Babbler requires no installation in the fabric of a truck or container and enables the integrity of the shipment to be monitored online via a smartphone app. The seal is broken if Babbler’s sensors detect light. Both the seal status and the temperature of the cargo can be inspected wirelessly via Bluetooth or a long-range radio option, LoRa. The LoRa network for Internet of Things applications is now widely available across Europe and enables customs authorities to access the Babbler log some hours before a vessel berths.
Babbler was initially tested for CORE by FloraHolland, a giant flower auction cooperative seeking to help Kenyan growers to reduce their logistics costs and simplify the import/export process.
Roel Huiden, supply chain consultant at FloraHolland comments: “Flowers must be kept at 0.5 degrees celsius (32.9 degrees fahrenheit) to maintain quality, but when a container is opened, the temperature inside rises. Avoiding unnecessary inspections preserves freshness, as well as speeding up delivery. But the price of protection is critical in this market. Costly security devices available to shippers of high-value cargoes are simply not an option. For low-value goods, especially those that spoil easily, Babbler offers protection at an affordable price.”
Named after a vocal song bird, Babbler recently exposed a diesel theft during one test in Kenya. Huiden said: “A refrigerated container of flowers was sealed in Nairobi before making the long road journey to Mombasa, during which thieves disconnected the generator for half an hour so they could safely syphon off fuel. But Babbler sang: it recorded the unexpected spike in temperature, revealing the time of the theft and helping pinpoint those responsible.”
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