How to Track and Monitor Perishables with GPS Trackers

July 21, 2020

July 2, 2024


x min read

Tracking perishable foods throughout the supply chain is easier with GPS trackers. Learn why you need trackers to improve perishables tracking.

Real-time monitoring for perishables

In cold chain logistics, many perishable food items such as meat products, coffee, fresh fruit, and frozen food products are susceptible to spoilage, adverse temperatures, or numerous other issues while in-transit, which lead to loads possibly being rejected. Perishables have to be kept within strict temperature ranges. Temperature excursions due to incorrectly set refrigerated containers or trailers, malfunctioning refrigerated units, adverse environmental conditions, unexpected delays, or other issues can result in damaged products and disappointed customers.

In the perishable foods industry, it's crucial to ensure products are kept safe. Since people will consume these foods, any potential foodborne illnesses can potentially be traced back to your brand and cause lasting damage - in addition to any legal liabilities that occur. Many businesses focus on monitoring temperatures and expiration dates while products are on store shelves, but more businesses need to focus on monitoring perishables while in transit. 

With the rise of GPS shipment trackers, businesses can now get real-time tracking and monitoring of perishables while they're in transit.  

Better perishables tracking with GPS trackers

GPS trackers are an invaluable tool for many businesses that ship perishables. There are a number of issues that arise while products are in transit, making real-time alerts and visibility essential for shipping companies. However, outfitting shipments with GPS tracking to get real-time location updates can be expensive, but the industry has found a cost-effective and efficient solution through disposable GPS trackers.

Perishable goods, such as fresh produce, vegetables, meat, and frozen foods need precise temperature controls to make it to their destination in good condition. If, for example, the frozen foods start to thaw, you can be alerted of this before it's too late. If the refrigerated trailer or container full of produce starts to deviate from the temperature that it was supposed to be in, you can be alerted before the product is totally wasted and avoid the risk of having that load rejected.

The benefits of GPS trackers are numerous. As devices powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), they offer powerful features including:

  • Internal and external sensors (temperature, humidity, shock, and more)
  • GSM, 2G, 3G, LTE, 4G, and 5G connectivity
  • Cloud-based software accessible through most devices
  • Location tracking

Improve Food Safety & Health

Stringent FSMA regulations require businesses to follow many regulations to prevent the spread of foodborne illness and keep customers safe. Any potential issues can cause your business to face a fine from the FDA, cause a recall of your products, and damage your brand. One notable recall example can be found in Chipotle. 

In 2016, they had a recallso large it damaged their reputation, caused them to close the majority of their stores, and caused their stock to tank. Grocery stores, restaurants, suppliers, and other food-based businesses have a responsibility to ensure their customers are protected.

Temperature Monitoring

Real-time temperature alerts help businesses track any potential issues when perishables are in transit. For example, if a refrigerated product's temperature rises beyond its accepted threshold  for a certain amount of time, the carrier can be notified and the driver can investigate if the refrigeration system is functioning properly.  If issues are found, the shipper can then alert their customer and let them know of possible delays.

Shock Monitoring

Some perishables like fruit juices or fresh produce are at risk of being damaged while in transit. A loose pallet or improper dunnage could potentially cause products to be damaged to the point that it can't be used or sold. 

With a GPS tracker, companies can monitor if a product has been damaged in transit. If the product is damaged, replacements can be prepared to reduce the risk of angering your customer. 

Less food waste

The USDA estimates that 30-40% of food in the United States is wasted between farm to table. With perishables monitoring, businesses can monitor the climate and location of their shipments in real-time. 

A multi-sensor tracker tracks temperature, humidity, location, and shipment integrity, and sends the data to the cloud in real-time. Configurable real-time alerts notify you as soon as temperature or shock exception occurs.

Get real-time perishables tracking with Tive

Want real-time insights and monitoring for your perishables shipments? Tive is the ultimate solution for complete supply chain visibility, combining GSM. 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, and 5G shipment trackers with cloud-based monitoring software to help you ensure efficient perishables management and optimization

Tive’s trackers use global mobile phone networks and built-in sensors to provide location and sensor data, and the software's tracking dashboard lets you analyze it all in real-time through your web browser or mobile phone. And Tive has a patent-pending solution that provides exceptional uptime for long-term and continuous tracking.

Get started with Tive today! Request our prices by clicking the button below to learn how Tive can help.

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