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ORBCOMM launches LoRa IoT solution for container monitoring

ORBCOMM has expanded its portfolio of onboard vessel IoT systems to include LoRa WAN (LoRa) technology. Through a partnership with Net Feasa, a global IoT service provider based in Dingle, Ireland and Sunnyvale, CA, ORBCOMM has deployed the first commercially available solution using LoRa technology to monitor containers onboard vessels for a large global shipping line.

The solution combines VesselConnect, ORBCOMM’s refrigerated container management application with Net Feasa’s EvenKeelM IoT device connectivity, management and services platform. Refrigerated containers communicate in real time through LoRa gateways mounted in strategic locations on the vessel. Key container data, including temperature, humidity and alarms, is collected in EvenKeel and updated in ORBCOMM’s VesselConnect.

The VesselConnect application communicates over satellite back to ORBCOMM’s land-based platform, enabling customers to see the location of all vessels as well the status of each container on board from a single, comprehensive command and control center. ORBCOMM’s fully integrated system supports two-way commands, allowing users on the vessel or at land-based operations to change the container’s temperature set points and other parameters.  ORBCOMM’s on-board vessel IoT solution is designed primarily to eliminate the “black hole” of refrigerated container visibility at sea.

In addition, ORBCOMM’s solution helps customers enhance crew efficiency and safety by eliminating the need for manual inspections of the containers and improve operational efficiency through remote pre-trip inspections along with actionable data on maintenance and repair status.

ORBCOMM’s new LoRa-based system is compliant with the Digital Container Shipping Association’s (DCSA) new IoT connectivity standards created to make the shipping container supply chain more transparent, reliable and secure. As one of the DCSA-approved technologies for on-vessel operations, LoRa offers an alternative to cellular and other communication technologies in use today. ORBCOMM’s VesselConnect is unique in offering multiple choices for on-board vessel network connectivity so that customers can utilise the technology that best suits their use case.

“ORBCOMM’s new LoRa-based onboard vessel IoT solution complements our best-in-class portfolio of refrigerated container management solutions and further demonstrates our commitment to continued innovation supporting the global supply chain,” said Christian Allred, ORBCOMM’s senior vice president and general manager of global sales. “Together with Net Feasa, we’re helping shipping companies drive digital transformation, while achieving measurable savings.”

“As global concerns for cargo quality and security as well as traceability increase, the real-time tracking and monitoring of refrigerated containers is becoming the industry norm,” said Mike Fitzgerald, Net Feasa’s chairman. “We’re pleased to partner with ORBCOMM to bring our expertise in global IoT networks together with their leadership in innovation and compliance with IoT industry standards to the global container marketplace.”

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