After picking or harvesting, fruits and vegetables continue respiration: taking in oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide. Respiration may change the characteristics of the produce and leads to heat generation which damages the produce in other ways. Controlling temperature, air circulation and humidity slows down the process to allow time to get to market. Properly managed, useful after-harvest life can vary from 7-9 days for mung beans, to 90-240 days for apples (UN Food & Agriculture Organization). Asset tracking of specialized shipping vehicles and containers and shipment level identification with RFID provides proof of handling for the safest produce.
Asset tracking on trucks, reefers and trailers coupled with RFID tags in boxes make robust systems for meeting GDP (Good Distribution Practice) requirements.
Rugged handheld computers with communications and RFID capabilities can be integrated into inspection and warehouse systems. Critical data can be gathered quickly without worrying about incompatible data systems used by logistics, transportation and enforcement organizations. Products like Trimble Nomad and Juno rugged computers can read data from RFID tags and asset tracking devices giving operational flexibility under a wide range of environmental conditions. ...
In the LTL (Less Than Load) market, cold or frozen loads are trans-shipped via intermediate cold stores. On individual refrigerated vehicles they are consolidated with other cold or frozen freight. Wrong handling or faulty equipment at any point in the chain can compromise the quality and safety of the goods. Proving proper handling of individual shipments can be done by adding specialized RFID tags at the item, box or pallet level. Larger units and containers may be candidates for asset tracking devices that use M2M to report on the shipment in near-real-time.
Vehicle, trailer and cold store operators need to be able to prove proper handling to support quality agreements with customers or to support claim adjustment with insurance companies. Programmable asset tracking devices such as the Trimble TM3000 can be extended to monitor multiple truck and trailer chambers.