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NFC Tracks Passive Refrigeration for Low-Carbon-Footprint Deliveries

Cold-chain solutions company Cold&Co has teamed up with Blulog to provide a system for tracking temperatures in thermal, lightweight containers during the last mile of food delivery to customers.
By Claire Swedberg

In the event of a temperature breach, that information is visible to the customer so that it could reject the delivery, depending on the duration of the temperature excursion. That information could also be shared with the delivery company's management. The delivery company and Cold&Co can use the data for analytics purposes—for instance, to better understand what conditions at the time of the delivery may have led to that temperature excursion.

Initially, the tag ID is not being linked to details such as the order's customer name or the container's contents. In the future, however, the system could be used in that manner, Laurens says. Drivers would simply scan a barcode on the container that would be linked to a given order, thereby creating an automatic connection with the datalogger's NFC number. "NFC gives the proof that the system is working," Laurens says, "[and we] also use it for tracking that delivering at the time."

The card can be inserted into the canvas containers.
Stuart Logistics has been using the technology for approximately one month with its delivery service in Paris, France. Cold&Co and Blulog have also built a solution of air transportation for cold-chain goods. Cold&Co provides shippers with a specialized, reusable, inflatable thermal box. The datalogger would capture temperature data during the flight, and that data could be captured via a mobile phone when the goods are offloaded from planes or delivered to customers.

Adrien Lehideux
A solution to monitor conditions around air-transported goods is being tested first without the datalogger, with the Blulog sensors intended for future testing. Such solutions could be used for shipping temperature-sensitive products like sushi or ice cream. "Long-term plans for Cold&Co is to expand our product range," Lehideux says, "in order to equip each logistics or transport company with a flow of autonomous passive cooling refrigerated containers."

The goal is to provide temperature management without consuming fuel or electricity. "Our passive refrigeration solution perfectly adapts to new eco-friendly transportation," Lehideux says, indicating that will be done with electrical or natural gas vehicles, cargo bikes or multimodal transportation.

Cold&Co offers customized solutions based on the challenges of their delivery company customers. "Our mission is also to be fully engaged in our clients' topics," Lehideux says, "from the project study phase, the analysis of logistical flows and potential cold-chain breaches."

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