Summer’s here, and so is the challenge of transporting heat-sensitive cargo in hot weather. Enter SmartLink, a clever way to monitor the temperature of anything that needs to move and stay cool: medical and pharma products, lithium-ion batteries, dairy and other foodstuffs, and more. Embedded, connected technology gives you real-time data on cargo temperature, so you can take appropriate action. And SmartLink does much more than just measure temperature! Schoeller Allibert’s smart tracking technology gives you 100% visibility and control over your logistics performance.
Designed by Schoeller Allibert and already available in a wide range of its own returnable transit packaging (RTP), SmartLink is a platform and suite of services that uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology embedded within the RTPs themselves to generate real-time data and insights about the condition – not just the temperature, but also the humidity and fill level – of those containers, as well as their movements.
Introduced in 2021, SmartLink is more than an innovative answer to today’s logistical challenges. It’s a game-changing solution that leverages the power of the internet, of digitisation and of artificial intelligence. This creates exponential rather than linear improvements in cargo visibility and security, as well as process safety and efficiency.
With SmartLink, you can track the location, condition and status of your containers anywhere along the logistics chain, from manufacturer to end user. You can also set up notifications to alert you when any key performance indicators (KPIs) deviate from the optimal range, which allows you to take the appropriate measures in good time. KPIs extend well beyond temperature, humidity and fill level.
SmartLink also supports location tracking and geofencing, allowing businesses to create alerts when containers enter or leave specific areas. Additionally, unique barcode IDs facilitate inventory cataloging and convenient asset management. By providing full oversight of inventory locations, SmartLink minimizes losses, thefts, and disruptions in the supply chain. It enhances supply chain transparency, optimizes material and product journeys, and helps reduce waste by eliminating unnecessary journeys.
Furthermore, Schoeller Allibert's reusable plastic returnable transit packaging (RTP) contributes to your organisation’s sustainability targets, by offering a long-life, eco-friendly alternative to single-use packaging materials.
Plastic RTPs can be in use for many years, after which they can be recycled. In other words: they avoid unnecessary use of raw materials, and minimize the effort needed to dispose of single-use alternatives, be it paper, wood, or board packaging. In fact, research shows plastic RTPs produce 88% less emissions than a single-use box made from cardboard.
Not only are plastic RTPs reusable hundreds of times, they’re also easy to clean, which means it’s easier to comply with hygienic standards and requirements.
Now, add SmartLink to the mix. Connecting your logistical assets allows you to see the supply chain as a single, holistic process instead of as a chain of separate, siloed jobs. This means you can optimise asset journeys. That minimizes waste, risk of loss or theft, as well as the carbon footprint of your operation.
As logistics operations grow increasingly complex, it’s easy to lose sight of the benefits that technological innovations can bring. So, below are some of the other advantages of SmartLink that will benefit you, whatever you’re transporting. In short: it pays to invest in digital innovation.
Enhanced quality and safety
SmartLink helps you ensure the highest standards of quality and safety for your products, by preventing spoilage, contamination, or damage due to temperature fluctuations or mishandling.
SmartLink also makes it easier to comply with regulatory requirements, and enables you to provide traceability and proof of delivery.
Improved efficiency and productivity
SmartLink helps you optimise your logistics operations by reducing delays, waste and cost.
SmartLink also lets you know exactly how many containers you have in operation, where they are, and how they are progressing towards their destination. This will help you improve inventory management.
SmartLink data also helps you identify bottlenecks, improve routes, and forecast demand.
Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty
SmartLink allows you to provide your customers with updates and information on their orders, building trust and reputation with your customers.
By helping you deliver products on time, in good condition and with full process transparency, SmartLink is an excellent tool to create and enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Above and beyond SmartLInk’s general benefits to your logistics operations, the system has many positives for particular product categories. Such as:
SmartLink is ideal for helping you process the transport of valuable medical equipment and important medical supplies (including blood samples) with maximum security, safety and traceability – benefiting patient safety.
Real-time data helps you monitor temperature and other essential KPIs to ensure the arrival of your cargo in accordance with both high quality standards and strict regulatory requirements.
SmartLink can help you to securely transport pharmaceutical products (including drugs, vaccines and clinical trial materials).
Monitoring your containers helps you to ensure that the products maintain their pharmaceutical efficacy.
Lithium-ion batteries, mass-produced for use in electronic devices and electric vehicles, are sensitive to heat and humidity. SmartLink provides full visibility and control over these critical conditions, both during manufacture and transport.
Keeping batteries dry in manufacture and transport not only helps prevent hazards during production, but also thermal runaway of the battery during operation, which can lead to overheating, ignition or explosions.
Food and Food Processing
Fresh produce, dairy products, and meat, as well as frozen foods: these all require high standards of care in the logistical process – including cold-chain transport at constant temperature levels.
SmartLink turns your assets in temperature-controlled trucks into smart assets, allowing you to monitor the temperature of your cargo and take action even before KPIs drop below accepted levels. This enhances compliance and efficiency, and can make the difference between successful transport and spoiled cargo.
By adding enterprise resource planning (ERP) data, operators can link product to content, which will provide insight into the remaining shelf life of the cargo.
As this wide range of benefits demonstrates, Schoeller Allibert’s SmartLink solution has the potential to revolutionise your business performance, whatever the type of cargo you’re carrying.
By leveraging its IoT technology, SmartLink enhances the visibility, security and efficiency of your logistics operation. It ensures compliance, maintains product integrity, and mitigates risk. SmartLink has specific benefits for specific product categories, but generates exponential advances for all.
The beauty of Schoeller Allibert's SmartLink solution is its simplicity. It connects to your logistical assets by using a Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN). This enables seamless, real-time data transmission and empowers businesses to manage their logistical assets from a single source.
The system is fully autonomous, fully integrated and easy to use, requiring no additional infrastructure or integration with existing IT services. Data transmitted by the embedded devices can be accessed through a secure cloud-based platform, providing actionable insights via browsers, smartphones, or existing internal systems.
If you want to be 100% sure 24/7 about the location and condition of your cargo, then SmartLink is what you need.
Do you want to improve the sustainability, efficiency, and competitiveness of your logistics operation? Contact Schoeller Allibert today, and learn how SmartLink can benefit your business.