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TempTrip Wants to Make Temperature-Tracking as Easy as Netflix

With its Web-based software and returnable tags, the company hopes to make its cold-chain temperature-tracking services as simple as renting movies.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jul 06, 2011Globally, food waste is a major economic and environmental problem. A 2009 study conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that up to 40 percent of food in the United States is wasted due to a number of factors, including exposure to unsafe temperatures as the food travels from farms to stores or restaurants. This leads to billions of dollars in annual losses for producers and retailers alike.

"If a grocer turns away an entire truckload of strawberries due to spoilage, that's a $40,000 loss," says Michael McCartney, founder and principal at QLM Consulting, an RFID consulting firm serving the food industry (see A Guide to Sensor-Equipped RFID Tags).


TempTrip RFID sensor tags can store up to 700 temperature and time records, and up to 10,000 temperature-only records.

TempTrip, a two-year-old joint venture between Sealed Air, a New Jersey-based provider of food and protective packaging products, and Results Oriented Inc., a software integrator and consultancy based in Colorado, believe that RFID sensors and software can resolve this issue.

To help producers and shippers identify chronic problems in their supply chains, TempTrip has launched a temperature-tracking and software platform designed to simplify the monitoring of the conditions to which perishable or temperature-sensitive cargo is subjected during transit.

In the course of its research of the cold-chain logistics industry, says Lee Curkendall, TempTrip's chief technology officer, the Broomfield, Colo.-based company found that although many producers and shippers were using non-RFID electronic temperature-tracking devices to monitor the temperatures to which shipments were exposed during transit, the processes by which they collected the data from these devices were labor-intensive, and not appreciably simpler than using older, mechanical equipment.

"We found that modern electronic loggers were still being used in the same manner as the old mechanical devices, but the way they're used actually adds steps without taking advantage of the digital data," Curkendall says. "Instead of reviewing a paper strip chart from a mechanical logger, which would show whether the temperatures exceeded the set threshold, the user would take the electronic logger to a computer, download the results with local software and print the results on a computer printer."

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