Hapag is making a big investment in dry container tracking for its containers. It hopes that knowing where containers are will enable quick turnaround. The sensors also provide data on temperature and environmental conditions if desired, and store the data for a prolonged period. They are solar-powered and can operate and store data for more than 5 years. They communicate via Bluetooth.
The belief is that knowing where the containers are in real-time will save travel time and also reduce pollution. No one really knows if this is feasible, but with real data, Hapag can start to find out what gains can be made from real-time location data.
Some shippers will be pleased as well to know where their cargo is at any time.
It’s an expensive program to equip the containers with this little device. It’s riveted to the door of the container. Hapag has something like 1.6 million containers to fit out.
The device must operate a lot like the HOBO devices used by archeologists and environmental scientists. Those units collect data like temperature and humidity, unattended, for long periods, and have enough storage so they don’t have to be queried and the data unloaded for months. The one I have is queried with a mobile phone app, and can run for six months before the data wraps around. A bit larger battery and a bit more memory and a bit more compression, and you have a proper device for a container.
It appears that many of the ships waiting offshore in Shanghai are not waiting to unload, but to get new cargo. shipments out of China seem to be plummeting.
It’s leading to blanked or rescheduled sailings.
Perhaps the avalanche of post-COVID goods for the US and the EU has stopped. Perhaps we have enough inventory here and in Europe. If so, we should soon see the queues of waiting ships at US ports drop to more normal levels, and the same with Europe.
It’s getting to look more likely that a recession might appear in the US, and I think the same will happen in Europe. the Ukraine instability is bound to cause consumers to cut back and try to spend less and save more. In both places, that is likely to induce a recessionary trend. Consumer spending is a major part of economic activity in these countries.
R$at3es for container shipping from Asia to the US and Europe are still high. How long will it take for them to plunge down?