Internet of Things (IoT) Enabled Reefer Containers from Shipwaves to YieldBetter Revenues for Export Crops

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Revenues for Export Crops

India is the 14th largest agricultural, fishery and forestry product exporter. According to APEDA, India exported fruits and vegetables worth USD 670 million in 2016-17. The major export destinations include UAE, Netherlands, Malaysia, UK, Saudi Arabia etc.

The Indian government has a vision to double farmers' income in the next 5 years and has drawn up policies to reduce production cost and increase productivity. The government is aggressively promoting rural development with impetus on agricultural mechanization, irrigation penetration through allocation of funds - critical components in improving the state of agriculture in the country.

Also, the government's efforts in providing easier access to credit for farmers, friendly policies and the new and growing trend of collaborative farming in India have encouraged the farming community to embrace mechanization, leading to a structural shift in demand towards high powered agricultural machinery.

Revenues for Export CropsHence a proper supply chain management in fruits and vegetables has to be improved in all the stages of the supply by adopting global best practices in storage, packaging, handling, transportation, value added service etc to meet the internationalmarket standards for fruits and vegetables.

However, losses in supply chain due to the fledgling cold chain are estimated to be around USD 14 bn annually. Last year, onion alone accounted for 100,000 containers shipped abroad. Tomatoes were another 10,000 containers. Export through ocean freight is traditionally dependent on 20 ft or 40 ft single door open containers without any temperature control, resulting in an average loss of 15-20% damage per consignment. If there are shipment arrival delays, the losses can be significant. Moreover, the exporter is charged for the damaged goods, layering another level of cost burden on the exporters.

There are several challenges in 100% utilization of the final produce due to enormous waste during post-harvest storage and handling caused by improper bagging without crating, lack of temperature controlled vehicles, unavailability of cold chain facilities in various parts of country for preserving the produce adding upto agri wastage and consequent losses.Lack of cold chain warehousing, awareness and handling of temperature sensitive products, energy costs compelling handlers to compromise on temperature control including containers from warehouses to ports.

One of the latest developments in ramping up the cold chain management is the use of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled containers serving the agri products market for exports in a large way. Shipwaves, India’s first comprehensive digital ocean freight solutions company is leading this change.

Shipwaves has just invested in setting up a 20 seater office in Nashik to assist in maintaining the cold chain from land to ocean and to the final consignee. Shipwaves is able to monitor the temperature control in refrigerated containers while the goods move from Nashik to the Mumbai port and beyond when the cargo is on the high seas. The company aims to provide this service at highly competitive costs to eliminate the current monopolistic practices by few traditional players in the region. Today, more than 80% of fresh fruits and vegetables are exported in reefer containers, which augur well for the export volumes. Major agri products requiring temperature controlled shipping include onions, tomatoes, potatoes, banana, grapes, pomegranate, water melon and papaya.

To tackle, the inefficient cold storage issues during the transportation or during the waiting period for the refrigerated container to be gated inside the port, Shipwaves is also setting up mobile plugging points for the refrigerated containers in the trailers, in the container shipping yards very close to the port, to maintain the temperature and humidity levels all through.

The company is now extending this service to other agri hubs in port proximity including Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat to augment India’s agri exports. The company offers real time visual tracking for the cargo movement, helping the exporters and consignees get real time update on scheduled delivery.

Most hinterland agri hubs lack internet connectivity. Shipwaves has solved this problem. Agri exporters can now check freight pricing on their smartphones with the help of Shipwaves App, available both for Android and iOS phones. Not only does the app provide instant and transparent pricing, it allows complete documentation of pre-shipment and post –shipment procedures, including payments and invoice history.

When you start a shipment with Shipwaves, you're assigned a team of executives, which coordinates on all levels, for smooth execution of your shipment. This team makes sure you’re in the know as your shipment progresses through various steps in the process. From the time the delivery order is issued, you’re provided with on-time, up-to-the-minute info about your cargo; i.e; exactly when the cargo is picked up, container stuffed, customs cleared, gated-in, boarded onto vessel, BL released and payment completed.

Shipwaves currently works with all major international shipping lines including Maersk, Cosco, CMCCGM, MSC, and has ramped its presence in Mumbai, Mundra, Nagpur, Nashik, Mangalore, Chennai and Vishakapatnam.

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About Author:

Mr. Athahar Mohammed, Co Founder, Shipwaves Online