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The 7 benefits of 'Real-time' loggers

  1. Monitoring location, temperature and light in ‘real-time’
  2. Live data and reports are visible 24/7
  3. Set up alerts via email or SMS for Temperature and Locations
  4. Loggers for land, sea and air* (*restrictions on use on some aircraft, not all real-time loggers have flight mode)
  5. Single use loggers so not reliant on importer
  6. Cost-effective (~$75+ each)
  7. All links along the supply chain are more accountable

Glenn Hale from Agriculture Victoria presents the 7 benefits of real-time loggers. Research from the Serviced Supply Chain project 2021

Transript: 7 Benefits of real-time loggers with Glenn Hale Agriculture Victoria

So the real time loggers, these ones here, Emerson, Frigga, Sensitech, I've been using just started trialling some Tive ones and about to get some Escavox ones. They all have SIM cards in them. So they should be treated, a lot like a mobile phone in that they do need to connect to the network to get data.

I've listed several benefits of using these real time loggers. And the first one here is that they can, they've got sensors in them to monitor location, temperature, and light. Some of them have shock sensors or vibration, and it's in real time, provided is connected to a network I guess. So live data and reports can be visible remotely through these logger dashboards or mobile apps.

So basically the data from these loggers is at your fingertips and you can potentially view it anytime on the day or night. Another benefit of these loggers is that if you can set up temperature and location alerts by email and SMS, you can see where the consignments with these loggers are in, or if there's any issues and potentially doing something about it before the consignment reaches the final destination.

Of the loggers that are available, some I think potentially are better for land or for sea or even for air because some of the loggers have flight mode function. Obviously for air there's two types of flight mode functions. One is automatic. The Emerson and Emerson logger has a geo fence that's built-in to the logger so when the logger goes through this geo fence around airports, it will automatically go into flight mode.
As a backup. There is an accelerometer in the Emerson and also in the Tive logger so that when the plane takes off the logger will pick up rapid changes in speed and height and automatically go into flight mode. And then obviously when the plane lands, picks up the changes again, and it will disable the flight mode function.There's a manual function on some loggers like this Frigga your one, if your in there dashboard, if you've go to device settings, you can type in where you want flight mode to be activated. So at Melbourne airport automatically put a 5km ring around the airport. So when the logger passes into that zone, it'll go into flight mode. You can set up alerts here, and then the only other thing that you need to do,is include the time of the flight that the logger needs to be in flight mode for. So that's a manual version compared to the other loggers that are automatic. These loggers that I'm talking about today are single use loggers.

So unlike USB loggers you're not relying on anyone else to collect the loggers and send information back. You have information at your finger tips. So you're not relying on anyone else to collect them. They're relatively cost effective at about $75 each, or they do go over a hundred dollars depending on which loggers you have. There's ones with probes that can measure, say pulp temperature, as well as ambient temperature, or even say on a long cable, you can measure different positions within a sea freight container using the same logger.

And I think another benefit of these real time bloggers is that all links will be more accountable because you can set up these alerts and you can see what's happening pretty much all along the explore process.

Glenn Hale from Agriculture Victoria discusses how to start a real-time logger to measure temperature data in real time.

Transcript: Starting the real time logger

Alright, these loggers are really easy to start. Just need to hold down the start button here, which is the green one. Hold it in for a few seconds and then you'll see an LED light down the bottom here, flashing, which indicates that it has been activated.

Well, this Emerson logger, it's just a matter of pulling this little tab out. And then there'll be a LED light on here that flashes as well.

And the other logger I've got here, the Tive, same similar to the other Frigga. Big green button on the front. Push that in for a few seconds and it will activate.

and I'll just show you how to start the Frigga logger, the one down the bottom, just hold the screen button in for a few seconds until the light starts flashing.

You can see the light down the bottom flashing a few times. It's blue. So that's a good sign. And when it starts flashing and it'll be recording, we'll just move it into an area where there's good mobile reception so that it can connect to the network.

Video: Using a dashboard to see real time logger data

Glenn Hale from Agriculture Victoria discusses using a dashboard to see real time logger data.

Transcript: Using a dashboard to see real-time logger data

Okay. So we've started the real-time logger now. And the next step is to go into the dashboard and set up some of the features that linked to the logger. We've got this dashboard here. That's been developed by Queensland DAF in consultation with some exporters and also a developer.

So if we log in here, we'll go in and we'll set up a logger. We'll add it first and then we'll add some shipment details. So this is the landing page here with some pages down the left here about the dashboard, managing the device, setting it up. We've got a shelf life calculator here that can predict shelf life for mangoes. And we're looking at doing one for stone fruit, and then the default setting page here. So if we go to manage device, we'll go add longer. We'll add a Frigga logger and then the code that's on the logger. We'll say, we don't need to fill out any of that really. We'll just say that. We submit it and then that will add the logger to the database and then we'll go and create the shipment.

Okay, so now we'll set up the shipment details. So we'll go to add shipment, type in any emails for notifications. Their the default settings for me. We'll go to Frigga, we'll select this one that we prepared earlier. We put them at the top of the carton, the back of the container near the doors. That's where best reception is. We can add any information here, say the shipping line number, shipping container. We'll select what sort of fruit it is and say, nectarines, shipment. We can add any details in there that we want. We we'll say this one's going from Swan Hill to let's say Hong Kong. Departure date. So for this variety, let's go Flavour Pearl, which will be just before Christmas. And it will arrive in Hong Kong in roughly three to four weeks. Say 23rd. In the other notes here, maybe we could put, ' Harvest...'And let's say seven Kgf. 14 Brix.

