ORBCOMM partners with Vobal Technologies to enable refrigerated container management at sea


ORBCOMM Inc., a leading global provider of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, announced today that it has partnered with Vobal Technologies (Vobal) to enable end-to-end visibility of refrigerated smart containers and other IoT-connected assets transporting temperature-sensitive, high-value cargo across international waters.

Based in Evanston, IL, Vobal Technologies has developed and deployed its CargoGSM™ network over the past 5 years, thereby extending IoT connectivity to sea. ORBCOMM is deploying Vobal’s maritime GSM technology as part of its new VesselConnect solution, which allows shipping lines to monitor and control smart containers and their cargo on-board their ships. As announced last week, early adopters of ORBCOMM’s VesselConnect solution include TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, a premier shipping carrier specializing in moving cargo between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico.

VesselConnect allows carriers to receive critical data from smart containers loaded on their ships above and below deck, including reefer status, temperature and slot location, as well as to adjust reefer container set points and conduct pre-trip inspections on-board, reducing manual labor and expediting cargo distribution on land. The solution enhances crew efficiency and safety by eliminating the need to manually check reefer and other containers carrying perishable cargo. Status reports and alarms are automatically displayed on the VesselConnect console on-board and can also be viewed by shore-based personnel on ORBCOMM’s Cloud platform for immediate action.

“Bringing connectivity to the sea leg of the supply chain is a critical extension of ORBCOMM’s extensive portfolio of IoT solutions for remote monitoring of transportation assets on land,” said Christian Allred, ORBCOMM’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Sales. “We are pleased to partner with Vobal Technologies to deliver the next generation of connected container solutions that help our customers reduce cargo damage, decrease operating costs and enhance customer service.”

“Vobal’s core GSM technology was developed specifically for use at sea, which means that not only does CargoGSM work with VSAT but also, uniquely, with FleetBroadband®. CargoGSM on board enables ORBCOMM VesselConnect to extend reliable network coverage throughout the vessel’s cargo spaces, above and below deck,” said John Nix, Vobal Technologies’ Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Using Vobal’s system to plug the mid-ocean connectivity ‘black hole’, ORBCOMM can now provide shipping lines with end-to-end traceability of reefer containers throughout the supply chain both on land and at sea in real time.”

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