How Cold Chain Monitoring Devices Can Help Your Fleet Protect Temperature-Sensitive Products

December 18, 2020

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Key Takeaways

Interested in mitigating the risk of spoilage while meeting customer standards and compliance regulations? Read on to learn more about how cold chain monitoring devices can help your fleet ensure sensitive cargo stays at the right temperature. 

Cold chain monitoring devices are a powerful tool for fleets transporting food, beverages, medicine, or other goods that need to be maintained at a certain temperature or temperature range throughout the shipping process. The devices provide real-time temperature data so you can avoid spoilage or waste in your supply chain.  For example, temperature monitoring systems like Samsara wireless temperature sensors allow fleets to monitor temperatures in transit to ensure proper temperatures are maintained.

Interested in mitigating the risk of spoilage while meeting customer standards and compliance regulations? Read on to learn more about how cold chain monitoring devices can help your fleet ensure sensitive cargo stays at the right temperature. 

What is cold chain temperature monitoring? 

Cold chain monitoring devices, also known as temperature data loggers, are wireless sensors that leverage Internet of Things (IoT) technology to provide real-time temperature data. These temperature data logging devices are commonly placed in reefers, refrigeration units, or cold rooms to help fleet managers, cold chain managers, and customers understand the temperature of various products in real time. These temperature monitoring devices can be particularly useful for fleets in cold chain management that ship temperature-sensitive products to their customers, including food and beverages. 

How does a cold chain temperature monitoring solution work? 

A cold chain temperature monitoring solution uses wireless sensors to measure and record real-time temperatures in a remote location, like a reefer, and detect temperature changes. Real-time temperature monitoring alerts can instantly warn you if the temperature has fluctuated below or above a predetermined threshold. And with remote reefer control, you can respond in the moment to mitigate any potential damage. That means if you’re hauling cold chain products, a cold chain monitoring system can provide critical temperature measurements that allow you to act before it’s too late. 

Preventing product spoilage: the importance of an unbroken cold chain

Whether your team stores, distributes, or delivers temperature-sensitive products, an unbroken cold chain is critical. It requires precise record-keeping and if something goes wrong, it can lead to rejected loads and unhappy customers. To maintain the highest-quality product, perishable goods must be stored at a certain temperature while in transit. 

This can be challenging, however, when a change as small as one degree can lead to thousands of dollars in spoiled product. And if you’re shipping food, it’s important to meet the FDA's Food Code that states perishable foods must be stored at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below. If a truck is hauling a variety of items that require different temperature requirements—like poultry and fruit—the risk of a rejected load is even greater. And even if a product is placed onto a truck at the correct temperature, environmental conditions, power outages, or even an open door can cause temperature exposure that leads to a rejected load.

Rejected loads can negatively impact a fleet in several ways:

  • Cost: The carrier is often required to compensate the shipper for the value of the spoiled goods through a direct payment or insurance claim.

  • Waste: The carrier is often required to dispose of spoiled goods, typically in an environmentally friendly way that can often be costly.

  • Inefficiency: The truck might need to be taken to a washout facility, contributing to additional mileage and costs.

  • Business: A rejected haul can strain customer relations and complicate future sales.

How to use Samsara’s real-time temperature monitoring system to keep your cold chain intact 

Samsara's plug and play monitors and cloud-based software make it easy to oversee cold chain logistics and collect continuous temperature data for you and your end user.

Whether your fleet has box trucks or refrigerated trailers, Samsara’s wireless sensors allow trucks to monitor temperature, humidity, and reefer settings in real time. You can configure automatic SMS or email alerts to detect temperature range, so temperatures can be quickly adjusted if necessary. Additionally, you can set a specified timeframe before a notification is shared, so something like an open door does not automatically trigger an alert.

Robust documentation is also key to proving proper cold chain management. If the recipient doesn’t believe that a product was stored at 30 to 32 degrees for the entire trip, you need to be able to refute this claim and defend your drivers. Likewise, you'll need this information on hand if the FDA comes to check your paperwork. Because Samsara provides continuous real-time temperature monitoring and historical records, you'll always have the documentation to quickly resolve any temperature validation issues.

Learn how Cash-Wa Distributing uses Samsara cold chain monitoring devices for temperature data collection

Broadline foodservice distributor Cash-Wa Distributing relies on Samsara to maintain the integrity of their supply chain across their fleet of 175 tractors and 220 trailers. Cash-Wa Distributing not only uses Samsara wireless temperature sensors to ensure compliance with FSMA regulations, but to also prevent temperature data collection errors, improve operational efficiency by reducing paperwork and manual probes, and provide proof of product quality. The team at Cash-Wa tracks the temperature of their sensitive cargo and uses Samsara alerts to be notified of any changes. 

“With Samsara’s always-on temperature monitoring, we can show that we’ve taken great care of the product every step of the way,” said Chad Henning, Cash-Wa Distributing’s General Manager. “We’re confident we’re compliant, and we’re winning more business.” Cash-Wa saw a 30% decrease in customer credits for false temperature claims by using Samsara Environmental Monitors (EMs) to track, monitor, and prove temperature compliance of all deliveries.

Learn more about Samsara cold chain monitoring devices today

If your fleet is looking for a cost-effective cold chain monitoring solution to monitor and control your refrigerated assets, check out Samsara reefer monitoring for fleets. With cloud-based temperature data storage, Samsara can help you improve operating functionality, ensure product quality, simplify FSMA compliance, and more: 

  • Monitor reefers with real-time temperature tracking: Constant temperature reporting means you can spot and correct fluctuations before they become a problem.

  • Integrate with Thermo King and Carrier refrigeration units: Turn reefers on and off, change run mode, clear alarms, and adjust set-points from the Samsara dashboard.

  • Differentiate service and quality: Win more business by providing temperature data in Proof of Delivery (POD) documents, and improve customer service with more predictable delivery times.

  • Reduce temperature-related loss claims: Automatic alerts notify users when temperature is out-of-range, so you can avoid spoilage and protect your bottom line.

To learn more about how Samsara’s cold chain monitoring solution can help your fleet, reach out for a free trial or demo today.

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