An Australian supply chain data tracking technology company says it has become increasingly important for companies to collect and monitor the environment of their fresh produce, especially with recent shipping delays and other logistical disruptions around the world in export markets.
Escavox tracks fresh foods to provide visibility of the cold chain, making it easier to see the temperature and dwell time issues and allowing for corrective actions to be taken, therefore reducing rejections and loss. Head of Sales and Operations Christian Patterson says some customers have been held up at the ports for up to weeks at a time, leading to an increase in demand for their tracking devices.
"So, the benefit of having our device in their shipments, whether it be air or sea, is that they get the real-time data and understanding of where their product is," he said. "With a lot of these delays, it is compromising the quality of the product. So, our device actually affords them the opportunity to make decisions around what they do with their products. We are not talking about just one or two of our customers, but many are reaching out to us to say they need more of our devices into their shipments so they can track them even better."
Photo: Christian Patterson presenting at the Citrus Technical Forum
He explains that some customers have been able to redirect shipments because they understand what is happening to their fruit and vegetables during transportation.
"Some have been able to return produce to their facilities because their products have been compromised by the delays," he said. "Others have been able to redirect shipments to other locations because of the information they are getting. I don't know the exact financial metrics or savings, but I know from the feedback we get is that they are making better decisions for their business. You are talking about fresh produce, and the shelf life, customers need to make quick decisions about where to redirect it to get the best outcome for the consumer, the retailer and their business. It's all about credibility and losing face in this industry, that can be quite huge, especially the knock-on effect of losing an order."
Escavox tracks shipments across a wide range of fruit and vegetables, and even into the meat and dairy sectors, where temperature tracking is important for the integrity of the product.
"We supply eight of the ten largest producers of fresh produce companies in Australia with our devices," Mr Patterson said. "They utilise our devices across all of their ranges and it goes all across the world. Obviously, we are strong here in Australia, but we ship from Australia to many countries in the world, and we are now shipping with import opportunities into Australia. We are involved with shipments from China, Mexico, South Africa and other countries into Australia. I don't want to tell anyone how to run their business, but I believe our device offers them the opportunity to review what is happening within their own organisation. We can then make recommendations on what we find through the information gathered in their supply - but the real-time factor is making real differences to businesses."