Smart Containers

industrial port with containers

Companies today are under great pressure to eliminate disruptions from their supply chain. Bad weather, labor disputes, shortages, defective materials and transportation issues can have a devastating effect on a company’s bottom-line. Having complete visibility in a company’s supply chain is without a doubt is essential. When we talk about track trace in container shipping, we typically look at various aggregated data derived from calculating transit times, vessels satellite locations, and port berthing schedules. It is now even harder for shipments requiring temperature control, as there is no way for someone to monitor in realtime a containers exact locations on a vessel, temperature and humidity levels etc until now.  

Meet CMA CGM Bougainville. CMA CGM Bougainville, a 18,000 TEU vessel, is one of a kind. It is the first container ship in the world to be equipped with a new technology turning its payload of containers into “smart connected objects.” The shipboard system as it is being dubbed is developed by TRAXENS, a Marseille based start-up that CMA CGM started investing back in 2015.

The shipboard system collects real-time data throughout the container’s transport whether on land or at sea, adding considerable value to the shipping line and to its customers, insurers, and customs. A wide range of data from each container can be gathered and transmitted to the CMA CGM headquarter: location, temperature, humidity level, vibrations, impacts, attempted burglary, customs clearance status and more. The devices provide even greater added value in the refrigerated transport of perishable goods. They can remotely control and adjust the temperature of refrigerated containers and will allow resource optimization for routine inspections. With more than 12 million containers transported by CMA CGM it means that a huge amount of information will be collected and analyzed with the objective of improving the service provided to the end customers.

With this technology being implemented, CMA CGM has positioned itself as a forerunner in the field of Big Data as applied to transport and provides clients with unique solutions for monitoring and collecting information in real time, anywhere in the world. CMA CGM and TRAXENS aim to promote this technology as an international standard in the world of shipping.

The CMA CGM Bougainville, the largest container ship under French flag, came into service at the start of September. It is due to be inaugurated by French president François Hollande in the French port of Le Havre on Oct. 6. CMA CGM, founded and led by Jacques R. Saadé is a leading worldwide shipping group. Its 470 vessels call more than 400 ports in the world, on all 5 continents. In 2014, they carried 12.2 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). CMA CGM has grown continuously, and has been constantly innovating to offer its clients new sea, land and logistics solutions. With a presence in 160 countries, through its 655 agencies network, the Group employs 22,000 people worldwide, including 2,400 in its headquarter in Marseilles.