Now if we want to set up any temperature alerts, we normally do it at say zero degrees and five degrees. We can send those alerts to email address. I already saved that there. Then we can set up location alerts, just need to put in the radius around the alert. So around the location, sorry. So let's just say two kilometers. We'll send that alert to myself again, and then we can put down the locations along the supply chain that the consignment will pass through. So let's say for example, when it leaves Swan Hill .We can add another location by clicking on the plus. Say when the container gets to the port in Melbourne, we'll just select Coode Island here.

I scroll down, you can see the ports around here, so that will be covered. I add another location. If we know where, which way it's going around Australia, we can put in other locations as well. And so Port of Brisbane, but stopping there. And then let's just say the last stop here, Hong Hong, and then I always recommend putting in one more, that may not go to just so that it covers past the Hong Kong stage. So you can just put in, say, Shanghai and if it does happen to go there, then we'll get it as well. And then the final step is just to submit and it should be all done success.

So if we go back to the dashboard, we should see it at the top here. And here it is down the bottom here. So Shipment 46, Swan Hill to say Shanghai, the logger number there . It's a test, for later in the year. There's no records yet because the logger has just started. But when it does connect to the network, it should send some information through.

So that's just a quick overview of what to do after starting the logger and then setting it up on the dashboard. And then we can check this periodically, or if we get an alert through the email, we can see what's happening with the temperature and also the location.

Okay, and here's one that we set up last week. It's just a local one, and I'll just show you what you might see when you open up the dashboard and look at the information for that particular logger. If we go into this one here, showed record. If we scroll down, this is what we'll see. So the number, the position on the left here, any status locations of where the logger's arrived or departed from, and then here is a temperature profile from that logger and it's been running for roughly a week. If we put our mouse or cursor over any part of the graph, you can see on the top right there, the date, the time and the temperature. This was when he had to get up to 50 odd degrees. I actually put it in my oven just as a check. And then these temperatures here, around low twenties is room temperature. It's been quite warm here in Melbourne recently, and then this lower temperature is actually my fridge temperature. So you can see it down around four degrees or less. And then back to room temperature here. Then if we scroll down a little bit further on the left, we can see some summary of the se as to when we started it if it's finished or not, or the last known dates and times, and basically just a summary of the temperatures here, a number of hours above or below zero degrees, above five degrees, the average temperature, the minimum max temperatures.

And on the right here, we have a map of where the logger's been. I did take it for a walk the other day. So we'll just zoom in and we'll see roughly where I went. These green circles here, where the logger's updating to the mobile phone towers. It has been stationary at my house for a little bit. So it's pinging off a few towels at the moment. I did walk up east of my house over Springvale road, just for a walk and it's picked up a tower down here on the right. So that shows you roughly the location that the logger is in and where it's been, but it will bounce around a little bit just trying to search for the nearest tower so that it can update the latest information.

And I'd like to acknowledge Andrew Macnish and Neil White in particular, who's done a lot of the coding behind this dashboard.

Video: Benefits of real time loggers and the dashboard

Glenn Hale from Agriculture Victoria discusses the benefits of real time loggers and the dashboard.

Transcript: Benefits of real time loggers and the dashboard

So there's several main benefits of these real time loggers, but one in particular, is that I think it'll make more links in the export supply chain, more accountable and by links I mean so from the grower onwards from farm gate, where there might be a freight forwarder or treatment providers, or even transport companies, even shipping companies that, actually handle these consignments.

Real time alerts can be set up. And if there's any temperature thresholds that are breached, then potentially, the exporter can do something about it earlier, and hopefully in real time, rather than waiting for the consignment to reach the export markets. And just one example of that is, last year in an export consignment, I received, a temperature alert of a fruit consignment that was at the port in Fremantle, I managed to contact the exporter and the exporter contacted the shipping company and they were able to go and check out the container and fix the problem. And then within a few hours, we actually saw the temperatures of that container reducing back down, below the threshold limits.

So that's a very good practical example of the benefits of using these real time loggers and who knows what the fruit would have looked like if it had of being sea freighted for the next three or four weeks at the elevated temperatures. definitely one of the benefits of using these real time loggers is getting these temperature alerts so that you can do something about it before the fruit arrives in the export markets.

But one of the benefits, of adding that extra step in the, in setting up the temperature alerts and location alerts is that if you put one past where the fruit is going to the importer, you can potentially see what is happening to the fruit. after the importer receives it, so that, you can see if there's any issues with temperature that might be affecting them prior to sale, but also, with these loggers there's, a light sensor so that when the container is opened or if the logger sits within a carton, you can see when these cartons are open so that the importer has received the product.

About the dashboard

The dashboard was developed by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and trialled with the stone fruit and table grape industries in Victoria as part of the Serviced Supply Chains project.

For access to this dashboard, please contact Dr Andrew Macnish from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on email:

Website www.daf.qld.gov.au

Project acknowledgement

The Serviced Supply Chains project is funded by the Hort Frontiers Asian Markets Fund, part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation with co-investment from: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland; Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Victoria; Manbulloo (mangoes); Montague (Summerfruit); Glen Grove (citrus); and the Australian Government plus in-kind support from The University of Queensland and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.