While the concept behind the "Internet of Things" has been around for about two decades, NEST, the web-enabled thermostat company recently purchased by Google, has popularized the concept. Today, a data-driven infrastructure of internet-connected devices that control utilities, guide our retail shopping experiences, and monitor our health is far from science fiction.
The fresh food e-commerce sector is expected to post rapid growth over the next five years as several enterprises in China have made investments in the sector, which is expected to stimulate the development of cold chain logistics.
Throughout the logistics industry, food is one of the most demanding goods moved around the world. Statistics also show that it is also one of the most disposed products worldwide in relation to the produced quantity with 30 to 50 percent of food going to waste. The highest portion is on the consumers' side. But In the supply chain, a non-stop cold chain monitoring is the major instrument for food staying fresh and not rotting ahead of time. There are already several solutions in the field to collect data to monitor the cold chain. But most of these solutions are costly to install and to maintain and therefore only suitable for high-priced products such as pharmaceuticals. Wireless sensors that use the energy harvesting principle now overcome these challenges and open the door for a complete traceability of food at affordable costs.
Aramex has launched a new cold supply chain service, available across all its MENA markets. Biocare, a solution for the healthcare sector, is designed to provide an end-to-end temperature-controlled delivery solution to move clinical specimens and medical samples domestically and globally for laboratories, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.
Analyst Insight: The generally low-margin and high-waste food & beverage sectors will continue to increase their technology investments in 2012. Traceability, quality and fulfillment technologies are emerging with strong ROI, though compliance and traceability get much of the attention. No doubt global regulations on food safety may be somewhat of a catalyst, but companies say that the benefits are what really drive their investments. - Ann Grackin, CEO, ChainLink Research