Michelin tracks inter-continental sea-freight flows with an IoT-based solution
Today, Michelin, Sigfox France and Argon Consulting announced the launch of a new disruptive solution for the tracking of sea-freight containers in real-time based on Sigfox’s technology and global network. Michelin, the world-leading tire manufacturer, has actively participated in the development of this solution for the past 12 months and is an early-adopter of this solution, already in use on some of their critical inter-continental flows.
With more than 90M of containers shipped per year, out of which 20M by European companies, stakes are high in the worldwide Supply Chain market and its potential for IoT is massive. Companies have been seeking for many years an alternative to tackle the constraints of existing solutions: high costs, short battery life, non-proprietary solutions and difficulty to transmit from the inside of the container. Thanks to Sigfox technology, which is based on cost-efficiency and low-energy consumption, the solution positions itself today as the most competitive on the market.
One international shipment can involve more than 200 interactions and more than 25 actors such as freight-forwarders, in-land transportation companies, port handling, consignees, customs, shipping lines…. Consequently, shippers very often complain about the difficulty to get real-time visibility on their sea containers shipments. This lack of visibility reduces the supply chain agility and level of service for their final customers.
This innovative, easy-to-deploy and affordable solution provides freighters with a real-time geolocation service of their containers from the initial warehouse to the final point of delivery. It will bring operational value by reducing the lead-times, providing alerts about delays and ensuring appropriate transport conditions. Ultimately, it will enable the shippers to develop new services for their clients and potentially expand their business.
“Michelin has decided to develop this solution for its customers and its global inbound supply chain. Our pilot experiences and further investigations have convinced us that achievable gains could reach up to 10% reduction of the on-sea inventory, 40% increase in Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) accuracy, and dividing by 4 inventory ruptures caused by exceptional events like weather critical conditions thanks to real time management of the relevant inventory. The solution is independent from the maritime company and doesn’t require dedicated containers. The design and the ramp-up of the solution took few months. So, the effectiveness and affordability of the solution have convinced Michelin not only to deploy it internally but also to offer these services to other companies in cooperation with SigFox and Argon” said Pascal Zammit, Senior Vice President Global Supply Chain at Michelin.
The solution is an all-inclusive tracking service charged per shipment and includes IoT trackers, trackers logistics and analytics platform access. It is totally scalable and can be used with high numbers of containers. Additionally, companies can track their shipments seamlessly in all parts of the world, as the device automatically recognizes and adapts to the local radiofrequency’s standards. The features have been designed leveraging deep expertise of both Michelin teams in Maritime business, Argon Consulting teams in Supply Chain and SigFox teams associated with their IoT ecosystem. Additional functionalities like temperature monitoring, detection of container handling and opening, geo-fencing etc, are already being developed.
“We owe it to our clients to never settle in our ways and dig out the best solution to their business issues. We identified a real need from our clients to gain visibility on their traveling assets and leveraged the huge opportunity brought by the global connectivity service offered by Sigfox. Our offer is unique on the market with an affordable and customer-centric real-time tracking solution.” said Pierre-Fabrice Storino, partner at Argon Consulting. “We believe that digital innovations will significantly transform the sea-freight industry and improve the service level to end clients. This is what we started to do, by helping our clients keeping an eye on their shipments.”
“A few months ago, we announced our partnership with Argon and I am glad to say that we finally have a specific and applicable cutting-edge solution. Their expertise and leadership in the Supply Chain sector have been key for the success of this project,” said Patrick Cason, CEO of Sigfox France. “At Sigfox we know that we have a real added value for multiple industrial sectors such as mass distribution, automotive, pharmaceutical, luxury, aeronautics and many others, as we are the only ones that can offer affordable asset tracking for devices traveling across different regions. Our solution will radically transform the way in which many companies understand Supply Chain today.”
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