Bulk Distributor Jan/Feb20 | Page 3

Asset Management January/February 2020 B ULK D ISTRIBUTOR Evolution of smart containers L ausanne, Switzerland-based Aeler is preparing for the launch of its IoT enriched C3 smart container to meet the demand for cargo logistics to be more intelligent, efficient and ecological. With its roots in the heart of École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne), Aeler Technologies benefits from decades of expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) research, composite industrial materials innovation and cutting-edge embedded systems design. David Baur, co-founder and CTO, told Bulk Distributor: “Digitalisation is a must nowadays. With the increased pressure on the industry to be more environmentally conscious, standard containers are at risk of becoming obsolete in the supply chain and the desire for a more intelligent and efficient logistics process is growing.” It is no longer acceptable to have containers that are not optimised for their use, Aeler suggests, such as flexitanks with poor structural integrity or container insulation that is unsuitable for the transport of sensitive goods. Optimisation, Aeler continues, is key to efficiency, and increased efficiency is one way that the logistics industry can reduce impacts on the environment. Naïk Londono, CEO and co-founder, added: “The market is incredibly fragmented now, with around 30 stakeholders or more creating variations of smart components for containers. We do not want to be the 31st, we want to rethink from the ground up something that should have been revamped years ago.” The Aeler C3 smart container, available from March this year, is a dry container optimised for flexitank transport, with a view to reducing costs, increasing cargo protection and facilitating ecological compliance. The containers produced are currently ISO 22GP to ensure compatibility with a wide range of handling tools. The C3 container is capable of handling flexitanks loaded to 28 tonnes, which is 16 percent more than traditional steel containers. The transition from steel to composite materials enables the reduction of tare weight, improves rigidity, increases insulation and allows a web of sensors to be encapsulated into the structure itself, merging hardware with software. Combining the reduced weight of the container, the increased load capacity and better container aerodynamics, Aeler says using the C3 container can reduce the amount of road fuel used by up to 4 percent during carriage. This efficient design can lead to over 5-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions a year, per container compared to using traditional boxes, making this a ‘greener’ choice. The smart technology incorporated within the container monitors real-time conditions and security parameters, allowing for ‘visibility out of the box’ and offering alerts when the optimal conditions change, such as for alterations in temperature. With the economics of ISO containers, dry tanks or reefers, usually based on economies of scale, the question of competition in the market is not unwarranted. Entering the flexitanks market first Naïk Londono, said: “Getting cargo from A to B is not enough for today’s market. The demand for service to be quicker, safer and more efficient means that innovation is a requirement that should be perfected before a bigger scale is adopted.” Aeler will be providing the containers and the data acquired by the incorporated software on a short-term lease basis, meaning that the containers themselves do not have to be bought outright by the user. With strong interest from the market already evident, particularly from bulk liquid transporters, there is a great level of anticipation for the Aeler C3. Commercial pilots are under way with key players in the industry to ensure that the ‘container as a service’ business model, as well as the structural and digital advantages of Aeler’s product, meet the industry’s needs. www.aeler.com Aeler says using the C3 container can reduce the amount of road fuel used by up to 4 percent during carriage 3 OptiMate aids Lawrence J E Lawrence & Son Ltd has been serving its customers throughout West Wales and beyond since 1936. The haulier’s fuel division delivers to homes, farms and industry. A MechTronic customer since 2011, in 2018, JE Lawrence invested in OptiMate, an electronic metering system for fuel oil distributors. Owner Richard Lawrence said: “I chose OptiMate as I felt this was a system that offered efficiency savings and increased reliability. “Since we started using OptiMate we are seeing efficiency savings. The automatic line change procedure means that drivers don’t need to return to the tanker to perform a line change; which means deliveries are faster and exact fuel calculations are automatically made, resulting in no fuel wastage. “Driver feedback has been positive, they like the functionality that the system offers, and the fuel contamination prevention measures that are in place, ensure that OptiMate provides real peace of mind to both our drivers and us as fuel oil operatives.” www.mechtronic.ltd.uk THE MOST RELIABLE REMOTE TANK MONITORING COMPANY IN THE WORLD 600,000+ Monitored Assets Worldwide 1,500+ Customers in Over 70 Countries 120 Years of Combined Experience 24/7 Customer Support 50+ Engineers [email protected] / 866.493.7762 / anovasolutions