and French freight operator SNCF Logistics in using the system to monitor containers.
CMA CGM was an early investor in Marseilles-based startup Traxens that developed technology to connect containers and vessels. CMA CGM in 2015 mounted relay antennas on the CMA CGM Bougainville, an 18,000-TEU vessel. The system communicated with smart containers on board, reaching even the deepest containers in the stack.
Traxens recently rolled out a digital freight train system to connect rail freight cars to the rest of the supply chain, based on the shipping container technology.
CMA CGM and MSC will offer connected containers as a premium service. Not only will shippers receive the data from their containers, but CMA CGM also assigns a project team to assist the shippers in analyzing the data to identify problems and implement solutions to improve costs and security.
CMA CGM carried nearly 19 million containers in 2017, and the addition of "smart containers in the Group’s fleet will allow us to collect and analyze a lot of information necessary to improve the service offered to customers and will help them optimize their supply chain," Mathieu Friedberg, CMA CGM senior vice president commercial and agency network, said in the June announcement.