FAQs on Cold Chain Security & Visibility

Frequently Asked Questions on End-to-End Chain Tracking Solution and Refrigerated (Reefer) Container and Refrigerated Warehouse Storage Monitoring System and Services

How does the AVANTE Cold Chain Tracking Solution provide value to food and vaccine supply chains?

  • Traditional cold chain tracking solutions monitor the temperature of the refrigerated container or pallets with electronic recorders. The temperature recorder keeps track of the temperature and allows the data to be downloaded when the product arrives. It acts as a witness and data logger of what happened during the transit.
  • While the traditional temperature logger and recording device is useful as a witness, the data can only be available “post mortem.” Knowledge that the refrigerated products experienced un-safe temperatures cannot help the shipper or carrier prevent loss before it is too late.
  • While insurance may pay for the loss, society as a whole looses productivity both in terms of producing the goods and time and effort in attributing the responsibility.
  • AVANTE Cold Chain Tracking Solution works to provide two additional benefits for the food, vaccine and pharmaceutical products. The first is to provide end-to-end tracking from goods being produced or cut from stem to being sold in retail to consumers. The second improvement is to provide real-time alerts to both the shippers and carriers whenever temperature fluctuations approach too high or too low ranges as to cause damage to the goods. AVANTE Cold Chain Tracking System places two or more AVANTE active RFID (ZONER™-CTID) tags inside the refrigerated container or storage warehouse near or on the products. The RFID sensor device measures and records temperature, moisture, light and any shock directly to the products. Whenever events exceed safety limits, real-time alerts are generated and communicated to the shippers and carriers via the RELAYER device located in locations that can transmit data out to AVANTE data centers and web-based centers. SMS alerts are sent via GPRS to those designated to receive them for possible corrective action.
  • Typically RELAYER™-CTOR reader-monitor is embedded with GPS for real-time location, GPRS and/or satellite communications modules to transmit data. The RELAYER is normally placed in the hub cab.
  • In addition to the real-time exception alerts in terms of temperature and/or moisture, AVANTE Cold Chain Tracking Solution also provides security monitoring against theft. Each of the ZONER devices includes multiple sensors besides temperature, moisture and shock function.
  • If the door of the container is opened or walls of the container are penetrated, the signals (RSSI) from the ZONER™ tags are “heard” by the outside container RELAYER™ monitor. These signals are compared to the output when the door is closed. When the door is closed and with no wall tampering, low RSSI will be “heard” by the monitoring RELAYER™ outside the reefer container or box.

How long does it take to install a refrigerated truck with the devices for AVANTE Cold Train Tracking Solution?

  • It takes approximately 30 seconds to install the AVANTE RFID RELAYER™ if mobile application is envisioned. For a permanent installation, it may take a few minutes to connect to one of the fuse links that have direct link to the 12-24VDC battery.
  • In the case of mobile use, simply plug the RELAYER unit into the cigarette lighter and place in a convenient location inside the cab.
  • Place the ZONER devices inside the refrigerated box, on the pallets or near the goods that are being transported. There are at least two ZONER devices in all installations. When placed in two different locations, the ZONER devices provide a good indication of the uniformity of temperature when packed with goods being shipped.

Is the location of the goods and/or cold chain box known to the shipper, carrier agent or others that have the right or need to know such information?

  • YES. Each set of AVANTE Cold Chain Tracking System includes a RELAYER™ that has an embedded GPS unit to provide locations at all time.
  • With the real-time locating capability and ability to document all of the history of movements and locations, the AVANTE Cold Chain Tracking System provides end-to-end documentation of temperature, moisture and shock for all trips using the system.
  • Locations are related to the AVANTE monitoring data-center in real-time in a pre-determined schedule of at least every two hours with locations every minute for the default setting. More frequent recordings can be provided with custom settings.
  • The shippers, carrier agents and those that have the right and need to know can logg into the AVANTE web-based server to review records, status and locations in real-time.
  • When there is any EXCEPTION or approaching exception, the location and condition will be reported in REAL-TIME. SMS will be issued automatically by the AVANTE data center via email, phone, cellphone, and PDA.
  • Communications are normally provided with GPRS and when required, a satellite module is used for more critical situations.

What are the security benefits afforded by AVANTE Cold Chain Tracking Solution?

  • The AVANTE solution provides real-time alerts whenever the cold chain container or box is opened or in the case of intrusion.
  • The driver and/or staff are normally provided with a ZONER™ device that provides association of the driver to the operation. When threatened or in need, the ZONER device can also be used to summoned help on demand.
  • Each of the AVANTE Cold Chain Tracking System set consists of as many as needed ZONER™ tags placed inside the cold chain box or storage.  The tags include multiple security sensors besides the functional temperature and humidity sensors that work in conjunction with a RELAYER™ that are used as monitoring and communication devices and recorders of events.
  • Covert monitoring is also available. Please consult AVANTE sales-engineering team for details.